India to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects

Above, workers clean photovoltaic panels inside a solar power plant in Gujarat in this 2015 photo. India, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion. (Reuters)
Updated 18 January 2018
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India to set up $350 million fund to finance solar projects

NEW DELHI: India will set up a $350 million (SR1.31 billion) fund to finance solar projects, Power Minister R.K. Singh said, as the country steps up efforts to achieve its ambitious target of adding 175 gigawatts (GW) in renewable energy by 2022.
India will need at least $125 billion to fund a plan to increase the share of renewable power supply in the country’s grid by 2022, underlining the immense financing challenge ahead.
The country, which receives twice as much sunshine as European nations, wants to make solar central to its renewable expansion. It expects renewable energy to make up 40 percent of installed power capacity by 2030, compared with 18.2 percent at the end of 2017.
“The country would achieve its target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity well before 2020,” Singh said on Wednesday at an event organized by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in Abu Dhabi.
Installed renewable power capacity is currently about 60 GW, and India plans to complete the bidding process by the end of 2019/20 to add a further 115 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022.
India’s Yes Bank has committed to financing solar projects worth $5 billion, while state-run NTPC will contribute $1 million to an ISA fund, the power ministry said in a statement.
India wants foreign capital to account for a bulk of its investments to meet its renewable energy target.
But industry experts say most of the financing for the country’s renewables drive so far has come from domestic banks and such banks have to account for the lion’s share of new renewable investments in the future.


Saudi Aramco to invest in refinery-petrochemical project in east China

Updated 18 October 2018
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Saudi Aramco to invest in refinery-petrochemical project in east China

  • This is the third such project in China that Saudi Aramco has set its sight on
  • Last month, Saudi Aramco signed a long-term deal with the Zhejiang project’s operator Zhejiang Rongsheng to supply crude oil

ZHOUSHAN, China/SINGAPORE: State oil giant Saudi Aramco signed an agreement on Thursday to invest in a refinery-petrochemical project in eastern China, part of its strategy to expand in downstream operations globally.
The memorandum of understanding between the company and Zhejiang province included plans to invest in a new refinery and co-operate in crude oil supply, storage and trading, according to details released by the Zhoushan government after a signing ceremony in the city south of Shanghai.
Zhejiang Petrochemical, 51 percent owned by textile giant Zhejiang Rongsheng Holding Group, is building a 400,000-barrels-per-day refinery and associated petrochemical facilities that was expected to start operations by the end of this year.
This is the third such project in China that Saudi Aramco has set its sight on as it seeks to lock in long-term outlets for its crude oil and produce fuel and petrochemicals to meet rising demand in Asia and cushion the risk of a slowdown in oil consumption.
Last month, Saudi Aramco signed a long-term deal with the Zhejiang project’s operator Zhejiang Rongsheng to supply crude oil.
The oil giant had not yet finalized the size of its stake in the project and still needed to complete due diligence, Aramco’s Senior Vice President of Downstream, Abdulaziz Al-Judaimi, said on the sidelines of the event.
Saudi Aramco expects to supply 170,000 barrels per day of Saudi crude to the refinery in Zhoushan when it starts operations, he said.
The first crude carrier supplying the refinery should arrive in December or January, depending on when the project starts, he added.
Aramco also owns part of the Fujian refinery-petrochemical plant with Sinopec and Exxon Mobil Corp, and has plans to build a 300,000-bpd refinery with China’s Norinco. It is also in talks with PetroChina to invest in a refinery in Yunnan.