US seeks to allow carbon storage on federal land

  • Market: Biofuels, Coal, Crude oil, Electricity, Emissions, Hydrogen, Natural gas, Oil products
  • 03/11/23

President Joe Biden's administration is advancing a proposal to allow carbon capture and storage (CCS) on millions of acres of federal land owned by the US Forest Service.

The proposed rule, published Friday, would open up the possibility of siting carbon storage projects on the 193mn acres of federal land in 44 states managed by the Forest Service. The regulation could support the Biden administration's push to expand the use of CCS, a technology that captures CO2 and then stores it deep underground in subsurface geological formations.

The proposal would remove an existing restriction from the Forest Service that blocks projects from having "exclusive and perpetual use" of federal land. Because CCS projects store CO2 for thousands of years, the agency said the restriction needs to be removed for projects to advance. Projects would still be subject to other permitting requirements and environmental reviews.

The US has seen a surge of interest in CCS as developers try to take advantage of $12bn in new funding from the 2021 infrastructure law and the expansion of the "45Q" tax credit that pays up to $85/metric tonne of CO2 that is stored in geologic formations. The Inflation Reduction Act also offers tax credits for clean hydrogen and low-carbon renewables fuels that are likely to rely partially on CCS.

But project developers have run into obstacles as they seek regulatory approvals for CO2 pipelines and Class VI injection wells needed for CCS. US Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee chairman Joe Manchin (D-West Virginia) on Thursday criticized the US Environmental Protection Agency for not yet approving permits for a backlog of 169 carbon injection wells, while at the same time proposing to mandate CCS for fossil fuel power plants.

"Not a single Class VI well has been approved," Manchin said. "At the same time, the administration is more than happy to mandate widespread deployment of carbon capture on gas- and coal-fired power plants."


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16/04/24

Singapore offers alternative marine fuel training hub

Singapore offers alternative marine fuel training hub

Singapore, 16 April (Argus) — Singapore plans to offer maritime energy training for seafarers to handle vessels with sustainable marine fuels as the industry advances towards its decarbonisation goals. "With hundreds of crew change conducted daily here, Singapore's Maritime Energy Training Facility (METF) is well placed to support the training of international seafarers. Shipowners and operators can expect time and training cost savings by tapping METF's training facilities," the Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (MPA) said. A gap in workforce knowledge remains a barrier in the maritime sector's transition to future fuels. This is despite an expected increase in supplies and consumption of alternative marine fuels, accelerated by the International Maritime Organisation's target of net zero greenhouses gas emissions by 2050 . The maritime sector has recognised the need for workforce upskilling and value chain integration . Safety in handling, bunkering and managing alternative fuels like methanol and ammonia is one of the highlights of the METF training, with workers to be trained in a new dual-fuel engine simulator. The METF curriculum also covers methanol firefighting for shipboard and terminal fires conducted by the Singapore Maritime Academy, along with safety protocols used during the first ship-to-container ship bunkering of bio-methanol on 27 July last year. "Around 10,000 seafarers and other maritime personnel are expected to be trained at METF from now to the 2030s, as the facilities are progressively developed by 2026," the MPA announced, adding that the new curriculum will roll out gradually from this year. By Cassia Teo Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Jera targets 20GW renewable power capacity by 2035-36


16/04/24
News
16/04/24

Jera targets 20GW renewable power capacity by 2035-36

Tokyo, 16 April (Argus) — Japan's largest power producer by capacity Jera has renewed its renewable power output target to 20GW by the 2035-36 fiscal year ending 31 March, in line with the acceleration of its offshore wind power presence in Europe. Jera originally planned to increase its renewable power portfolio to 5GW by 2025-26 in its business plan in 2019. But the acquisition of Belgian offshore wind firm Parkwind accelerated the plan and renewable power output will be 3.4GW this year, Jera said. It last month set up a 100pc subsidiary Jera Nex in UK to achieve the new target. Jera last month won an auction to develop a 1.5GW offshore wind farm in Norway's North Sea Sorlige Nordsjo II through Ventyr, a joint venture between Parkwind and Netherlands-based Ingka Investments. The new firm is specialising in global renewable energy and will cover new projects in Norway. By Reina Maeda Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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Australian new environment agency to speed up approvals


