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India’s NTPC tests 20pc torrefied biomass co-firing

  • Spanish Market: Biomass, Coal
  • 13/05/24

India's state-owned generator NTPC has demonstrated 20pc torrefied biomass-coal co-firing at a 110MW unit at its Tanda power plant in the northern state of Uttar Pradesh.

The test was part of NTPC's efforts to expand biomass co-firing across its coal-fired fleet as it aims to lower emissions. Each percentage point of biomass co-firing has the potential to reduce carbon emissions by approximately the same percentage, while also helping in mitigating air pollution caused by direct burning of agricultural waste in farmlands, NTPC said. The generator currently conducts 7-10pc non-torrefied biomass co-firing at NTPC's Dadri power plant, near Delhi.

Torrefied biomass was found suitable for higher co-firing percentages without significant system modifications, NTPC said. The torrefied biomass was produced by heating biomass in the absence of oxygen to exhibit characteristics akin to high-quality coal. The gross calorific value and cost of torrefied biomass pellets were currently equivalent to imported coal, it added. Costs could be reduced with the maturity of technology and market in the long run, NTPC said.

India's push to cut coal reliance

NTPC's efforts are part of India's broader goal of cutting emissions as the country aims to trim reliance on coal in the coming years and attain net zero by 2070.

Delhi had initially asked Indian utilities to adopt co-firing of at least 5pc biomass pellets by October 2022. But only a fraction of utilities followed the directives, which eventually prompted the federal power ministry to review the biomass co-firing policy.

The ministry amended the policy in June last year and delayed the start date of co-firing, asking all coal-based thermal power plants with bowl mills to use a minimum 5pc blend of biomass pellets made primarily from agricultural residue, with effect from the start of India's 2024-25 fiscal year on 1 April. The threshold would increase to 7pc from the start of 2025-26, the ministry said. Plants with ball and race mills should co-fire the same percentages of torrefied biomass pellets made from agricultural residue during the same time frame, it said.

India has surplus biomass supplies of about 230mn t/yr, largely from agricultural residue, the power ministry previously said.

NTPC tenders

NTPC has awarded biomass supply contracts totalling about 5.2mn t for 20 power plants operated by NTPC, and a joint venture plant. Out of which, it has so far co-fired 316,657t of biomass pellets at 13 NTPC power plants and at the joint venture plant.

The generator is setting up biomass pellet plants at various locations to ensure a steady supply of pellets for co-firing. It has set up a 22 t/d non torrefied pellet plant at Lehra Mohabbat, Bhatinda in Punjab state. It is building a 100 t/d torrefied and 100 t/d non-torrefied pellet plant at joint ventureAravali Power's Jhajjar plant. It is also building a 50 t/d non-torrefied pellet plant at the Dadri plant.


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19/07/24

Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance

Australia’s Whitehaven hits 2023-24 coal guidance

Sydney, 19 July (Argus) — Australian coal producer Whitehaven met its production guidance for its New South Wales (NSW) mines in the 2023-24 fiscal year to 30 June, with managed run-of-mine (ROM) output from its newly acquired Queensland mines also meeting their guidance. Saleable coal production at Whitehaven's NSW-based assets totalled 16.7mn t for 2023-24, up by 6pc on the 15.7mn t recorded last fiscal year and within its guidance for 2023-24 of 16mn-17.5mn t. Saleable output from NSW for April-June was 4.3mn t, 11pc higher than January-March's 3.87mn t and above the year earlier figure of 3.83mn t. Saleable production from Queensland totalled 4mn t, Whitehaven's first quarter since acquiring Australian-Japanese joint venture BHP Mitsubishi Alliance's 12mn t/yr Blackwater and 4mn t/yr Daunia coking and thermal coal mines on 2 April. Queensland coal sales of 3.2mn t for the quarter reflected slippage into July-September because of now resolved, transition-related rail constraints from Daunia, Whitehaven said. A selldown of around 20pc of Blackwater to global steel producers is progressing, the firm reported, without providing further details. The first production and sales have been achieved at the 10mn t/yr Vickery mine , while operations ceased during April at the 2.5mn t/yr ROM capacity Werris Creek mine. Whitehaven's overall unaudited unit cost guidance, excluding royalties, for NSW in 2023-24 was A$114/t ($76/t), above the guidance range of A$103-113/t because of lower production at Narrabri and underlying inflation. Capital expenditure was A$380mn, below the 2023-24 guidance of A$400-480mn. The Argus high-grade 6,000 kcal/kg NAR price averaged $133.46/t fob Newcastle and the 5,500 kcal/kg NAR coal price $88.47/t during April-June compared with $126.74/t and $93.85/t respectively for January-March. Whitehaven's full-year results will be published on 22 August. By Tom Major Whitehaven results Apr-Jun '24 Jan-Mar '24 Apr-Jun '23 Volumes (mn t) Managed coal production 8.3 3.9 3.8 Managed coal sales 7.3 3.8 3.9 Managed coal stocks 2.7 1.0 1.5 Coal sales revenue mix (%) Metallurgical coal 59 13 5 Thermal coal 41 87 95 Prices achieved ($/t) NSW average 137 136 177 Queensland average 180 Source: Whitehaven Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use


