Gujarat Narmada Valley Ferti;izers and Chemicals, Dahej, Phosphate, Bharuch The company is exploring opportunities of projects in countries that offer adequate raw materials like natural gas and rock phosphate. (Facebook)

Leading fertiliser player Gujarat Narmada Valley Fertilizers and Chemicals (GNFC) expects its 2 lakh mtpa di-calcium phosphate (DCP) project at Dahej to be completed by December 2018, according to its annual report. The company has entered into a joint venture with EcoPhos SA, Belgium, for setting up the DCP project based on hydrochloric acid generated as by-product from 50,000 MTPA TDI plant at Dahej.

With the completion of this project, entire HCl generated as by-product from TDI-II plant will be consumed for production of DCP, which would help in improving the profitability of TDI business, the company said in its annual report. GNFC said that the frequent interruptions in operation of 50000 MTPA TDI plant on account of complex technology resulting into higher cost of production is the key anxiety. Key raw materials are purchased at import parity prices. Further, company is largely dependent on foreign vendors for critical machineries, spares and technical services. Therefore, currency fluctuations may impact operations of the company, it said.

The company is exploring opportunities of projects in countries that offer adequate raw materials like natural gas and rock phosphate. “Availability and pricing of key raw material like natural gas, rock phosphate and other petroleum based products is limiting factor and have potential to impact profitability and operations, therefore we are exploring opportunities of projects in countries where there is availability of raw materials,” the report said. Fertiliser being highly controlled and subsidised sector, company’s fertiliser business is largely dependent on government’s policies with respect to subsidies, availability and pricing of feedstock and marketing of fertilisers.

In view of enhancing profitability, the company is now setting up 2 lakh MTPA Di-calcium Phosphate (DCP) project at Dahej in Gujarat, which is expected to be completed by December, 2018, the report said. The company has also entered into a memorandum of understanding with a Saudi Arabian company for setting-up about 40 MW solar power generation facilities at Bharuch and Dahej in order to fulfil the renewable purchase obligations applicable to the company, it said.

Read more: GNFC expects Dahej DCP project to be completed...

Renewable energy in india, Renewable energy, storage capacity, storage capacity in renewable energy, MNRE, Renewable Energy India Expo, Solar Energy Corporation, CEEW, solar capacity, solar capacity in india, energy storage technology With storage capacity essential for India to meet its targets for renewable power, the sub-sector is in the throes of growth. (Image: Reuters)

In the discourse over creation of renewable capacity in India, inadequate attention has been paid to what constitutes a critical component of the renewable power system: storage capacity. For, given that their output can vary as per the vagaries of nature, it is storage systems that make renewable sources reliable and attractive to electricity users. At the Renewable Energy India Expo held in the Capital recently, Anand Kumar, secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) was highlighting as much when he stressed the need to set up manufacturing bases for batteries in India. “Once we overcome the obstacle of storage, then the ideal of 24-hour free energy for the people can be realised,” he said. “The cost and availability of energy storage technology could dictate how close India gets to meeting its renewable targets,” EY has said in a report.

In what is good news, things have got moving of late on creation of grid as well as off-grid storage capacity. While storage projects of 46 MW were announced in 2016, projects of 56 MW capacity have been announced so far this year. In the first utility-scale storage tender in India, NTPC recently invited bids for 625 MW of solar projects with a storage component of 1 lakh units in Andhra Pradesh. The Solar Energy Corporation of India has come out with a tender for a 2.5-MW hybrid solar and wind project with 1,000 units of storage.

According to Bloomberg New Energy Finance, storage capacity is expected to grow from 6 million units (MU) in 2015 to more than 81 MU by 2024, with more than 50% of the capacity coming from India, China and Japan. This can be better understood in light of India’s goal of creating 100 GW of solar capacity by 2022, of which 40% is expected from off-grid rooftop installations with storage capacity. In this context, Dr PC Pant, director, MNRE says deliberations are called-for on the storage systems to be utilised as per end-use.

The Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) has estimated the energy storage market for off-grid renewable energy in India to be worth Rs 16,500 crore by 2022. MNRE’s plan to install 500 MW of solar micro grids in remote areas (out of reach of larger transmission network) would offer an additional opportunity of Rs 3,300 crore.

To be sure, the private sector is readying to tap opportunities. Panasonic and AES India have agreed to jointly construct a 10 MW energy storage array at the latter’s manufacturing facility in Haryana. The Acme group is also focussing on its portfolio of storage solutions. Until about two years back, there were complaints regarding the longevity of solar products used in micro grids. For example, solar-powered street lights would get defunct within weeks of installation, especially in the hills. Subhag Jain, the founding partner at Kaho, a solar lighting systems company, tells FE such issues arose mainly on account of batteries that warranted higher maintenance. “The complaints stopped once lead-acid batteries were substituted with lithium ion batteries,” he adds. The company has been providing solar lighting systems in core forest areas of Chhattisgarh, and set up a 30-MW lithium-ion manufacturing facility at Noida.

With growth in usage, prices of lithium-ion batteries have fallen by some 80% over the last five years. Even the capital cost for setting up lithium-ion battery plants has fallen from about $3,000/unit in 2008 to less than $500/unit now. In its annual report for FY17, the Indian Oil Corporation said it was looking at opportunities for manufacturing and retailing lithium-ion batteries.

Read more: Renewable energy: How storage capacity has...

Coal India, Power Plant, Solar Energy, Coal Bed Methene, Paris Protocol, India, Clean Energy
The overall capital expenditure of Coal India (CIL) during 2016-17 stood at Rs 7,700 crore as against Rs 6,123 crore in the previous year. (Reuters)

The world’s largest coal miner, CIL, is lining up nearly Rs 8,500 crore as capital expenditure and Rs 6,500 crore for various other projects in the ongoing fiscal. The projects include a supercritical thermal power plant, solar energy and coal gasification. “The capital expenditure for 2017-18 has been set at Rs 8,500 crore,” an official said.

Further, the official said, the company is planning to pump in Rs 6,500 crore in a host of projects, including a supercritical thermal power plant, solar power, revival of fertiliser plants, coal gasification and coal bed methane (CBM) during 2017-18. “In light of the Paris Protocol and consequent changes in the world energy scenario, Coal India Ltd (CIL) is looking forward to diversify its operations towards renewable energy like solar power and clean energy sources like coal mine methane, CBM, coal to liquid and underground coal gasification (UCG) following the government’s directives,” the official added.

The overall capital expenditure of Coal India (CIL) during 2016-17 stood at Rs 7,700 crore as against Rs 6,123 crore in the previous year. “Capital expenditure incurred during 2016-17 is 99.16 per cent of budget estimates as against (102.21 per cent) in 2015 -16,” he added. Earlier, the government had said the coal major had taken various steps for full utilisation of capex in 2017-18. CIL, which accounts for over 80 per cent of the domestic coal production, is eyeing an output of 1 billion tonnes by 2020. In 2017-18, the target of coal output has been pegged at 600 mt with an annualised growth of about 8.3 per cent.

Read more: Coal India to invest Rs 15,000 crore in FY18 for...

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