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Petroleum Industry

No relief from higher fuel prices despite rate cut

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No relief from higher fuel prices despite rate cut

Despite the centre declaring Rs 2.50 per litre decrease in the prices of fuel, the common man is unable to experience any relief, because of ever-increasing prices of petrol and diesel.

Fuel Prices continued to increase on Tuesday, with petrol being sold at 23 paise more at Rs 82.26 per litre and diesel at Rs 74.11 per litre after the price hike in New Delhi.

While in Mumbai, petrol prices have reached Rs 87.73 per litre and diesel at Rs 77.68 per litre after a hike of 23 paise and 31 paise respectively.

By considering the scenario of ever-increasing fuel prices, Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in the beginning of the month had declared a cut of Rs 2.50 per litre on both petrol and diesel prices and commanded the state governments to implement the same.

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After this announcement, modification of petrol prices is being implemented in states such as Assam, Bihar, Chhattisgarh, Goa, Gujarat, Jharkhand, Jammu Kashmir, Himachal Pradesh, and Uttar Pradesh. The revision is yet to be implemented in rest all the states across the country.

Prices of Petrol and Diesel are continuously increasing since the last 3 years. There has been a decrease in the prices of fuel only 1-2 times since then. Prices of fuels are burning holes in the pockets of the citizens.

Before a month, petrol prices have reached an all-time high in September. On September 10, 2018, petrol costs Rs 88.12 per litre in Mumbai, which is all time high as compared to petrol prices on September 14, 2018.

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Petroleum Industry

Govt plans to mix Methanol with LPG to cut subsidy bill by 30%

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Govt plans to mix Methanol with LPG to cut subsidy bill by 30%

The government is thinking of a plan to sell LPG mixed with methanol, which may help to reduce its cooking gas subsidy by about one-third as compared to the existing prices.

As per the details of some countries, mixing 20% of methanol with LPG can help to bring the cost of cooking gas for household consumption by Rs 100 a cylinder.

The portion of methanol in the mix can be increased as India improves production of methane from coal. Moreover, there will also be financial benefits, looking over the country’s LPG subsidy bill which is estimated to be more than Rs 20,000 crore in the fiscal 2019 budget.

The government has distributed suitable coal mines for the production of methane – methanol in its liquid form. This step was taken just after NITI Aayog arranged roadmap for a methanol economy for the country. This will reduce fuel import bill in both automotive and household sectors.

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The whole project may be handled by the NITI Aayog. The outlines of the project are talked between the members of think tank and union minister Nitin Gadkari, who has been given the task to promote alternative fuels in the country.

Presently, the LPG consumers have to buy the fuel at the market price. The government provides subsidy on 12 cylinders of 14.2-kg per each household a year, transferring the subsidy amount instantly into the bank account of the user.

The subsidy amount differs every month based on the charges in average international benchmark LPG rate and foreign exchange rate. When international rates are high, the government provides more subsidy. The subsidy per cylinder in August was Rs 291.48 per cylinder and it was
Rs 257.74 in July.

India’s LPG consumption reaches to 2 mt a month, increasing constantly in the last 2 years due to the government’s push towards increasing access of LPG under Pradhan Mantri Ujjwala Yojana (PMUY). More than half the country’s demand is met with imports.

Also Read: Haryana government signs deal with Indian Oil Corporation to set up bio-CNG plants

According to the NITI Aayog’s ‘methanol economy’ roadmap, there can be an annual decrease of $100 billion in crude imports by 2030, if the country moves to 15% mixed fuel, both for transportation as well as cooking. The goal is to produce methanol from highly available low-quality coal and different bio resources and also manufacture it artificially.

From this, it is expected that the increasing demand of methanol can be met locally.

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Petroleum Industry

Haryana government signs deal with Indian Oil Corporation to set up bio-CNG plants

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Haryana government signs deal with Indian Oil Corporation to set up bio-CNG plants

Haryana Government on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Indian Oil Corporation (IOCL) for establishing new bio-CNG plants depending on the paddy straw and various other agri-waste in the state. The first compressed biogas plant (CBP) is most probably going to be built in Kurukshetra.

