Cop: Singapore sets financing rules to cut greenwashing

  • : Coal
  • 23/12/04

Singapore has set out a financial framework that defines green and transition activities to reduce the risk of greenwashing, along with criteria for financing the phasing out of coal-fired power plants.

The Singapore-Asia taxonomy, launched by the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on 3 December, provides clarity on what constitutes transition financing and sets out thresholds for activities that contribute to climate change mitigation across eight sectors such as energy, transportation, agriculture and forestry/land use, industrial, waste/circular economy, and carbon capture and sequestration.

A "traffic light system" defines green, transition and ineligible activities across the eight sectors. "Transition" refers to activities that do not meet the green thresholds now but are on a pathway to net zero or contributing to net zero outcomes. Transition thresholds do not last indefinitely and have a sunset date.

The Singapore-Asia taxonomy is the first globally that sets out credible definitions for transition activities, according to MAS managing director Ravi Menon. "Most taxonomies define what is green and what is brown, leaving out the bulk of economic activities that are in between," Menon said at the COP 28 UN climate conference in Dubai on 3 December. "This new taxonomy will enable financing to flow to climate-friendly transition activities while minimising the risk of greenwashing."

The taxonomy also has extensive coverage, Menon said. "It covers sectors making up 90pc of the region's greenhouse gas emissions. It will serve as a guide to allocate capital into green and transition activities for the region," he said

The framework for financing the phase-out of coal plants is a critical part of energy transition in the Asia-Pacific, where coal accounts for almost 60pc of power generation, MAS said. The taxonomy sets out entity and facility-level criteria, which include making sure a coal plant has a just transition plan and the electricity generated from the phased-out coal-fired power plant has to be replaced with clean energy within the same electricity grid.

"It enables financial institutions to participate in the financing of coal phase-out projects with clearly defined exit milestones that achieve real reductions in emissions," Menon said.

Defining credible transition thresholds is especially key for sectors that find it hard to cut emissions and meet the 1.5°C temperature limit set out in the Paris agreement, MAS said, giving the shipping sector as an example. Zero or low-carbon fuels are still at a nascent stage, and it is challenging for ships to "achieve the zero emissions required to meet ‘green' thresholds".

Bridging climate finance gaps

MAS will separately partner with Singapore state investor Temasek, the Allied Climate Partners and International Finance to address climate finance gaps and raise the bankability of green and sustainable projects in Asia, with an initial focus on southeast Asia.

The firms signed an initial agreement at the COP 28 UN climate conference on 3 December. The partnership aims to identify and develop a pipeline of investments in sectors such as renewable energy and storage development, electric vehicle infrastructure, sustainable transport, water and waste management.

"Developing Asia needs $1.7 trillion/yr in infrastructure investments till 2030 to maintain growth momentum while meeting its climate goals," MAS said, citing a report from the Asian Development Bank. "However, many green infrastructure projects are only marginally bankable, and unable to attract commercial financing on their own merits. These gaps are most acute in the project development and construction phases."


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24/05/27

Indonesian coal producer Indika eyes biomass market

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.

