Intellectual Thoughts by Sanjay Panda: oil

Showing posts with label oil. Show all posts
Showing posts with label oil. Show all posts

Indian Oil, Panasonic Energy enter pact to make lithium cells.


Indian Oil ,India’s biggest Oil company  announced that it has signed a binding term sheet with Panasonic Energy Co. to form a JV  for manufacturing cylindrical lithium-ion cells in India.

The deal was made in anticipation of demand for batteries for two-and three-wheel vehicles as well as energy storage systems, in Indian markets.

State-owned IOCL is aiming to achieve net-zero carbon emissions by 2046, aligning with the Indian government's plan to achieve net-zero for the country as a whole by 2070.

"Through its partnership with Indian Oil, Panasonic Energy aims to address environmental challenges, such as reducing CO2 emissions, as well as to contribute to establishing a complete supply chain ecosystem for improving India's self-reliance and fortifying India's position in the global energy landscape," it said.

This JV  will also lead to the growth of India's battery industry by enhancing cell technology and creating domestic demand for raw materials and new entrants.

"Leveraging its expertise in battery development and manufacturing, Panasonic Energy strives to contribute to the growth of the lithium-ion battery industry and India's energy transition, while pursuing its mission of helping to build a sustainable society," it said.

Lithium finding in India , EV industry Charged Up..

As India gears up to boost electric vehicle (EV) adoption, the massive find of lithium reserves in the country has built up  excitement , hope of self-Reliance & brightened up the prospects for the country in the field of EV battery cell manufacturing. 

According to the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW), the country will require USD 4.5Billion of investment to meet its domestic lithium-ion battery manufacturing target of setting up 50 GWh of lithium-ion cell and battery manufacturing plants. India's lithium cell production is projected to be 900 GWh by 2030.  

 "The 5.9 million tonnes of lithium reserves found in J&K, If completely extracted and converted into battery-grade Lithium  salts can support up to  great extent   though  the   details about quality, nature etc are yet to be fully established.

Lithium is  the lightest  metal & lightest  solid element . Being highly reactive   not found in its elemental form.  Mostly found in concentration with other materials in the form of oxides and carbonates. Extracting & converting the raw lithium to battery-grade lithium calls for a series of refining processes some of  technology are not available  in India. Very few Global companies  have  such expertise  and being doing this for decades.  

Though the EV penetration in India  till 2020  was very small , the EV penetration in India is slowly but steadily increasing, especially in the e-scooter segment. Now, the four-wheeler manufacturers have also joined the bandwagon,  specially Tata Motors  , M&M pushing India's aim to significantly cut the dependency on traditional fuels and internal combustion engine-driven vehicles by 2030.  

The slogan EV30@30  which means ,  the government expects the EV sales penetration to be 30 per cent by 2030. for private automobiles. 70 per cent for commercial vehicles, and 80 per cent for two and three-wheelers, which would not only reduce the country's oil import bills in the longer term, but also ensure a cleaner environment.  

The discovery of Lithium is vital as it comes at a time when India is going all out for a green transition in transportation,, where electric vehicle adoption has become a national priority..

Oil Prices drops Below $30 a Barrel

Since  the new year, the price of oil has surprised even the most bearish punters, plunging  below $30 a barrel, its lowest level since 2003.  ( Lost almost 70% in last eighteen months) Turmoil in Chinese markets and the expected increase in Iranian crude exports added to concerns that a global glut will linger.

The trouble is that apart from India and a shaky China ( consumes about 12% and second only after US of total  global oil demand), demands are not looking promising anywhere  else this year.  Europe is unlikely to see  strong oil-demand.  Although America’s economy continues to grow, tightening fuel-efficiency standards,  caps the upside.  In  Middle East, where fuel use rose last year,  however citizens are more likely to keep their cars off the road after their governments raised petrol prices/ eliminated fuel subsidies altogether to shore up  their public finances.

Selective  oil  & allied  industries  has began  big cutbacks. But as of now they are not yet enough to reduce the glut. Global inventories are at record highs. An estimated 2,50,000 oil workers have lost their jobs,  manufacturing of drilling and production equipment has also fallen sharply. About 40 companies in North America have gone into bankruptcy protection.

Goldman Sachs said this week, it is sticking to its call that oil prices could fall to $20 a barrel but added that it is still not the bank’s base-case forecast.  Such low prices  seems possible as we   expect  a  surge  in Iranian  oil ( likely to add about 500,000 barrels within weeks of the sanctions relief)  to the already oversupplied global market.

Indian exports continue to worry; down for 6th straight month


India's exports in the month of May 2015 stood at $22.34 billion, lower by nearly a fifth as against the same month last year.  This is also the sixth consecutive month of fall in India's exports to the world.  Imports, too, fell but at a lower pace of 16.52%.(a drop from $ 39.23 B to  32.75B for the corresponding period)

Fall in crude oil prices helped to post the lower import bill as India's oil imports for the month of May 2015 fell by nearly 41% and were valued at $8.53 billion as against $14.46 billion in May 2014. 

This indicates, India’s overseas sales are falling more steeply than many other Asian countries, dragged down both by oil prices and weak demand in developed economies other than the US, its biggest export market.  The 20% drop in May marked the longest monthly losing streak since 2009 i,e 6th straight month.

