Iran's New Oil Minister: Rostam Qasemi
Iran currently holds the rotating presidency of the OPEC oil cartel. As the second largest oil producing nation in OPEC, Iran’s controversial political position on the world stage is balanced by its economic power in the oil and gas sector. Now, Iran’s parliament has ratified its new Oil Minister: Rostam Qasemi.
The parliamentary vote in favor of Qasemi was overwhelming, with 216 of 246 deputies voting in favor of his appointment to the post. He is, after all, President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s hand-picked nominee.
Qasemi is a Brigadier General in the Iran Revolutionary Guards Corps, the countries prevailing military establishment. Qasemi commands the industrial division of the elite Guards, Khatam al-Anbiya, which is also known for its involvement in Iranian oil projects.
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Qasemi’s main goals in fulfilling the position are to enhance Iran’s position as the world’s second largest gas producer and the region’s number one refiner. He plans to expand cooperative efforts with neighboring Iraq for joint development of shared oil and gas fields.
However, Western countries may be less enthusiastic about Qasemi’s appointment to the post of Oil Minister. He is currently declared “persona non-grata” by the U.S. and E.U. due to his involvement in Iran’s controversial nuclear program.
Initially, President Ahmadinejad planned to take control of the Oil Ministry and eventually merge it with the Energy Ministry after dismissing Oil Minister Massoud Mirkazemi in May. However, opposition in parliament rejected the proposal.
Hydrostor receives $4m funding for A-CAES facility in Canada
Hydrostor has received $4m funding to develop a 300-500MW Advanced Compressed Air Energy Storage (A-CAES) facility in Canada.
The funding will be used to complete essential engineering and planning, and enable Hydrostor to plan construction.
The project will be modeled on Hydrostor’s commercially operating Goderich storage facility, providing up to 12 hours of energy storage.
Hydrostor’s A-CAES system supports Canada’s green economic transition by designing, building, and operating emissions-free energy storage facilities, and employing people, suppliers, and technologies from the oil and gas sector.
The Honorable Seamus O’Regan, Jr. Minister of Natural Resources, said: “Investing in clean technology will lower emissions and increase our competitiveness. This is how we get to net zero by 2050.”
A-CAES has the potential to lower greenhouse gas emissions by enabling the transition to a cleaner and more flexible electricity grid. Specifically, the low-impact and cost-effective technology will reduce the use of fossil fuels and will provide reliable and bankable energy storage solutions for utilities and regulators, while integrating renewable energy for sustainable growth.
Curtis VanWalleghem, Hydrostor’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “We are grateful for the federal government’s support of our long duration energy storage solution that is critical to enabling the clean energy transition. This made-in-Canada solution, with the support of NRCan and Sustainable Development Technology Canada, is ready to be widely deployed within Canada and globally to lower electricity rates and decarbonize the electricity sector."
The Rosamond A-CAES 500MW Project is under advanced development and targeting a 2024 launch. It is designed to turn California’s growing solar and wind resources into on-demand peak capacity while allowing for closure of fossil fuel generating stations.
Hydrostor closed US$37 million (C$49 million) in growth financing in September 2019.