Marcos govt keeps ban on new Philippine coal plants

  • Market: Coal, Electricity
  • 17/08/22

The Philippines' new government of president Ferdinand Marcos will keep a moratorium on new coal-fired power plants in the country to avoid sending mixed signals to investors.

New Department of Energy (DoE) secretary Raphael Lotilla said the Marcos administration will continue to implement the ban signed into effect by previous energy secretary Alfonso Cusi in 2020, who then cited the need to shift to a more flexible generation mix. Marcos took office at the end of June, replacing Rodrigo Duterte.

Changing the policy less than two years after the directive was signed would send mixed signals to investors regarding the business climate and investment-related regulatory agendas in the power sector, the DoE said.

The moratorium is also expected to help accelerate investment in the renewable energy sector. Manila is aiming for renewable energy to account for 35pc of the country's overall generation mix by 2030 and 50pc by 2040 under the latest renewable energy roadmap published by the DoE. Renewable energy accounted for 22.4pc of total generated power of 106TWh last year, DoE data show.

Coal-fired power generation will still play a key role in the country's energy security despite the push for a higher share of renewable energy, the DoE said.

Output from coal-fired power plants accounted for 58.47pc of the total power generation last year despite making up only 40.4pc of the country's total installed power capacity. It would not be feasible to abruptly end coal use, the DoE said. Instead, there should be a managed and orderly transition to other energy sources to slowly wean the country off coal.


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28/05/24

Queensland to review CCS after rejecting Glencore plan

Queensland to review CCS after rejecting Glencore plan

Sydney, 28 May (Argus) — Australia's Queensland state government will review the long-term suitability of carbon capture and storage (CCS) following the rejection of a demonstration project planned by commodities producer and trading firm Glencore. Queensland's Department of Environment, Science and Innovation late last week rejected the environmental impact statement for Glencore's CTSCo Surat Basin CCS project, which aimed to demonstrate carbon capture from a coal-fired power station and the permanent storage of carbon dioxide. The project was unsuitable to proceed because of the potential impact on groundwater resources in the Great Artesian Basin, the department said. "The department's final decision on the EIS acknowledges the importance of the Great Artesian Basin to multiple stakeholders and makes it clear that other carbon capture and storage projects will not be viable in the Great Artesian Basin," it added. The aquifer is used for agriculture, irrigation and stock watering, with Glencore's proposal sparking strong criticism from farmers and local groups. The decision to reject the project was a step in the right direction but not enough, said Queensland Farmers' Federation chief executive Jo Sheppard. "We know that there are currently two companies with exploration permits for CCS in the Great Artesian Basin and we know that other companies globally are looking at the basin as a cheap way to conduct CCS at an industrial scale to manage their emissions," Sheppard said. "In the absence of federal policy, the Queensland government can and must now take a leadership role and put regulations in place to protect the Queensland component of the Great Artesian Basin from further CCS bids." The rejection meant the state government has now "effectively banned" CCS projects in Queensland, Glencore said. "It's a missed opportunity for Queensland and sends mixed messages on emissions reduction to industry who are looking to invest in low-emission technologies, including CCS," the company noted. "It's now up to the Queensland government to explain how it's going to meet its ambitious emissions reduction targets in the absence of CCS technology for heavy industry." The state government will assess the suitability of CCS in the state following the "logical conclusion" on the CTSCo project, Queensland premier Steven Miles said on 27 May. "Cabinet will now have a conversation about what we think the longer term and wider application of those concerns should be. That is whether CCS should be allowed and under what circumstances." Queensland last month approved two separate laws setting renewable energy and emissions reduction targets over the next decade. It set net greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets of 30pc below 2005 levels by 2030, 75pc by 2035 and zero by 2050. The government will receive advice from an expert panel on the measures needed to reduce emissions. It will need to develop and publish sector plans by the end of 2025 with annual progress reports to Queensland's parliament. By Juan Weik Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Construction issues delay Indonesia's Jambi coal road