Australia’s Origin to keep Eraring coal plant on line


24/05/23
24/05/23

Australia’s Origin to keep Eraring coal plant on line

Perth, 23 May (Argus) — Australian utility firm Origin Energy and the New South Wales (NSW) state's Labor government have agreed to keep the nation's largest single power facility open for at least two more years. The deal involves Origin shelving plans to close the 2,880MW Eraring coal-fired power plant near the NSW city of Newcastle next year, and operating the generator until 19 August 2027 and potentially until April 2029. A generator engagement project agreement has been signed, under which Origin will receive compensation covering the cost of running the 40-year old plant, while aiming for the plant to generate at least 6TWh for the two additional fiscal years it will run. Eraring produced 12.15TWh last year, Origin's 2023 annual report showed. The firm must decide by 31 March in 2025 and 2026 whether it will enter the underwriting arrangement for the following financial year. If Origin profits from its Eraring plant during these years it will pay NSW 20pc of the proceeds, capped at A$40mn/yr ($26.5mn/yr), but no compensation will be paid after 30 June 2027. Origin can claim no more than 80pc of Eraring's financial losses each year from NSW and the compensation is to be capped at A$225mn each year, if it does opt in. Origin spent A$147mn for generation maintenance and sustaining capital on Eraring in 2023, with A$69mn owing to costs associated with the facility's ash dam. Eraring provides around 20pc of NSW's delivered electricity and was scheduled to be replaced by the 2,200MW pumped hydro scheme known as Snowy 2.0 — which has experienced significant delays and will not be on line until 2029 — and the 750MW Kurri Kurri gas-fired power station also being developed by federal government-owned Snowy Hydro, which is to be commissioned later this year. Coal-fired power generation The viability of coal-fired generators has been declining for some time as Australia's renewable power generation grows to nearly 40pc of the total grid capacity. Widespread rooftop solar is driving electricity prices into negative territory during daylight hours and disrupting the profitability of large-scale generators. Origin has committed to a 460MW battery energy storage system (BESS) at the site of Eraring, which it says will provide two hours of firming capacity to the national electricity market. Australia's Clean Energy Council said the announcement must be backed by measures to integrate new renewable generation and storage into the NSW grid with "clear signals and support" to rapidly transition to renewables. Planning issues and rising costs have stymied the federal and state governments' plans to increase Australia's dependence on large-scale wind, solar, pumped hydro and BESS projects to replace coal generators. Canberra is aiming for an 82pc renewables share for Australia's electricity production by 2030. Coal-fired generation increased on the year for January-March because of a warmer-than-average summer and increased availability. By Tom Major Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early


24/05/22
24/05/22

Alabama Demopolis lock reopens early

Houston, 22 May (Argus) — The failed Demopolis Lock, at the intersection of the Tombigbee Waterway and Black Warrior rivers in Alabama, has reopened two weeks earlier than projected. The lock reopened on 16 May, ahead of the scheduled 30 May opening . Vessels carrying commodities such as asphalt, coal, petcoke, metals and fertilizers have been able to pass through the lock without a long queue since the reopening, according to the US Army Corps of Engineers. The lock had been closed since 16 January when the concrete sill underneath the lock doors failed. The lock was largely rebuilt over the ensuing four months Traffic that would typically pass through the lock was rerouted during the closure. Multiple steel mills in Alabama and Mississippi move some of their feedstock and finished product through the Demopolis lock. Those mills have 8.16mn short tons (st)/yr of flat, long, semifinished and pipe steel production capacity. By Meghan Yoyotte Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Lower fuel costs lift Indian cement producers' margins


24/05/21
24/05/21

Lower fuel costs lift Indian cement producers' margins

Singapore, 21 May (Argus) — Lower prices of petroleum coke and thermal coal, the two key fuels used in producing cement, helped raise margins at Indian cement producers over January-March compared with a year earlier. India's largest cement producer Ultratech increased its January-March profit by more than 35pc from a year earlier to a record 22.58bn rupees ($271mn) because of subdued kiln fuel costs. The company's blended coke and coal fuel costs for the quarter fell to $150/t, down by 22.7pc from a year earlier. Ultratech's overall energy costs for cement during the quarter fell by 21pc from a year earlier to Rs1,025/t, with total power and fuel costs down by nearly 9pc to Rs48.39bn. Fuel typically accounts for about a third of cement production costs. The Argus cfr India 6.5pc sulphur coke assessment averaged $116.50/t in the quarter ended 31 March, down by nearly 32pc from the year-earlier average of $170.92/t. This price was last assessed at $109.50/t on 15 May. Thermal coal prices were also lower from a year earlier across most origins. Ultratech sold 35.08mn t of cement during January-March, up by 11pc on a year earlier. Higher cement sales typically boost coke and thermal coal consumption as cement producers use these as fuel in kilns. Industry participants were able to realise a higher profit despite a lower cement price during January-March, primarily because of a cushion from the reduced fuel costs. Ultratech realised Rs5,170/t of cement for January-March, down by 3.8pc from the year earlier and 6pc lower from October-December. Fellow producer Shree Cement raised its sales by 8pc from a year earlier to 8.83mn t over January-March. But the firm realised Rs4,721/t of cement during January-March, down by 3pc from a year earlier. Lower fuel costs helped it to boost the latest quarter's profits by 21pc from the previous year to Rs6.62bn. Fuel costs eased by 28pc to Rs1.82/unit. Shree expects fuel prices to remain stable in the coming months. Cement prices in key markets fell by an average 7.5pc over January-March from the previous quarter, while exit prices in March were lower by 9-10pc compared with average rates for the same period, said cement producer Dalmia Bharat. The price drop during January-March was far more than what the firm had seen in similar period in any previous year. Cement producers resorted to price cuts to gain more market in the latest quarter with rising production capacity. But cement demand growth is expected to outpace the rate of capacity additions in the coming years. The industry is expected to grow capacity at a compounded growth rate of 7-8pc/yr in the next few years, said Adani, which owns and operates listed cement companies Ambuja Cement and ACC. The group forecasts India's cement demand to grow at 8-9pc/yr over the next five years. Adani's power and fuel costs fell by 13pc from a year earlier to Rs1,219/t during January-March. A high share of coal from domestic captive mines and opportunities to buy imported coke will further lower its fuel costs, the company said. Ambuja doubled its January-March profit from a year earlier to Rs15.26bn. Firmer April-June outlook Lower priced coke cargoes purchased during January-March are expected to help cement producers partly offset the impact of pressured cement realisation for April-June, said a market participant. Cement prices remain weak as demand is affected because of India's 19 April-1 June general elections . Cement plants typically hold fuel inventories of 60-90 days, including supplies in the pipeline and cargoes on the water. The full benefit of reduced fuel prices comes with a lag of up to three months. This is especially true of coke cargoes coming from the US where the transit time is around 45 days. By Ajay Modi Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance


24/05/20
24/05/20

Japan’s FEPC calls for clearer nuclear policy stance

Osaka, 20 May (Argus) — Japan's Federation of Electric Power Companies (FEPC) has called for a clarification of the country's nuclear power policy, to ensure stable electricity supply and alignment with its net zero emissions goal. The call comes as the government reviews its basic energy policy , which was formulated in 2021 and calls for the reduction of dependence on nuclear reactors as much as possible. But Japan's guidelines for green transformation, which was agreed in February 2023, states that Japan should make the most of existing nuclear reactors. Tokyo should clearly state in its new energy policy that it is necessary to not only restart existing nuclear reactors, but also build new reactors, said FEPC chairman Kingo Hayashi on 17 May. Hayashi is also the president of utility Chubu Electric Power. Hayashi emphasised that to utilise reactors, it would be necessary to have discussions regarding financial support, policy measures that would help ensure cost recovery, address back-end issues in the nuclear fuel cycle and conduct a review of nuclear damage compensation law. Japan's current basic energy policy is targeted for the April 2030-March 2031 fiscal year, when the country's greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions is forecast to fall by 46pc from 2013-14 levels. To achieve this, the power mix in the policy set the nuclear ratio at 20-22pc, as well as 36-38pc from renewables, 41pc from thermal fuels and 1pc from hydrogen and ammonia. Japan typically reviews the country's basic energy policy every three years. Nuclear, as well as renewables, would be necessary to reduce Japan's GHG emissions, although thermal power units would still play a key role in addressing power shortages. But Japan has faced challenges in restarting the country's reactors following safety concerns after the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster, with only 12 reactors currently operational. Japan's nuclear generation in 2023 totalled 77TWh, which accounted for just 9pc of total power output. Tokyo has made efforts to promote the use of reactors, after the current basic energy policy was introduced in 2021. The trade and industry ministry (Meti) has updated its nuclear policy, by allowing nuclear power operators to continue using reactors beyond their maximum lifespan of 60 years by excluding a safety scrutiny period in the wake of the 2011 Fukushima nuclear disaster. This could advance the discussion on Japan's nuclear stance, especially if the new basic energy policy includes more supportive regulations. The trade and industry ministry started discussions to review the energy policy on 15 May, aiming to revise it by the end of this fiscal year. It is still unclear what year it is targeting and what ratio will be set for each power source in the new policy. But the deliberation would form a key part of efforts to update the GHG emissions reduction goal, ahead of the submission of the country's new nationally determined contribution in 2025, with a timeframe for implementation until 2035. By Motoko Hasegawa Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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