The contract was being signed on behalf of Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar is going to open opportunities for developing about 200 CBPs in the state until 2023, with an overall capacity of 1,000 tonnes per day of compressed biogas, one of the official statement said.

By opening new plants, there will be an annual production of around 4 lakh tonnes of compressed biogas per annum, it said.

Shailendra Shukla who is the Chairman of Haryana Renewable Energy Development Agency (HAREDA) signed the MoU in presence of state government, however, Executive Director Subodh Kumar signed in presence of IOCL.

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Subodh Kumar also demanded the chief minister to put foundation stone on the first compressed biogas plant in Kurukshetra in November 2018. He also mentioned that by signing the contract, the IOCL would start work on the setting up of this plant.

The main purpose of government is to promote agriculture waste which depends on biomass or waste to compressed biogas or Bio CNG plants in order to solve the issue of crop residue burning and scientific disposal of agriculture waste. This will help to increase farmers’ income by sale of crop residue and also help to generate new rural employment opportunities.

P K Mahapatra, who is the Additional Chief Secretary, New and Renewable Energy stated, the generation of compressed biogas on a commercial scale will have some amazing pros, such as reducing pollution due to crop burning and offering an economic option to the crop residue, providing more sources of revenue to farmers, rural employment and value creation in the rural economy.

He further stated that the compressed biogas is almost identical to the currently available CNG in its composition and energy potential. This means it can be used as a green automotive fuel.

Kumar mentioned that around 100 tonnes per day of argo residue when feed into the biogas plant can produce around 10 TPD compressed biogas and 30 TPD dry manure. The cost to set up this kind of plant is around Rs 35 crore and it needs 6-10 acres of land.

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Their main purpose is to promote compressed biogas with around 96% methane content which is absolutely better than CNG (around 86% methane) and would have better combustion qualities.

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Petroleum Industry

Fuel stations upgrade dispensers to show three-digit rates

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Fuel stations upgrade dispensers to show three-digit rates

Oil Companies in India are upgrading their dispensers to make sure that they display the right prices when rates reach Rs 100 or above. The new initiative is taken because of the continuous increase in the price of global crude oils. However, the firms believe petrol prices shouldn’t reach this high very soon.

Most of the fuel stations don’t require upgradation, but there are some dispensers which only display prices in two digits before the decimal point. Hence, it is compulsory to upgrade those dispensers by chance the fuel prices increase to another Rs 10 per litre, said people are aware of the matter.

Some of the petrol pump dealers had raised doubts over the capacity of the current dispensers to display three-digit prices, they said.

Petrol prices have reached Rs 90.22 a litre and diesel Rs 72.69 per litre in Mumbai on Monday. While petrol and diesel prices in Delhi were Rs 82.26 and Rs 74.12 respectively.

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Presently, crude oil prices are reaching upto $82 barrel a day and traders anticipates that it will across $100 mark in 2019. Thus, domestic fuel prices might also cross Rs 100 mark in near future.

Executives working in state-run and private fuel retailing companies said that petrol is most likely not to reach Rs 100 a litre but they didn’t want to take any chances. However, a majority of dispensers are equipped to display three-digit prices, only a small segment of older pumps located in rural areas are required to upgrade their dispensers.

About one-fifth of the overall dispensers used by Indian Oil Corporation will require upgradation in order to display three-digit prices, as per executives. The IOC’s dispensers will be upgraded in the next month or so, which would resolve the issue of price display, said an IOC executive. The upgrade was a part of the regular operational exercise and not being done in expectation of higher prices, he added.

Oil companies have talked about this matter with the digital display providers and were hopeful of getting new displays in time, said one of the executives at a private oil company.

Also read: Cabinet may launch Operation Green Scheme on Wednesday

Petrol Pump dealers mentioned that the inadequacy of dispensers to show three-digit prices doesn’t have any impact on fuel supplies to consumers. The demand to re-calibrate the dispensers can’t be compared with the re-calibration carried out in bank ATMs for new currency notes, they said. Please note that the lack of re-calibration stopped the supply of new notes. However, dispensers wouldn’t stop fuel supply but only require manual calculation of cost for billing.

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