Power, Coal and Electricity
Jun 27 - Blackout, price risks loom as wind power prevails in South Australia
Rapid growth in wind and solar power in South Australia is raising the spectre of blackouts and soaring prices for businesses like global miner BHP Billiton as cheaper renewables have pushed traditional thermal power plants to close. South Australia uses wind farms and rooftop solar panels for 40 percent of its power, more than any part of the country. However, businesses that depend on the steady power provided by coal- and natural gas-fired generators are concerned about disruptions as the state relies more on intermittent renewable energy. click here .
Jun 21 - BHP Billiton steps up coal output, slices costs, eyes acquisitions
Top global miner BHP Billiton outlined plans to boost coal output by 8 percent over the next three years while slashing costs, and said it would only consider premium, lowest-cost assets for any acquisitions. BHP Billiton, the world's top exporter of coking coal used in steelmaking and also a producer of energy coal, is in the enviable position of running profitable coal mines at a time when more than half the world's coal mines are losing money. click here.
Jun 17 - Japan doubles down on coal power as trading houses curb investment
As most developed economies turn their back on coal, Japan is burning record amounts for electricity generation and plans to use even more of the dirtiest fossil fuel to fill the gap after the Fukushima disaster paralysed its nuclear sector. But as Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's government pushes coal power, both at home and through exporting technology abroad, some of Japan's powerful trading houses are cutting or freezing coal investments over concerns about the environmental fallout. click here .
Jun 09 - U.S. solar market to nearly double in 2016, led by utilities
The U.S. solar energy market will nearly double new installations this year to 14.5 gigawatts, led by utility projects that developers scrambled to bring online in anticipation of the expiration of a key federal tax credit, according to a report published on Thursday. Solar installations rose 24 percent in the first quarter, accounting for 64 percent of all new U.S. electric generating capacity during the period, the report by GTM Research said. click here.
Jun 08 - BHP Billiton sells Indonesian coal assets to Adaro
BHP Billiton said on Tuesday it has agreed to sell its coal assets in Indonesia to its partner, Adaro Energy, following a slump in prices for metallurgical coal. BHP did not disclose the price for its 75 percent stake in IndoMet Coal, which it first flagged was up for sale in April.click here.
Jun 08 - Coal, like oil, lifted by supply squeezes and record demand
All major benchmarks for thermal coal - the world's second most important energy fuel after crude oil - have pushed back above $50 a tonne for the first time this year, driven by output cuts, supply disruptions and increased demand. After years of declines, tightening fundamentals have been supported by a surge in oil prices and a weakening dollar, while storms in some producing regions and hot weather in Asia have exacerbated price movements.click here.
Jun 02 - India, Westinghouse in 'advanced' talks to close nuclear deal -ambassador
Toshiba Corp's Westinghouse Electric and India are in "advanced discussions" for the company to build six nuclear reactors there, the country's ambassador to the United States said on Wednesday, ahead of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's planned visit to Washington next week. A deal with Westinghouse would be the first such contract reached under the 2008 U.S.-India civil nuclear accord. click here.
Jun 01 - Coal industry shouldn't get carried away with new-found optimism: Russell
Something has changed in the coal industry. For the past 22 years Asia's coal producers, traders and buyers have gathered in the Indonesian resort island of Bali to discuss the state of the sector.In recent years these have been pretty depressing affairs as participants bemoaned the ongoing slump in prices, prayed that things couldn't get any worse and then lamented when they did. click here.
May 19 - China April coal output down 11.0 pct on year – stats bureau
China produced 268 million tonnes of coal in April, down 11 percent on the year, the National Bureau of Statistics said on Saturday, with producers cutting back in a concerted effort to shore up prices.China's coal sector has been struggling with a massive capacity glut and miners have been encouraged to cut production to shore up domestic prices, which plummeted around 30 percent last year. The country has promised to shed 500 million tonnes of surplus capacity in the next five years. click here.
May 13 - China to boost energy storage 10-fold to cut power waste - industry
China is expected to raise its power storage capacity by ten-fold to 14.5 gigawatts by 2020, as the world's second-biggest economy tries to cut massive waste from renewable energy projects, an industry association said. China is the world largest wind and solar power producer, but some regions are estimated to be losing more than 40 percent of their power because of technical restraints and bottlenecks in the grid, alongside weak power demand growth. click here.
May 06 - China vows stronger action against illegal coal mining
China will take stronger action against illegal coal projects as it tries to tackle a massive capacity glut in the sector, the country's state planning agency said, after ordering the closure of 38 projects. The National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC) had ordered the immediate closure of the projects for breaching industry policies, it said in a notice posted on its website on Friday. click here.
May 03 - India's coal efficiency drive risks ire of powerful unions
Plans by India's coal monopoly to buy billions of dollars of new machinery and outsource work are facing resistance from powerful unions worried about job losses, in a potential blow to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's promise to bring electricity to all. State-run Coal India Ltd, the world's biggest coal miner, has already doubled output growth since Modi came to power two years ago, owing to the removal of hurdles to production like environmental clearances and land acquisition. click here.
May 03 - Countries eyeing coal-fired plants must reassess energy strategy - IRENA
Countries that plan to build coal-fired power plants need to reassess their energy strategy because such facilities may not be a viable investment, the head of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) said on Monday. Many industry analysts see natural gas and renewables as the biggest growth sectors in energy, yet most Asian countries including Japan are still expanding coal faster than gas. click here.