18/07/24
18/07/24

Philippine senator urges action to cut coal use

Singapore, 18 July (Argus) — The Philippines needs to reduce its reliance on coal-fired power generation by enhancing the use of renewables, according to the chairman of the Senate committee on energy Win Gatchalian. Gatchalian called for firm energy transition measures, emphasising the importance of a proper plan for wider use of renewable energy and lower electricity prices. He believes an energy transition plan would help accelerate the use of renewable energy sources and reduce energy prices and vulnerability to global events. The average generation cost of coal-fired power by utility Manila Electric was 7.40 pesos/kWh ($0.13/kWh), while the cost for solar power generation is 44pc lower at Ps4.18/kWh, Gatchalian said. Gatchalian had earlier proposed legislation in the Senate, the Energy Transition Act, which plans to phase out fossil fuel plants and achieve net zero emissions by 2050. The Philippines has surpassed Indonesia and China on coal-fired power generation reliance with a 61.9pc share in its 2023 generation, Gatchalian said, citing energy think-tank Ember.Its coal-fired generation was 16.7TWh over January-March this year, up by 8.4pc from 15.4TWh a year earlier, according to data from National Grid Corporation of the Philippines. The Philippines' thermal coal imports reached an all-time monthly high in May as heatwaves spurred power demand and coal consumption at utilities. By Nadhir Mokhtar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024


15/07/24
15/07/24

Trump taps Vance as running mate for 2024

Washington, 15 July (Argus) — Former president Donald Trump has selected US senator JD Vance (R-Ohio) as his vice presidential pick for his 2024 campaign, elevating a former venture capitalist and close ally to become his running mate in the election. Vance, 39, is best known for his bestselling memoir Hillbilly Elegy that documented his upbringing in Middletown, Ohio, and his Appalachian roots. In the run-up to the presidential elections in 2016, Vance said he was "a never Trump guy" and called Trump "reprehensible." But he has since become one of Trump's top supporters and adopted many of his policies on the economy and immigration. Vance voted against providing more military aid to Ukraine and pushed Europe to spend more on defense. Trump said he chose his running mate after "lengthy deliberation and thought," citing Vance's service in the military, his law degree and his business career, which included launching venture capital firm Narya in 2020. Vance will do "everything he can to help me MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN," Trump said today in a social media post. Like Trump, Vance has pushed to increase domestic oil and gas production and criticized government support for electric vehicles. President Joe Biden's energy policies have been "at war" with workers in states that are struggling because of the importance of low-cost energy to manufacturing, Vance said last month in an interview with Fox News. Trump made the announcement about Vance on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and just two days after surviving an assassination attempt during a campaign event in Pennsylvania. Earlier today, federal district court judge Aileen Cannon threw out a felony indictment that alleged Trump had mishandled classified government documents after leaving office. By Chris Knight Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports


15/07/24
15/07/24

India, SE Asia demand lift Indonesian May coal exports

Singapore, 15 July (Argus) — Indonesian coal exports rose in May from a year earlier, led by higher demand from India and southeast Asia. The country exported 46.27mn t of coal in May, up by 6.6pc from a year earlier and by 3.9pc from April , customs data show. The data include all types of coal, such as thermal and coking coal. Indonesia exported about 222mn t of coal in January-May, up from 212mn t a year earlier. The country could export 532.59mn t this year if the current production run rate of 44.37mn t/month is maintained over the next seven months, according to Argus calculations based on customs data. Indonesia exported 521.10mn t last year. The year-on-year increase in May exports was supported mainly by higher demand from India, the world's second-largest coal importer, as utilities lifted their import purchases to replenish stocks for the summer season. Shipments to India in May rose by about 19pc on the year to 10.1mn t, according to the data, although exports slipped from 11.34mn t in April. The steady growth in Indian coal-fired generation, which hit an all-time high in May, continued to support demand for imported coal. The country's overall coal-fired generation, which meets most of the country's power requirements, rose to 119.53TWh, from 106.03TWh a year earlier, according to data from the Central Electricity Authority. Coal-fired generation in May was also higher than 116.5TWh in April, supported by increased power consumption caused by higher air-conditioning usage during the summer heatwaves. Indonesian exports also rose to cater for greater demand from southeast Asia. Exports to the region in May rose by 15.5pc on the year and by 1.5pc from April to 11.19mn t. This was led by a steady rise in exports to Vietnam, where shipments grew by 47pc on the year and by about 17pc on the month to 3.34mn t in May. Demand was led by utilities as coal-fired generation reached a probable record high of 17.08TWh in May, as per Argus calculations based on data from state-owned utility EVN. Vietnamese coal imports reached 6.50mn t in May , up from 4.97mn t a year earlier and from 5.90mn t in April, provisional customs data show. Shipments to China, the world's largest coal importer, accounted for nearly 40pc of Indonesian exports at 18.44mn t, down from 18.82mn t a year earlier but up from 15.57mn t in April. The year-on-year decline was caused by Chinese utilities being less aggressive this year in purchasing seaborne cargoes because of subdued thermal power generation. China's thermal power generation, which mainly uses coal, fell to 454TWh in May from 471TWh a year earlier and 459TWh in April, according to the latest data from the National Bureau of Statistics. China's imports of thermal coal — including non-coking bituminous coal, sub-bituminous coal and lignite — totalled 32.7mn t, down from 31.4mn t a year earlier and from 32.9mn t in April, Chinese customs data show. Output rises A rise in Indonesian coal production supported higher exports in January-May. Output during the period rose to 334mn t, from 314mn t a year earlier, according to data from the country's energy ministry, ESDM. But output in June may have eased on the year to 54mn t, taking the year-to-date tally to about 388mn t, up by 2.1pc from a year earlier. The data will probably be revised, as output is frequently reviewed in Indonesia because of a lag in some producers' reporting. Indonesian output could face pressure from heavy rains in parts of the key coal-producing Kalimantan region, while production cutbacks could also affect overall production. Some coal producers could trim output in response to ongoing low prices in the international market. Argus on 12 July assessed Indonesian GAR 4,200 kcal/kg coal at $52.07/t fob Kalimantan, the lowest level since mid-September 2023. The price is down sharply from the 2023 peak of $90.41/t in January last year. Lower output could dent the export trajectory. Coal exports in June were estimated at 39.82mn t, according to data from trade analytics firm Kpler. Exports in June last year stood at 39.02mn t, according to customs data, and at 38.72mn t, per Kpler's estimates. By Saurabh Chaturvedi Indonesian coal exports mn t Indonesia coal exports by destination, Jan-May mn t Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s Erex cuts biomass-fired power output in June


15/07/24
15/07/24

Japan’s Erex cuts biomass-fired power output in June

Tokyo, 15 July (Argus) — Japanese renewable electricity producer Erex reduced its biomass-fired power generation output in June compared with a year earlier, according to the company data. Erex's combined biomass-fired output across the 50MW Saiki, the 75MW Buzen, and the 49MW Nakagusuku power plant in June fell by 8.5pc from a year earlier to 108GWh. The company does not publish output data for its 75MW Ofunato plant, while the 20MW Tosa plant has been under periodic maintenances since March. Erex operates a total of 269MW of biomass capacity in Japan, including Ofunato, burning mainly imported wood pellets and palm kernel shells. The company aims to start coal and biomass co-firing generation at the 149MW Itoigawa plant that has only consumed coal so far. The company plans to start operations at two more biomass plants, the 75MW Sakaide Hayashida in 2025 and the 300MW Niigata Mega Bio around 2029-2030. Erex is also accelerating biomass projects in southeast Asia, aiming to build up to 19 generation plants in Vietnam and five in Cambodia that will burn mainly wood residue and chips, in addition to several wood pellet plants in both countries. By Takeshi Maeda Erex's biomass generation in June 2024 Capacity(MW) Generations(GWh) Start of Operations Tosa 20.0 0.0 Jun-13 Saiki 50.0 31.0 Nov-16 Buzen 75.0 46.0 Jan-20 Nakagusuku 49.0 31.0 Jul-21 Ofunato 75.0 - Jan-20 Total 269.0 108.0 Source: Erex Erex biomass generation (MWh) Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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