Across Asia, the picture for exports is mixed.  Steep falls in the value of shipments from countries such as Indonesia, Australia and South Korea has been blamed on slumping commodities prices. Sluggish economies in Europe and Japan have hurt Chinese exports, which have also been hit hard by the strong yuan. 

China, too has reported a third consecutive month of exports decline. South Korea’s  May exports were down 11%, biggest slump in six years.

Weakness of exports is certainly not a pan-Asian story. Among the bright spots, Japanese exports are starting to pick up, beating expectations with an 8% increase in April. Exports from Southeast Asia to the US are also improving.

Indian exports and imports have been on the decline since the beginning of this calendar year but it is the fall in crude oil imports that is helping immensely to keep the trade deficit numbers under control. While lower oil prices benefit India because crude accounts for about 37% of imports, they also damp revenues as petroleum products account for a fifth of exports.

Electric vehicles ( EVs), Tesla & Lithium

( Pic: Tesla's web site)

Throughout modern times we have witnessed  many  advancements in technology. One  major advancement  in environmentally friendly technology is the Electric Vehicle (EV). Electric vehicles have brought about many advantages and impacts including: decreased emissions, minimal   fossil fuel usage and increased safety.
So what exactly a electric vehicle ( EV) is ???. EVs differ from fossil fuel-powered vehicles in that the electricity they consume can be generated from a wide range of sources, including fossil fuels, nuclear power, and renewable sources such as tidal power, solar power, and wind power or any combination of those and stored mainly in  Lithium Batteries.

The modern electric vehicle (EV)  is broadly divided into  two categories Hybrid ( and or  Plug in)  Electric Vehicles (HEVs & PHEV) and   Pure Electric Vehicles (PEVs).  HEV & PHEVs combine internal combustion engines with limited-range electric battery packs. After the battery runs out, the internal combustion engine takes over, giving the driver unlimited range as long as there is a fuel station nearby. PEVs, on the other hand, run only on battery power   &  for these battery  our  Lithium   products  are the crucial ingredients.

The PEVs are  ‘pure’ electric vehicles. Since there is no internal combustion engine (and hence, no emissions), the environmental benefits are immense. PEVs are expected to grow at a whopping 37% CAGR over the next few years and account for  3% of all global vehicles sales by 2020.  More enthusiastic estimates, predicts electric cars to completely replace  Petrol/Diesel vehicles by 2030.

Several factors are driving the growth of  EVs are:
  • Decreasing battery costs, which are expected to drop by 70% by 2015 & 90% by 2018.
  • Decreasing  Battery charging time.
  • Better cars with a range in excess of 500 KMs (Tesla Model S).
  • Innovations, such as Tesla’s electric Supercharger network.
  • Prices of solar panels, widely deployed in Tesla’s Supercharger network, which have dropped by 60% from 2011.
  • Improved safety of PEVs over   fossil fuel  vehicles. Tesla’s Model S, for instance, was recently awarded the highest ever safety rating by NHTSA, Euro NCAP.
  • Strong public perception due to environmental benefits of zero-emission PEVs.
Altogether, the tremendous growth of electric vehicles has shaken up the automobile industry and sent most manufacturers scrambling to compete with existing industry leader, Tesla.

Tesla’s Impact 

The EV industry can be broadly divided into two periods: before and after Tesla.
The EV  industry’s ambition – to create a  fully electric vehicles that could outperform cars with internal combustion engines (ICE) – was deemed too far-fetched to be worthy of serious consideration. With limited resources, incompetent technology and lack of public interest, the industry produced vehicles that were too eccentric, too incapable or too cost-prohibitive for mass-consumption.
All this changed after Tesla. Tesla’s first stab at an EV resulted in the Tesla Roadster – the fastest ever production electric car with a top speed of 125 mph and a range of 244 miles. That it could go from 0 to 60 in 3.7 seconds and looked like a  sportscar was testimony to Tesla’s engineering capabilities. More importantly, it signalled to the broader audience that EVs had arrived on the big stage. Tesla phased out the Roadster  to focus on the more consumer-friendly Model S sedan. At a base price tag of $64,000, the Model S is significantly more affordable than the Roadster. With the company expected to launch a long-awaited SUV (Model X), followed by a low-cost consumer model, expect the automobile industry to be transformed radically in the next few years.
Tesla’s success has triggered a panic catch-up reaction among automobile majors. GM, Nissan, Ford, VW, etc are now getting into  both  PEVs and H (P)EVs at different price tags instead of  earlier offerings of limited numbers of  HEVs  only approach. With research dollars pouring into EV R&D,  we expect  further significant  technological breakthroughs in the next few years for these  Lithium  batteries.  Further wider adoption of electric cars will also reduce battery prices   significantly as economies of scale kicks in. 

Who will reign supreme in the EV market is a matter of speculation for now. Tesla’s low-cost model could be a phenomenal hit or a complete dud, or  Tesla’s competitor might go kaput on launch or VW’s Audi A3 e-Tron could hit the jackpot with its simple design and Audi brand name.  The only thing concrete for now is  whoever wins the EV race,   Its  the   Lithium producers  getting increased  attention  due to  winds of change that have gripped the entire global  automobile industry.