Australia's QPM to focus on gas, cut Tech battery spend

  • : Battery materials, Electricity, Metals, Natural gas
  • 24/04/22

Australian battery metals refiner Queensland Pacific Metals (QPM) will focus on energy markets via its Moranbah gas project (MGP) and limit further expenditure on its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (Tech) project.

The firm will switch its prioritisation to its wholly-owned QPM Energy (QPME) business, with QPME's chief executive David Wrench to be appointed as QPM chief executive, the company said on 22 April.

MGP's coal mine waste gas output from nearby the coal mining hub of Moranbah in Queensland's Bowen basin will be increased to 35 TJ/d (935,000 m³/d) by late 2024, up from October-December 2023's 28 TJ/d, with QPME to accelerate production and reserves to provide required peaking power for the national electricity market (NEM) via Thai-controlled energy firm Ratch Australia's 242MW Townsville Power Station.

QPME aims to drill a further seven wells by the year's end, increase workovers and increase production from third-party supply of waste mine gas from regional coal mines.

The company is also seeking to develop a portfolio of plants to supply up to 300MW of gas-fired power to the NEM, while compressed natural gas and micro-LNG facilities will also be developed in Townsville and Moranbah, QPME said.

A surge in government support for renewable power generation in order to meet Australia's 2030 emissions target by retiring coal-fired power means more gas-peaking plants will likely be needed in the coming years to support variable generators. But Australia's domestic gas supply is forecast to experience shortfalls this decade, with predictions of a 76 PJ/yr gap in 2028.

The Tech project which aims to produce 16,000 t/yr of nickel and 1,750 t/yr of cobalt sulphates from imported laterite ore saw its funding significantly reduced in February because of what QPM described as a "challenging investment environment" resulting from depressed nickel prices.


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24/05/20

India's JSW Steel to buy coking coal firm in Mozambique

India's JSW Steel to buy coking coal firm in Mozambique

Singapore, 20 May (Argus) — India's JSW Steel will buy a coking coal company in Mozambique to secure supply of the key steelmaking raw material and shield against any volatility in prices. JSW Steel's board of directors approved the acquisition of coal mining firm Minas de Revuboe (MDR) for about $74mn. The purchase of a 92pc stake in MDR gives JSW access to more than 800mn t of premium hard coking coal reserves in Mozambique, the steel producer said on 17 May. MDR's mine is not yet operational but the company aims to start developing the mine in the 2024-25 fiscal year. "This is not only going to provide us some cushioning with respect to the highly volatile [premium low-volatile (PLV)] index," said JSW Steel's chief executive officer Jayant Acharya. "It also is logistically closer to India, and therefore, will give us an optimised cost." Fluctuations in prices of high-quality seaborne coking coal have been a concern for Indian steelmakers, as they work to ramp up production in anticipation of rising demand from the infrastructure and automobile sectors. The Argus -assessed Australian PLV hard coking coal price crossed $600/t in March 2022, following the start of the Russia-Ukraine conflict. It was at $237/t on 17 May, a decline of $8/t from the start of this month, owing to ample supplies and thin buying interest. JSW Steel's fourth-quarter profit fell by 64pc to 12.99bn rupees ($156mn) because of higher coking coal costs. Crude steel production in the quarter rose by 3pc on the year to 6.79mn t, while sales totalled 6.73mn t, also registering a growth of 3pc from last year. The company also expects capital expenditure at 200bn rupees ($2.4bln) in the 2024-25 fiscal year, as it adds to its steelmaking capacity. JSW Steel is targeting a production capacity of 50mn t/yr by the 2030-31 fiscal year. The company expects steel demand to pick up in the coming year, citing the government's infrastructure push and robust economic growth in India. By Amruta Khandekar Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