28/05/24
News
28/05/24

Construction issues delay Indonesia's Jambi coal road

Manila, 28 May (Argus) — Development of a dedicated coal haulage road in Indonesia's Jambi province has been further delayed with the project facing renewed obstacles. Developers Sinar Agung Sukses and Putra Bulian Propertindo's progress with their respective sections of the road have stalled, regional authorities said, pushing the completion of the project back by another six months to December 2024 instead of the original target of June 2023. The original target date was December 2023. Sinar Agung Sukses is currently working on extending its permits as advised by the provincial government's integrated team. This is expected to be completed this month, with work for the company's section of the coal road expected to start in early June. Putra Bulian Propertindo's road works have stalled because of a lack of funding. But the Jambi regional secretariat said that the company has received outside funding for the project and development is expected to resume by June. Inti Tirta Primasakti's section of the coal road has reached 85pc completion. It is now working on an underpass in Muara Bulian, Batanghari regency with its section of the project expected to be completed by October this year at the latest. By Antonio delos Reyes Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity


27/05/24
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27/05/24

US against EU push to censure Iran for nuclear activity

Dubai, 27 May (Argus) — US president Joe Biden's administration is opposing a European push — spearheaded by France — to rebuke Iran for advances in its nuclear program at the UN nuclear watchdog the IAEA's board of governors meeting in June, a diplomatic source with knowledge of the matter told Argus . "The US isn't enthused about the European effort to censure Iran at the IAEA's member state board meeting in early June," the diplomat said. "But there is a general European atmosphere that is exploring options and measures regarding Iran's nuclear program." The Biden administration is concerned about the need to manage tensions with Tehran, particularly at what is a highly sensitive moment, the source said. "Bear in mind, this board of governors meeting is happening around 10 days after the helicopter crash killed (Iran's president Ebrahim) Raisi and (foreign minister Hossein) Amir-Abdollahian" both of whom were primary interlocutors with IAEA director General Rafael Grossi on the nuclear file, the source said. "There is currently a vacuum in Tehran. Timing is bad," the source said, explaining the US position. A US State Department spokesman could not be reached for immediate comment. Concerns among western officials have grown over Iran's nuclear activity in recent years. Former US president Donald Trump in 2018 pulled the US out of a 2015 nuclear deal, resulting in an erosion of strict limits that the agreement had placed on Iran's nuclear program. Iran, in 2019, began breaching the restrictions and then pushed far beyond them. Tehran has enough highly enriched fissile material for three nuclear weapons, according to the IAEA. Iran is enriching uranium to up to 60pc purity, close to the near 90pc considered to be weapons grade, according to the IAEA. Grossi in March said inspections in Iran were not what they should have been and called for additional monitoring capabilities, given the depth and breadth of the program. "On Iran, recent negative developments haven't gone unnoticed. Nuclear threats by Iranian officials, and Grossi's recent interview all sent negative signals," the source said. The Biden administration has always maintained that it is seeking a diplomatic solution for Iran's nuclear program. And since the conflict between the Gaza-based Palestinian militant group Hamas, backed by Iran, and Israel broke out, the US has attempted to stop the spillover of the conflict into the wider region. US and Iranian officials have met at least twice for indirect talks in Oman this year. What are the options? "There is real concern nowadays within the international community that no one exactly knows where Iran is at the moment when it comes to nuclear enrichment," the source says. The IAEA has lost its "continuity of knowledge" in relation to the production and inventory of centrifuges, rotors and bellows, heavy water and uranium ore concentrate. "But the options are limited," the source said. The most the IAEA can do if a state is out of compliance with its obligations under the Non-Proliferation Treaty Safeguards Agreement is to report its concerns to the UN Security Council. Since June 2020, The IAEA's board of governors has adopted three resolutions regarding Iran's cooperation regarding the non-proliferation agreement. "Two reports are to be published ahead of the meeting in June. Their outcome will set the scene on whether another resolution will adopted or not," the source said. By Bachar Halabi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market


