petrol price is reduced by Rs. 0.65 to 0.80 by midnight today.
In delhi the cut will be Rs.0.78
petrol price is reduced by Rs. 0.65 to 0.80 by midnight today.
National Bio Energy Mission is being developed to push sustainable development of the renewable energy sector, Mr Farooq Abdullah, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said here on Tuesday. He was addressing the Bio Energy summit organised by Confederation of Indian Industries (CII). “Grid parity among States is not equal and connectivity to remote locations is a major issue. The Ministry wants industry to bring innovative new technologies that would empower rural areas,” he said.
Mr G.B. Pradhan, Secretary, MNRE, said the most critical aspect in promoting bio energy projects was the associated business model, which should be sustainable. Mr K Krishnan, Chairman, CII Task Force on Bio-Energy, pointed to hybrid solutions that combine bio energy with solar, wind and hydro as promising sustainable solutions. The CII recommended rationalising the pricing of fuels and tariffs to reflect the economic cost of supply, reduce cross subsidies and flexibility to capture changing fuel prices in a competitive market
New Delhi, Nov. 29: from the pages of THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper.
R&D Goes Desi… Sujit John, Times of India| Nov 29, 2011,
He learnt from his father early on that many challenging intellectual tasks could be accomplished by people who do not have major academic degrees. So in 1990, after an MA in economics from JNU in New Delhi and an MBA from Wharton, when Aroon Raman wanted to start an R&D unit in Mysore, he turned to very ordinary people. Youngsters from the villages around Mysore who had only completed standard 10 or 12, or had a diploma.
Today, Raman runs a Rs 25-crore business that does materials and composites research, and manufactures materials for companies like ABB, Rane, Exide, Amco, and for institutions like the Defence Research & Development Organization (DRDO). "They have become masters in the manipulation of materials," Raman says of the youngsters he hired. "They may not be masters in theoretical chemistry. But they do experiments that run into hundreds. A smart youngster doing experimental work for years and years picks up a fantastic feel of the interrelationships between compounds. So, he has an instinctive feel of what is required to solve a problem. People always think of an R&D unit as white-coated folks with PhDs, but that doesn't have to be."
Today, his head of R&D, G K Natesh, is someone from Udipi with a polytechnic diploma in plastics and rubber. Krishnachari, who joined Raman early, was a carpenter in Nanjangud near Mysore. His used to make crates. Raman saw that the way he sawed, he used the minimum amount of wood. "That was application of thought. His ability to envisage how a crate would look was high." So Raman picked him and trained him. He started with drawings, later did tooling, and over the years Krishnachari has been key to the development of many value added products.
"Among my other top people are Girish and Krishna, both of who have passed no more than class 12. They are in their mid-30s now and they have filed four patents between them this year." Raman looks for locals with a sense of curiosity, high IQ and native intelligence. Some youngsters grasp very quickly, others take time. Raman picks the exceptionally bright ones. And this strategy keeps costs and attrition low. "If we hired PhDs, we wouldn't be able to retain them. A GE or Akzo Nobel or Dupont could come and take them. Or they would go for post-doctorals. Since my boys are from local villages, their parents are around, and they have no incentive to move. But I send them to events in places like Mumbai to open their eyes to bigger things."
Raman's firm Raman FibreScience has multiple capabilities in the area called wet-laid composites. Normal papers, tissue paper, cardboard are all made by a wet-laid process. In wet lay, you take a fibre, mix it with water and additives, and run it through a mesh-like conveyor belt. When the slurry moves along the mesh, the water runs off, and you are left with a wet mass on the belt, which is then dried, and made into the final product. You can also wet-lay glass, carbon fibre and organic fibres. When you do that and combine them with performance additives, you can get very special products, such as high-end filtration solutions. These can give you very pure air or be used for blood filtration, or in a nuclear power station that requires air filters that must trap very fine particles, including bacterial content.
Raman's firm grew out of his conviction that there is scope for a full-service independent R&D unit, a rarity in India. Most Indian companies do their R&D in-house, occasionally approaching universities for help. Indian research institutions like CSIR typically do not have the ability to commercialize their research. "I can make a material in a lab, but how do I start making it in tonnes, at a cost that the market will accept? For that, you need to build special purpose machines, you need a host of skills, engineering skills, plant development skills, process skills, costing ability."