May 02 - Australia coal mines brace for floods as La Nina looms
Five years ago floods linked to a La Nina weather pattern nearly brought Australia's coal industry to a standstill. With another of the sea-cooling events now forming and the risk of heavy rains returning, mining companies say they are ready. They have bought pumps, fortified levees and brushed up on procedures to deal with the deluge of water that a La Nina can bring, the companies say. click here.
Apr 28 - Polish state-controlled firms agree to put $620 mln into coal group
Six Polish state-controlled firms have agreed to put $620 million into a newly-established state coalmining group PGG, they said on Tuesday, as part of an effort to save the European Union's largest coal miner Kompania Weglowa from bankruptcy. Kompania is on the brink of bankruptcy as a result of record-low coal prices and high labour costs. Kompania's liabilities and debt, estimated at billions of zlotys meant the company could run out of money this month. click here.
Apr 27 - How some SunEdison creditors scored a safe, lucrative debt deal
When a group of hedge funds agreed to lend $725 million to SunEdison Inc - three months before it filed for bankruptcy last week - they secured an unusually generous concession from the U.S. renewable energy company and its other lenders. The funds, which at the time included Tennenbaum Capital Partners LLC and Candlewood Investment Group LP, put themselves in a prime position to handle so-called debtor-in-position financing in the event of a bankruptcy. click here.
Apr 25 - Yieldcos enabled SunEdison's debt-fueled acquisition spree
At an early 2015 investor conference, SunEdison’s then-chief financial officer, Brian Wuebbels, trumpeted the profit potential in the solar developer’s relationship with a venture it had recently spun off. SunEdison had established TerraForm Power Inc as a “yieldco,” a complex financing vehicle to purchase energy projects from SunEdison and other developers. TerraForm lured investors with the promise of reliable dividends based on long-term power contracts. click here.
Apr 21 - BHP Billiton weighs getting out of Indonesian coal
BHP Billiton is considering quitting its coal assets in Indonesia, where it recently started shipping steel-making coal from a small mine, amid uncertainty over Indonesian regulations and a weak outlook for coal. BHP owns a 75 percent stake in the IndoMet Coal project, having sold the rest to Indonesia's Adaro Energy in 2010 for $335 million. Coal asset prices have collapsed since then, and analysts said BHP would be lucky to fetch $200 million now for the stake in a largely undeveloped resource. click here.
Apr 20 - BHP Billiton sees iron ore, coal prices dropping back
BHP Billiton does not expect recent rise in iron ore and metallurgical coal prices to hold for more than a few months, as more low cost supply is set to hit the market, its Australian chief said on Thursday. There has been a genuine pick-up in demand for steel in construction, which is partly seasonal, and in turn iron ore and coal, coming on the heels of a period where inventories were run down, BHP Billiton Minerals Australia president Mike Henry said. click here.
Apr 19 - China to strictly control credit for new coal, steel projects
China will strictly control credit available for new capacity additions in the steel and coal sectors, both of which are suffering from price sapping supply gluts, according to a government statement issued on Thursday. China's central bank, along with other government bodies, said China would also strengthen support for the export of coal and steel in a bid to ease domestic overcapacity. click here.
Apr 13 - China's March coal imports up 15.6 pct as restocking begins
China imported 19.69 million tonnes of coal in March, up 15.6 percent on the year, the country's customs authority said on Wednesday, as power plants sought to replenish stocks ahead of the peak summer consumption period. Imports in the first quarter reached 48.46 million tonnes, down 1.2 percent from the same period of last year, according to the General Administration of Customs. click here.
Apr 08 - Adani wins state approval for Australian coal project
India's Adani Enterprises Ltd was granted approval by Australia's Queensland state government on Sunday to proceed with its proposed A$10 billion ($7.7 billion) Carmichael coal project in the Galilee Basin. Queensland Premier Annastascia Palaszczuk said the approvals gave Adani permission to mine coal reserves estimated at 11 billion tonnes and to build roads, workshops, power lines and pipelines associated with the mine. click here.
Apr 08 - Australia's green groups keep heat on Adani after mine approval
Environmental campaigners say they hope two outstanding court cases can still stop India's Adani Enterprises Ltd from developing a A$10 billion ($7.6 billion) coal project, even after it received a key state government approval. The granting of a mining lease by the state government marked another step in Adani's long-running bid for approval to mine and ship an estimated 11 million tonnes of coal reserves, building roads, power lines and pipelines to do so. click here.
Apr 01 - Vale says Mitsui not reconsidering Mozambique coal venture
Brazil's Vale SA, the world's No. 2 mining company, said on Thursday that partner Mitsui & Co Ltd has no plans to revise the terms of a coal venture project in Mozambique, as reported by a newspaper. Rio de Janeiro-based Vale said in a securities filing that a recent decision to reduce the accounting value of assets in the project "does not directly impact Mitsui's investment decision" in the asset, adding that both companies are working to conclude long-term financing for the venture. click here.
Mar 28 - India to rely on state miners to meet coal target – minister
India will meet its target of doubling coal production by 2020 without the help of private miners, the country's coal and power minister said, ruling out new measures to entice cash-strapped companies to begin mining the commodity. India wants to produce 1.5 billion tonnes of coal by 2020 to power its economy and reduce imports. State-owned Coal India Ltd, the world's largest coal miner, has raised production in line with reaching a target of 1 billion tonnes a year within four years and the government wants private miners to produce much of the remainder. click here.