Energy & Resources Talking Points | 07/12/2016



In today’s talking points: China aims to phase out coal imports; China, the leader in solar power installations; Hong Kong’s CKI bids for Australian energy Infrastructure group; Mercedes considers local production potential

China aims to phase out coal imports

China aims to stabilise their coal demand to around 4 billion tonnes, which can be satiated by domestic supply. As China slowly approaches this equilibrium between domestic coal demand and supply, coal imports will decline resulting in a self-sustaining Chinese coal market. China’s coal consumption has been falling in recent years with a decline of 2.9 per cent in 2014 and a decline of 3.7 per cent in 2015. Additionally, China’s energy consumption per unit GDP has also been declining. China will eventually shift away from high energy consumption and increase its use of non-fossil fuels.

Read more at: Reneweconomy

China, the leader in solar power installations

According to a new report, China is expected to increase its capacity by more than 7 gigawatts. Last year, China installed 15.13 GW of new solar photovoltaic capacity (PV) and in this year alone, China’s cumulative capacity has already surpassed 50.3 GW. The dramatic increase in PV installations have been attributed to China’s efforts to boost renewable energy use and adjust their coal dominating energy mix. Demand for solar power has increased globally as projects benefitted from higher 2015 solar feed-in tariffs (FiTs). According to Ankit Marthur, GlobalData’s practice head for power, ‘In China, the National Development and Reform Commission has set a benchmark on the on-grid solar PV power tariff reductions’. A reduction in tariffs will hopefully see an even larger rise in solar demand and the promotion of other renewables.

Read more at: Techworld

Hong Kong’s CKI bids for Australian energy infrastructure group 

Following the recent rejection of CKI’s bid for Ausgrid in August this year, Hong Kong-listed Cheung Kong Infrastructure Holdings has made an A$7.3 billion (S$7.7 billion) bid for Australian energy infrastructure owner Duet Group. The offer represents a 27.7 per cent premium to Duet’s Friday closing price of A$2.35, and sources reveal that Duet board members were considering the proposal, but advised shareholders to “take no action as there is currently no certainty the proposal will proceed further”.

Read more at: Business Times

Mercedes considers local production potential

A board member has recently revealed that as part of a drive to manufacture more products locally and to try to boost sales Daimler may shift to making batteries and Mercedes-Benz electric cars within China. According to sources, sales of Mercedes luxury cars in China have grown 28 per cent so far this year after the company spruced up its designs to give its cars a more sporty and upmarket feel, gaining traction with drivers in the world’s largest car market. Overall, sales in 2016 have been better than expected, reaching 429,000 cars, adding demand for locally manufactured cars had helped boost registrations. To keep sales going, Mercedes is considering local production of electric cars and batteries, and the construction of a battery factory in China is “among the options in the room”. Furthermore, although efforts to bring down pollution have led Chinese authorities to come up with a new system of incentives to encourage sales of zero emission cars, and although this month, China introduced a 10 per cent tax on luxury cars costing more than 1.3 million yuan (S$267,800), nevertheless, it is not expected to significantly dent sales, as customers were already prepared to pay high prices for some top-end Mercedes models such as the Maybach S-Class, with around 500 of the model selling each month.

Read more at: Business Times