Raman FibreScience combines these skills. The company has had particular success with a unique separator (filter) developed for backup power batteries. "We developed the separator in 2-3 years; a global company like Nippon Sheet Glass still does not have such a product. For us it is innovate or die. We don't have deep pockets, so we have to be on our toes. For Nippon, they are so big, even if they do not innovate, they think they will survive," Raman says.
Lanka IOC, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the IndianOil, managed to stay in the black for the July-September quarter, realising a gross profit of LKR 495.5 million (net profit - LKR 277.8 million).
The gross profit during the same period last year was LKR 617.4 million (net profit – LKR 501.5 million). Higher operating costs had its pressure on margins, leading to a lower profit after tax – a trend that has held through since April this year. For the period April-September, gross profits were just a shade over LKR 800 million, compared to LKR 675 million during the same period last year. Here too, net profit declined from LKR 385.4 million in April-September 2010 to LKR 241.6 million during the corresponding period this year.
(Courtesy: The Hindu Business Line, New Delhi, November 22, 2011)
Petrol car demand to get a boost if diesel vehicle excise is hiked
New Delhi, Nov. 21: Sales of petrol cars, which have been languishing, could get a boost next year, if the proposal to increase excise duty on diesel cars finds its way in the Budget 2012-13. However, the interim period till the Budget, may see a rush towards diesel vehicles, say industry experts. Petrol car sales are likely to benefit because an increased initial cost of purchase of diesel cars after April, 2012 could offset the huge ownership benefit currently enjoyed because of subsidized rate of the fuel versus petrol.
At present the price of a diesel car versus the petrol variant of the same model is higher by around 16-25 per cent, though the manufacturing cost difference of the two variants is not as much. So, the premium enjoyed on diesel car sales by companies is also likely to get trimmed if they chose not to pass on the burden of higher excise duty. “Higher duties will slow down diesel car sales, but give a boost to petrol vehicles. The boost (for diesel cars) received through the subsidy of cost of ownership is not good and has created a huge distortion in demand. Personally, I would like the policy decision to happen now and not wait till the Budget,” Mr R.C. Bhargava, Chairman, Maruti Suzuki, told Business Line. Added Mr Kumar Kandaswami, Manufacturing Leader for Deloitte in India, “Diesel being subsidized for personal use is unviable. I think something is expected (from Budget) on this. The moment taxation comes, the demand should slightly slacken.”
Investment in tech
Recent investments by the car industry in diesel technology and engine manufacturing may also face turbulence, though much of the industry had stepped up investments in the area over the last year. “If we invest in diesel and this tax comes along, where does it leave us? We will have to look at our investments again and the current plans will be affected. The Government should stick to one policy, as our investments are for at least a 30-year period,” Mr Bhargava said. Maruti has been increasing production of diesel engines, while working out a separate engine supply deal with Fiat. Hyundai Motor India, the second largest carmaker and largest exporter, has also reportedly deferred its plans to set up a Rs 400-crore diesel engine plant due to sluggish demand. It currently imports such engines from South Korea.
…from THE HINDU BUSINESS LINE
Oil companies to slash petrol prices by Rs 1.90/lt from midnight
NEW DELHI: Petrol is expected to be cheaper by about Rs 1.90 a litre in Delhi from Tuesday midnight as state oil firms have decided to cut its rates for the first time in last 33 months under pressure from the ruling Congress, which demand an immediate roll-back of the recent price hike.
Executives of Indian Oil Corp, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum have confirmed that their top management is currently meeting in New Delhi to decide reducing prices of petrol, a deregulated fuel since June last year.
The three firms had raised petrol prices by Rs 1.80 a litre in Delhi on November 3, which was the 13th hike since June last year despite several downward fluctuations in international rates of the fuel, which is the benchmark for determining the domestic rates.
Mahindra Solar One, the solar business arm of the country’s largest utility vehicle maker Mahindra & Mahindra’s cleantech ventures division, is in the process of developing a solar technology for use in electric car Reva, according to Vish Palekar, business head (cleantech ventures) of Mahindra Partners.
Mahindra Partners is an over $500-million division of M&M that manages the group’s new and non-automotive businesses such as retail, logistics, engineering, chemical products, media and entertainment, and energy.