27/05/24
News
27/05/24

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market

Singapore, 27 May (Argus) — Indonesian coal producer Indika Energy is venturing into biomass, as it diversifies into more environmentally-friendly businesses and reduces its reliance on conventional fuel revenues. Indika, which produced 30.1mn t of coal in 2023 through its subsidiary Kideco, last year completed construction of a wood pellet factory in Paser, east Kalimantan, the company said in its 2023 sustainability report. The biomass business is part of its subsidiary Indika Nature that is preparing its first batch of production. It is aiming to produce 150,000 t/yr wood pellets by 2025. These will have an average calorific value of 4,200-4,750 kcal/kg that is suitable for biomass-based power plants or for co-firing in a thermal power plant. It is planning to export the pellets to Japan. [Japan imported 531,500t of wood pellets in March](https://direct.argusmedia.com/newsandanalysis/article/2562604), up by 47pc from a year earlier, according to preliminary data released by the country's finance ministry on 26 April. This was also higher by 9pc from February. Imports from Indonesia rise to 59,353t in March, more than a fivefold increase from 10,796t a year earlier. This exceeded the previous record high of 35,516t in January. Indika will become the first biomass company in Indonesia with a comprehensive value chain, it added. Indika Nature cultivates a commercial forest in east Kalimantan that provides biomass for carbon-neutral energy generation. It is aiming to cultivate this year 7,500 hectares of calliandra, a woody plant that is a source of biomass. The group's commodity trading arm also started trading of palm kernel shells, a by-product of palm oil production that is used as a fuel in biomass power plants. Its customers included trading firms in Indonesia, Japan and Portugal. Indika Energy has set a target for 50pc of its revenues to come from its non-coal business by 2025, as a part of its long-term goal to entirely transition away from coal and expand its presence in renewables and the non-energy space. It has been reducing its presence in coal-related businesses, while becoming more involved in electric mobility, gold mining and digital technologies. It decided to sell a 100pc stake last year in its Mutu coal mining unit to domestic firm Petrindo Jaya Kreasi. Indika earned almost 87pc of its $3.02bn revenues in 2023 from coal compared with nearly 89pc in 2022. By Ajay Modi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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US poised to back New Jersey offshore wind farms


23/05/24
News
23/05/24

US poised to back New Jersey offshore wind farms

Houston, 23 May (Argus) — US regulators could soon approve two offshore wind projects near New Jersey, but with stipulations that would slightly reduce the number of turbines installed in the Atlantic Ocean. The US Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) favors a design for the Atlantic Shores South system that would result in up to 195 turbines, as many as 10 offshore substations and eight transmission cables to ferry electricity ashore to New Jersey, the agency said today in its final environmental impact statement for the project. Atlantic Shores South comprises two separate projects, Atlantic Shores 1 and Atlantic Shores 2, which are 50:50 partnerships between Shell and EDF Renewables. The pair's overall capacity is tentatively set at 2,837MW, with the first phase targeting 1,510MW and a size for the second to be determined. Atlantic Shores 1 has a contract to deliver up to 6.18mn offshore renewable energy certificates each year to New Jersey, with first power expected in 2027. The state selected the project through its second offshore wind solicitation, with the 20-year contract scheduled to begin in 2028. The developers had proposed installing up to 200 turbines, but BOEM decided to favor a modified plan, adopting alternatives put forward by the companies in the name of mitigating impacts on local habitats while limiting turbine height and their proximity to the shore to reduce the project's "visual impacts," a point of contention among New Jersey residents who fear damage to tourism in oceanside communities. The BOEM-endorsed design would have mostly "minor" to "moderate" effects on the surrounding environment, with exceptions including consequences for North Atlantic right whales, commercial and for-hire fisheries and local scenery, which could be "major." The areas potentially hit hardest by the projects would be open to "major" consequences regardless of the project design, according to BOEM's analysis. The preference is not BOEM's final ruling, but it does herald the path the agency is likely to take. Regulators will publish the review in a "coming" edition of the Federal Register, starting a mandatory 30-day waiting period before BOEM can publish its final decision on the project. By Patrick Zemanek Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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