India to launch policy to boost critical mineral supply


24/05/20
24/05/20

India to launch policy to boost critical mineral supply

Mumbai, 20 May (Argus) — India is working on a critical mineral policy to boost domestic supplies, and plans to collaborate with resource-rich countries in critical minerals mining and processing. The mines ministry and related government institutes like the Geological Survey of India (GSI) are working on a policy to drive domestic exploration and processing of critical minerals, a source close to the development told Argus . Discussions are currently progressing, the source added without providing details on the timeline. India is looking into all aspects to boost domestic production of critical minerals, the source said. India is also seeking critical mineral supplies from overseas to feed burgeoning demand from the green energy and electric vehicle (EV) industries. The Indian government is in talks with several countries including Chile, Australia, and some African countries, over opportunities for mining and technology collaboration for lithium processing and other critical minerals. Critical minerals like copper, lithium, nickel, cobalt and rare earths are important for the development of clean energy technologies, including wind turbines, solar panels, electric vehicles and battery storage. It is crucial for India, which currently relies heavily on imports of lithium-ion cells from China, Japan and South Korea, to develop a robust battery supply chain to meet its ambitious target of 30pc EV penetration by 2030. India is currently conducting feasibility tests on five projects of lithium and cobalt in Australia , said Ministry of Mines' secretary VL Kantha Rao at Khanij Bidesh India (Kabil)'s office opening ceremony on 11 May. Kabil, a joint venture between state-run Nalco and Hindustan Copper and Mineral Exploration, was formed to explore and produce strategically important minerals overseas. The firm in January signed an agreement with Argentinian state mining company Catamarca Minera y Energetica Sociedad del Estado (Caymen) to explore five lithium brine blocks in the Catamarca province of Argentina. India's mines ministry and Rao held several meetings over the past two months with the Chilean government and Chilean state-owned firms such as Empresa Nacional de Mineria and Codelco on critical minerals opportunities. India has also spoken with deputy minister of mining and heavy industry of Mongolia, Uyanga Bold, on co-operation in the critical mineral sector. By Samil Surendran 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.

Rio Grande do Sul remaneja fornecimento de gás


24/05/17
24/05/17

Rio Grande do Sul remaneja fornecimento de gás

Sao Paulo, 17 May (Argus) — O fornecimento de gás natural no Rio Grande do Sul teve que ser redistribuído em razão das enchentes históricas no estado, com o diesel potencialmente voltando como combustível a usinas de energia para deixar mais gás disponível para a produção de GLP (gás de cozinha). O gasoduto Gasbol, que abastece o Sul do Brasil, não tem capacidade para atender à demanda da refinaria Alberto Pasqualini (Refap), da usina termelétrica de Canoas — controlada pela Petrobras — e das distribuidoras de gás natural da região, disse Jean Paul Prates, o então presidente-executivo da Petrobras, no início desta semana. A distribuidora de gás de Santa Catarina ajustou sua própria rede local para atender aos picos de demanda no Rio Grande do Sul por meio da malha de transporte de gás. A usina térmica de Canoas está operando com geração mínima de 150 GW, sendo 61pc provenientes de sua turbina a gás. A usina foi colocada em operação para restabelecer o fornecimento adequado de energia depois que as linhas de transmissão no Sul foram afetadas pelas enchentes. A Petrobras planeja usar um motor a diesel para aumentar a geração de energia. O atual custo variável unitário (CVU) para o diesel na usina de Canoas é de R1.115,29/MWh. A companhia petrolífera também está operando a Refap a 59pc de sua capacidade instalada máxima. Fortes chuvas no Rio Grande do Sul desde 29 de abril trouxeram inundações sem precedentes ao estado, causando uma crise humanitária e danos à infraestrutura. O clima extremo deixou 154 mortos, 98 desaparecidos e mais de 540 mil deslocados, segundo a defesa civil do estado. Por Rebecca Gompertz Envie comentários e solicite mais informações em feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . Todos os direitos reservados.

Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul reallocates gas supply


24/05/17
24/05/17

Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul reallocates gas supply

Sao Paulo, 17 May (Argus) — Natural gas supply in Brazil's Rio Grande do Sul had to be redistributed because of the historic floods in the state, with diesel potentially making its way back as an power plant fuel to leave more gas available for LPG production. Gasbol, the natural gas transportation pipeline that supplies Brazil's south, does not have capacity to meet demand from the 201,000 b/d Alberto Pasqualini refinery (Refap), state-controlled Petrobras' Canoas thermal power plant and natural gas distributors in the region, according to Petrobras' then-chief executive Jean Paul Prates said earlier this week. The Santa Catarina state gas distributor has adjusted its own local network to meet peak demand in neighboring Rio Grande do Sul via the pipeline transportation network. The Canoas thermal plant is running at its minimum generation at 150GW, with 61pc coming from its gas turbine. The plant was brought on line to reinstate proper power supply after transmission lines in the south were affected by the floods. Petrobras plans to use a diesel engine to increase power generation. The current approved fuel cost (CVU) for diesel in the Canoas plant is of R1,115.29/MWh. Petrobras is also operating Refap at 59pc of its maximum installed capacity, at 119,506 b/d. Heavy showers in Rio Grande do Sul since 29 April brought unprecedented flooding to the state, causing a humanitarian crisis and infrastructure damage. The extreme weather has left 154 people dead, 98 missing and over 540,000 people displaced, according to the state's civil defense. By Rebecca Gompertz Send comments and request more information at feedback@argusmedia.com Copyright © 2024. Argus Media group . All rights reserved.

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