NTPC trading arm begins supply of solar generated power
New Delhi, Nov. 14: The electricity you buy will soon have a mix of power produced from solar energy sources. Starting October, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar Nigam, the trading arm of NTPC, has commenced bundled power supply — combining energy produced from solar photovoltaic with those produced from conventional thermal sources. This is to make solar power affordable for the buying utilities, which have to meet their renewable purchase obligations. However, it remains to be seen whether they will subsidise the consumer and to what extent.
Supply of bundled power has commenced to the distribution companies of the buying States — Rajasthan, Maharashtra, and Punjab. A senior official told Business Line that 41 MW of solar photovoltaic capacity under Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission migration scheme has been commissioned. Out of 13 solar photovoltaic projects under the scheme of the Mission (Phase – I), nine projects met the commissioning deadlines, the official said. One more project was partially commissioned, taking the capacity of projects commissioned to 41 MW in October, he said. Under the migration scheme, solar photovoltaic developers were expected to commission their projects for generating 54 MW of power.
The trading arm of NTPC has commenced buying solar power generated from them, which has been grid connected and commissioned. The Ministry of Power has also allocated the equivalent conventional power capacity to NTPC Vidyut Vyapar from NTPC stations. The developers not able to meet the deadline of commissioning may face notices from the trading arm, the official said. The official, however, declined to disclose the details of the projects. Under the migration scheme, NTPC Vidyut Vyapar had inked power purchase agreements with 16 solar project developers (both thermal and photovoltaic) for 84 MW. Of this, solar power produced from photovoltaic projects is expected to be 54 MW and thermal 30 MW.
Source- Richa Mishra ….from the pages of HINDU BUSINESS LINE newspaper.
Oil sludge in Mini river didn't come out of IOC: PSU to GPCB
(Courtesy: The Times of India, Vadodara, November 8, 2011)
Six days after being served notice for polluting Mini river, the IndianOil (IOC) told Gujarat Pollution Control Board (GPCB) on Tuesday that the oil sludge that caught fire was not theirs. The PSU has said there is no possibility of oil sludge coming out of their storm water drain. However, GPCB officials maintained that the sludge found in Mini river was that of IOC-owned Gujarat Refinery (GR).
The state-owned company gave a point by point reply to GPCB's notice served on November 2. The state pollution watchdog had blamed IOC for releasing oil sludge in the river and asked it to promptly clean up the area. IOC's reply states that the company treats all its effluents and only water is released in the storm water drain. "IOC's storm water drain has an outlet in Mini river. The company has a huge effluent treatment plant (ETP) that takes care of the effluents including oil sludge. The discharge that goes in storm water drain is just water," said an IOCL spokesperson.
The reply says that the company officials visited and surveyed the spot where fire occurred and that there is no possibility of IOC's oil sludge reaching the Mini river. About its immediate action of picking up all the sludge from spot, IOCL states that as a good corporate citizen it agreed to clear all the sludge to avoid any untoward incident in future. The reply also adds that some black coloured water flows in Mini river from upstream.
The Government has been blaming oil companies for increasing petrol prices as it is the only oil product that is deregulated. But how true is its claim that not raising prices will bleed these companies to death? Every time petrol prices are raised the nation goes through a wave of protests. Indian Oil Corporation, a Navratana company with an annual income of Rs 313000 crore, in the first three months of this financial year has posted a loss of Rs 30700 crore. Another oil major HPCL witnessed a loss of Rs 3300 crore. BPCL's loss was Rs 3200 crore.
Oil analysts say it's wrong to say the companies are making losses, it's about who will foot the subsidy, the government or the oil companies. "As is perceived generally in the market its not that these companies are making losses, neither are they saying so. It is that they are incurring under recoveries and theses under recoveries can be made up by either consumers paying for it or the government putting in that money in the form of subsidy. Government is committed to paying that subsidy to oil companies but it appears it's a timing problem," Associate Director Oil & Gas, PwC Deepak Mahurkar said.
