May 17, 2020

Coal Seam Gas Production Balloons in Asia

energy digital
coal seam gas
Natural Gas
Asia-Pacific
Admin
2 min
CSG market trends
Unconventional gas is becoming increasingly popular across the Asia-Pacific, as demand for natural gas grows throughout the regions major industrialis...

 

Unconventional gas is becoming increasingly popular across the Asia-Pacific, as demand for natural gas grows throughout the region’s major industrialised nations, states a new report from business intelligence experts GlobalData.

The new report looks at Coal Bed Methane (CBM), otherwise known as Coal Seam Gas (CSG), which has similar properties to natural gas, is extracted from coal seams and represents an important unconventional source of gas.

Asia-Pacific is a major natural gas market, with the potential to become the largest gas market in the world in the future. The existence of substantial coal reserves, particularly in Australia, China and India, provides opportunities for companies to undertake CBM exploration and development activities. The region holds 265,843 Million Tons (mmt) of proven (1P) coal reserves as of 2011, leading the region to rank second after North America in global reserves.

Some of the most highly industrialized countries in the world are located in this region, such as Japan, South Korea and China, along with some of the most highly populated countries with high consumption rates, such as India and China. This incredible growth of natural gas consumption across Asia has made the development of unconventional gas sources vital to the region’s economy. Australia has already had major success in CBM developments, but China is now also aggressively developing its CBM resources, while other Asian countries such as India, Indonesia and Vietnam begin to seek out similar opportunities.

The urgent need to develop CBM as a secure gas source is being supported by favorable fiscal policies and government regulations in a number of Asian countries. Queensland in Australia has introduced a gas scheme which mandates the increased usage of natural gas for power generation, and China has provided CBM operators exemption from Value Added Tax (VAT), and exemption from import duty for machinery used for CBM extraction. India has also announced a tax holiday for CBM operations, albeit only for the blocks offered in the last four CBM exploration blocks award rounds.

In order to establish a superior export base for natural gas, Australia is undertaking the construction of several Liquefied Natural Gas (LNG) liquefaction plants to convert CBM to LNG, which are expected to be operational within the next few years. Geographical proximity to energy-hungry South Asia will provide a good market for Australian LNG exports.

CBM production in Asia is expected to reach about 98 billion cubic meters (bcm) by 2020, with Australia contributing over 60% of the total, with China and India representing the next major contributors.

Source: GlobalData

 

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Jul 26, 2021

Ofwat allows retailers to raise prices from April

Ofwat
Utilities
water
prices
Dominic Ellis
3 min
Ofwat confirms levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue

Retailers can recover a portion of excess bad debt by temporarily increasing prices from April 2022, according to an Ofwat statement.

The regulator confirmed its view that levels of bad debt costs across the business retail market are exceeding 2% of non-household revenue, thereby allowing "a temporary increase" in the maximum prices. Adjustments to price caps will apply for a minimum of two years to reduce the step changes in price that customers might experience.

Measures introduced since March 2020 to contain the spread of Covid-19 could lead to retailers facing higher levels of customer bad debt. Retailers’ abilities to respond to this are expected to be constrained by Ofwat strengthening protections for non-household customers during Covid-19 and the presence of price caps.  

In April last year, Ofwat committed to provide additional regulatory protection if bad debt costs across the market exceeded 2% of non-household revenue. 

Georgina Mills, Business Retail Market Director at Ofwat said: “These decisions aim to protect the interests of non-household customers in the short and longer term, including from the risk of systemic Retailer failure as the business retail market continues to feel the impacts of COVID-19. By implementing market-wide adjustments to price caps, we aim to minimise any additional costs for customers in the shorter term by promoting efficiency and supporting competition.”  

There are also three areas where Ofwat has not reached definitive conclusions and is seeking further evidence and views from stakeholders:   

  1. Pooling excess bad debt costs – Ofwat proposes that the recovery of excess bad debt costs is pooled across all non-household customers, via a uniform uplift to price caps. 
  2. Keeping open the option of not pursuing a true up – For example if outturn bad debt costs are not materially higher than the 2% threshold. 
  3. Undertaking the true up – If a 'true up' is required, Ofwat has set out how it expects this to work in practice. 

Further consultation on the proposed adjustments to REC price caps can be expected by December.

Anita Dougall, CEO and Founding Partner at Sagacity, said Ofwat’s decision comes hot on the heels of Ofgem’s price cap rise in April.

"While it’s great that regulators are helping the industry deal with bad debt in the wake of the pandemic, raising prices only treats the symptoms. Instead, water companies should head upstream, using customer data to identify and rectify the causes of bad debt, stop it at source and help prevent it from occurring in the first place," she said.

"While recouping costs is a must, water companies shouldn’t just rely on the regulator. Data can help companies segment customers, identify and assist customers that are struggling financially, avoiding penalising the entire customer in tackling the cause of the issue."

United Utilities picks up pipeline award

A race-against-time plumbing job to connect four huge water pipes into the large Haweswater Aqueduct in Cumbria saw United Utilities awarded Utility Project of the Year by Pipeline Industries Guild.

The Hallbank project, near Kendal, was completed within a tight eight-day deadline, in a storm and during the second COVID lockdown last November – and with three hours to spare. Principal construction manager John Dawson said the project helped boost the resilience of water supplies across the North West.

“I think what made us stand out was the scale, the use of future technology and the fact that we were really just one team, working collaboratively for a common goal," he said.

Camus Energy secures $16m funding

Camus Energy, which provides advanced grid management technology, has secured $16 million in a Series A round, led by Park West Asset Management and joined by Congruent VenturesWave Capital and other investors, including an investor-owned utility. Camus will leverage the operating capital to expand its grid management software platform to meet growing demand from utilities across North America.

As local utilities look to save money and increase their use of clean energy by tapping into low-cost and low-carbon local resources, Camus' grid management platform provides connectivity between the utility's operations team, its grid-connected equipment and customer devices.

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