16/04/24
News
16/04/24

Australian new environment agency to speed up approvals

Sydney, 16 April (Argus) — The Australian federal government announced today it will introduce new legislation in the coming weeks to implement the second stage of its Nature Positive Plan, which includes setting up a national environment protection agency to speed up approval decisions. The planned Environment Protection Australia (EPA) will initially operate within the Department of Climate Change, Energy, Environment and Water until it transitions to become an independent statutory agency, with "strong new powers and penalties" to better enforce federal laws, the government said on 16 April. The EPA chief will be an independent statutory appointment, similar to the Australian federal police commissioner, so that "no government can interfere" with the new agency's enforcement work. The agency will be able to audit businesses to ensure they are compliant with environment approval conditions and issue environment protection orders to anyone breaking the law. Penalties will be increased, with courts able to impose fines of up to A$780mn ($504mn) or jail terms for up to seven years in cases of extremely serious intentional breaches of federal environment law. EPA will also be tasked with speeding up development decisions, including project assessments in areas such as renewable energy and critical minerals. Almost A$100mn will be allocated to optimise the approval processes, with its budget directed to support staff to assess project proposals and help businesses comply with the law. A new independent body Environment Information Australia (EIA) will also be created to provide environmental data to the government and the public through a public website. EIA will need to develop an online database giving businesses quicker access to data and helping EPA to make faster decisions. It will also need to publish state of environment reports every two years. The government said that an audit ordered by environment minister Tanya Plibersek last year found that around one in seven developments could be in breach of their offset conditions, when a business had not properly compensated for the impact a development was having on the environment, highlighting "the need to urgently strengthen enforcement". The planned new legislation is part of the federal government's reform of Australia's environmental laws including the Environment Protection and Biodiversity Conservation Act. Resource project decisions are currently made by the environment minister, with the move to an independent agency will removing any perception of political interference in such decisions, the government said when it first announced the reforms in late 2022. The first stage of the reform was completed late last year with new laws passed to create the Nature Repair Market, with further stages expected to be implemented in the future, the government said. Tight timing Resources industry body the Chamber of Minerals and Energy of Western Australia (CMEWA) welcomed the announcement that the federal government will take a "staged approach" to the implementation of the reforms but noted the timing of EPA's implementation was "tight". "We continue to hold reservations about the proposed decision-making model and will continue to advocate for a model that balances ecologically sustainable development considerations and includes the [environment] minister as the decision maker," CMEWA chief executive Rebecca Tomkinson said. The Minerals Council of Australia (MCA) said that it had been advocating for the creation of EIA, whose future collated data "will provide greater certainty and reduced costs for both government and project proponents", which "may shave years off project development". But it was cautious about potential "unintended consequences" stemming from more bureaucracy. "Australia has one of the most comprehensive environmental approvals processes in the world and the MCA has been clear about the significant risks of duplicative, complex and uncertain approvals processes pose to the minerals sector, the broader economy and the environment if we do not get this right," it warned. 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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La deuda de Pemex sobresale en el panorama electoral