Petrol is not the only culprit. Under-recoveries of oil companies have shot up by 75 per cent. Money is actually lost while selling diesel, LPG and kerosene. Currently oil companies are suffering an under-recovery of Rs 8.58 per litre on diesel, Rs 26.48 on kerosene and Rs 260 per cylinder on LPG. "Initially government's intention was to deregulate complete oil sector but because of political pressure they could not do so. Diesel is the big boy of the whole basket and also a politically sensitive item, so government could not muster guts to deregulate it, result today is petrol user is suffering," Oil Analyst Narendra Taneja said. It is at the retail level that oil companies start losing money as government takes away about Rs 30 on every litre of petrol. But that money is needed to fuel ambitious social sector spending. Raising kerosene, diesel and LPG prices will be politically suicidal so for now the middle class will have to pay more for petrol and oil companies will feel squeezed.
Oil companies today yet again hiked petrol prices by Rs1.80 per litre to offset the fall in rupee that has made imports of crude costlier.
After today's increase, petrol in Delhi will cost Rs68.64 a litre. The rates will vary in other cities according to local levies.
Oil companies hike petrol prices by
with effect from Thursday midnight.
Indian Oil, HPCL and Bharat Petroleum had last hiked petrol prices by Rs.
3.14 a litre on September 16, when the Indian rupee was valued at about Rs.
48 per US dollar. The exchange rate is now over Rs.
49 per US dollar.
The Petroleum Ministry had earlier said it is up to the oil firms to decide on raising the rates of the deregulated commodity.
The government had in June last year deregulated, or freed, petrol from all price controls, but the retail rates have not moved in line with the cost as high inflation forced the oil companies to seek "advice" from the parent Oil Ministry before revising rates.
NEW DELHI: Alarmed by the galloping growth in diesel demand even as consumers and even factories are switching to the lowpriced fuel, the oil ministry is seeking a hefty tax increase for diesel-fired generators and vehicles, and pushing for higher pump price for the fuel.
The government has raised diesel prices by barely 2% since June last year while the price of petrol has climbed 30%. The oil ministry's tight control on diesel has made the fuel even cheaper than furnace oil, a low-grade industrial fuel luring factories to switch to the transportation fuel, and severely distorting India's fuel basket.
Diesel demand rose nearly 10% in September. In the first half of the fiscal year, it has grown faster than petrol for the first time after six years. Indian refineries are struggling to keep pace with the change in the demand pattern as oil companies have designed their plants keeping in mind the traditional fuel use pattern, in which diesel accounted for about a third of the country's total fuel demand.
The share of diesel in India's total oil consumption has soared to 43% in the current fiscal year from 35% five years ago while petrol's share has risen from 8% to 10%. In developed countries, diesel's share is 27% while petrol is 32%.
Oil minister Jaipal Reddy met finance minister Pranab Mukherjee on Wednesday to discuss the deteriorating financial health of state oil companies. Oil companies are waiting for the finance ministry to partly reimburse them for losses from selling underpriced fuel. Reddy told reporters that he had sought a meeting of the Empowered Group of Ministers on fuel prices.
Oil ministry officials say they are concerned that the gap between diesel and petrol prices has widened to Rs 26 per litre from about Rs 11 in June last year. The growing gap is making diesel more attractive for customers.
The shift in demand towards diesel began with customers queuing up for diesel cars despite a long waiting period for many models. What is worrying oil industry executives and officials is the growing use of diesel by industries.
"It is reported in the industry circle that some amount of diesel could substitute fuel oil due to the price factor," according to a report of the oil ministry's Petroleum Planning and Analysis Cell (PPAC). Prices of diesel, after adjusting for the fuel's higher calorific value, are higher than furnace oil, also called fuel oil, almost everywhere in the world except in India, where the transport fuel has been cheaper since April this year.
"Since calorific value of diesel is higher than fuel oil and it is a cleaner fuel, it makes economic sense for consumers to switch over to diesel from fuel oil whenever price is favourable," the report said. This is reflected in fuel demand data. In sharp contrast to the surge in diesel sales, fuel oil sales have fallen 15.3% in April-September. "The trend is likely to continue for sometime," PPAC said.
One executive in BPCL said that "dieselisation" of economy is evident from sales figures. Company's furnace oil sales have dropped by 39% and Naphtha by 16% in the second quarter ended September 30, whereas diesel sales rose by 10% in the same period. The oil ministry shares the concerns of state refiners. "Due to dieselisation of the economy, we have asked the finance ministry to impose taxes on diesel vehicles and gen-sets," an oil ministry official, who did not wish to be named, said.
The price of ATF at Delhi's T3 airport was raised by Rs 2,845 per kilolitre (kl), or 3.8%, to Rs 61,115 per kl with effect from midnight on Monday, an official of Indian Oil Corp (IOC), said. The hike comes on back of a marginally 0.5% cut in rates to Rs 58,271 per kl effected from October 16.
Prior to that, the nation's largest fuel retailer, IOC, and other state retailers, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum, had on October 1 and September 16 and raised jet fuel prices by 2.5% and 1.5% respectively, mainly because imports had become costlier due to fall in rupee against the US dollar.
ATF in Mumbai, home to the nation's busiest airport, will cost Rs 2,950 per kl more at Rs 61,984 per kl from Tuesday as against the old price of Rs 59,021 per kl. Jet fuel makes up for 40% of an airlines' operating cost and the steep hike in prices will raise burden on the cash-strapped airlines.
No immediate comment was available from airlines on the impact of the price hike on passenger fares. ATF prices vary from airport to airport, depending on the local sales tax or VAT. The three fuel retailers revise jet fuel prices on the 1st and 16th of every month, based on the average international price in the preceding fortnight.
The hike in the price of petrol of 23 cents a litre, which comes into effect at midnight on Tuesday night, will bring the price to its highest since 2008 and is bad news for both vehicle owners and consumers.
Transport businesses and commuters said it would hit them hard.
Economist Sid Singwane said: "The ripple effect of the hike will hit consumers hard by the end of the year, when food and commodity prices go up."
He said the poorest of the poor would suffer as the price of food and other day-to-day items would increase.
"Illuminating paraffin, a common feature in thousands of homes in townships and informal settlements around Gauteng, will rise by 41c a litre wholesale, and this will impact on their transportation and basic food costs," Singwane said.
The retail price of all grades of petrol will rise by 23c a litre and diesel will increase by 36c. The price hike means inland drivers will pay R10.77 for petrol, and diesel will rise to R10.01 a litre.
Tuesday night's increase follows an 18c hike in April and one of 29c in May, and is partly due to the weakening rand against the dollar, the Department of Energy said.
"It is certainly bad news all round," the Automobile Association's Gary Ronald said.
He said the increase would have a negative effect on South Africans, the biggest one being less money in people's pockets.
"In addition to increases in public transport, consumers will see food on shop shelves increase in about a month's time, when all food consumables get affected."
The South African National Taxi Council has said it would have to increase taxi fares around mid-November. They said they had no choice, given the hike.
"When we heard the news, my wife and I counted the costs and discovered that it could push our petrol cost up to R3 000," Masi Magus, who lives in Pretoria West and works in Joburg, said.
Some people said they would form lift clubs.
"We will pool together when coming into work from Centurion," Zandi Magagula said. "There are so any of us who come into town that we will make great savings if we travel together."
Petrol prices are likely to be increased by Rs 1.82 a litre this fortnight as a fall in rupee has increased the cost of imports of the raw material (crude oil). This will be the second hike in petrol prices in as many months.
Though the pricing of petrol was freed from government controls in June last year, state-owned oil firms 'informally' take directions from the oil ministry. It remains to be seen if the government will concede to the demand of oil companies just before the winter session of Parliament.
State-owned oil companies Indian Oil, Hindustan Petroleum and Bharat Petroleum last hiked petrol prices by Rs 3.14 a litre on September 16 when the rupee was ruling at about 48 to a US dollar. The local currency has depreciated further and is now trading at over 49 against the American unit.
"From today, there are some losses on petrol. To cover them, we may have to increase prices," HPCL director (finance) B Mukherjee told reporters in New Delhi.
He said crude oil is hovering at around $108 per barrel in international markets. At current exchange rate, petrol price of Rs 66.84 per litre in Delhi corresponds to about $102 per barrel equivalent of crude oil price.
Mukherjee did not say when petrol price would be hiked.
"We are in consultations," he said without elaborating.
The loss on petrol at present is Rs 1.50 per litre and after including local levies, the desired increase in retail prices is Rs 1.82 per litre.
"Let's say, we are toying with the idea," he said.
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