15/04/24
News
15/04/24

La deuda de Pemex sobresale en el panorama electoral

Mexico City, 15 April (Argus) — La campaña presidencial de México termina en menos de dos meses, pero aunque ambas candidatas proponen una revolución verde en el sector de la energía, ninguna de ellas ha propuesto un plan viable para evitar la implosión financiera de la empresa estatal Pemex. Claudia Sheinbaum, candidata de continuidad para la política energética nacionalista del Presidente Andrés Manuel López Obrador, anunció el mes pasado su estrategia energética, comprometiéndose a aumentar la producción de petróleo y gas de Pemex, aumentar el rendimiento de las refinerías y la producción petroquímica, desarrollar una industria nacional de litio y buscar un nuevo enfoque en la generación de energía renovable. La antigua jefa de gobierno de la Ciudad de México no ha proporcionado detalles sobre ninguna de estas políticas, pero es difícil conciliar su compromiso con una ampliación de las energías renovables con un límite en la inversión del sector privado sin depender en gran medida del aumento de la financiación de la estatal de electricidad CFE. La política de Sheinbaum en materia de energías renovables es la única desviación de la agenda energética de López Obrador, aunque las agencias de calificación, los inversores y los analistas coinciden en que es probable que Pemex incurra en impago sin una amplia reforma estructural. Pemex tenía una deuda total de $106,100 millones a finales de 2023 y se enfrenta a $10,000 millones en vencimientos de deuda este año. El impulso del gobierno para aumentar el rendimiento de las refinerías ha generado pérdidas de miles de millones de dólares para Pemex. Solo en 2023, la división de refinación de Pemex reportó una pérdida de $4,400 millones, una mejora con respecto a una pérdida de $11,000 millones el año anterior. De 2019 a 2023, la división de refinación de la empresa registró más de $46,000 millones en pérdidas. López Obrador puso el rescate de Pemex y sus refinerías en el centro de su administración. Pero a pesar de no detener la espiral de deuda de la empresa, la disminución de la producción de crudo, el empeoramiento del récord de seguridad y el aumento de las emisiones de gases de efecto invernadero, sus políticas han tenido un coste que Sheinbaum no ha querido refutar públicamente. En su lugar, se compromete a lanzar el proyecto de la refinería Olmeca de 340,000 b/d de la empresa, que ya tiene dos años de retraso y ha costado al menos el doble del presupuesto original de $8,000 millones, dinero que las agencias de calificación afirman que debería haberse dirigido al negocio principal de Pemex en la exploración y producción. El apoyo gubernamental a Pemex, por un total de más de $52,000 millones entre 2019 y 2023, ha sido incapaz de mover la aguja en sus métricas financieras u operativas, y ahora amenaza la calificación crediticia soberana de México. Sheinbaum ha evitado abordar públicamente la carga de la enorme deuda de Pemex, proponiendo únicamente "niveles de deuda aceptables en el sector de la energía". Pero dada la importancia de Pemex para el proyecto político del partido Morena, además los cientos de miles de puestos de trabajo que dependen de Pemex, no se puede permitir que la empresa incumpla. Por otro lado, la candidata de oposición Xóchitl Gálvez pide poner fin al "caos financiero" en Pemex, diversificar su negocio hacia iniciativas de bajas emisiones de carbono, políticas rigurosas de emisiones, el cierre de sus refinerías más contaminantes, un nuevo enfoque en renovables y una reapertura de la industria energética a la inversión del sector privado. Sin embargo, a pesar de su perspectiva más favorable para la inversión privada, Gálvez aún no ha ofrecido una solución detallada para la situación financiera de Pemex. Sus planes para Pemex pueden ser demasiado radicales para los votantes, especialmente dentro del importante sindicato de trabajadores del petróleo, que repudió rápidamente sus llamados el mes pasado para cerrar dos refinerías. Incluso si ganara, la oposición que representa podría tener dificultades para acordar un camino a seguir para Pemex. Si la próxima administración vuelve a abrir la puerta a la inversión del sector privado, el nuevo gobierno se enfrentará a un esfuerzo lento para reconstruir los reguladores de la energía que han sufrido de baja inversión en los últimos seis años. Pero será el tamaño de la posible victoria de Sheinbaum lo que determinará el futuro del sector de la energía mexicano. Una mayoría convincente podría permitirle aprobar las grandes reformas energéticas que eludieron a López Obrador y seguir limitando la participación del sector privado en el sector energético, justo cuando la inversión directa extranjera en México está en auge en otras industrias. Por Rebecca Conan Producción de crudo en México Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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German power spot index to deliver above expectations


15/04/24
News
15/04/24

German power spot index to deliver above expectations

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