Thursday, 12 April 2018

Saudi Arabia invests to develop World's largest Oil refinery in Ratnagiri.

RIL's Jamnagar Refinery is currently the world's largest.

An Indian Consortium consisting of IOCL, BPCL and HPCL and Saudi Aramco signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) here today to jointly develop and build an integrated refinery and petrochemicals complex, Ratnagiri Refinery & Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) in the State of Maharashtra.  Saudi Aramco may also seek to include a strategic oil partner from other Gulf countries to co-invest in the project.  

The strategic partnership brings together crude supply, resources, technologies, experience and expertise of these multiple oil companies with an established commercial presence around the world. A pre-feasibility study for the refinery has been completed, and the parties are now finalising the project’s overall configuration. Following the signing of the MoU, the parties will extend their collaboration to discuss the formation of a joint venture that would provide for joint ownership, control and management of the project.

The Ratnagiri refinery in Konkan region of Maharashtra will be the World's largest Oil refinery with the capacity of processing 1.2 million barrels of crude oil per day (60 million metric tonnes per annum, or MMTPA). Reliance's Jamnagar Refinery, which is currently the world's largest, has a maximum capacity of 34 MMTPA. It will produce a range of refined petroleum products, including petrol and diesel meeting BS-VI fuel efficiency norms. The Refinery will also provide feedstock for the integrated petrochemicals complex, which will be capable of producing approx. 18 million tonnes per annum of petrochemical products.

In addition to the refinery, cracker and downstream petrochemical facilities, the project will include associated facilities such as a logistics, crude oil and product storage terminals, raw water supply, as well as centralized and shared utilities.

Ratnagiri Refinery and Petrochemicals Ltd. (RRPCL) will rank among the largest world refining and petrochemicals projects and will be designed to meet India’s fast-growing fuels and petrochemicals demand. The project cost is estimated at around $44 billion.

This a joint partnership between the consortium from India consisting of IOCL, HPCL and BPCL and Saudi Aramco & an additional strategic partner on a 50:50 basis. This project, with an estimated investment of over Rs. 3 lakh crore, would bring huge benefits to the Region, the State of Maharashtra and the entire country in terms of large-scale employment generation, direct and indirect, as well as the all-round economic development of the Region.  This project is in line with the vision of Hon’ble Prime Minister of India and His Highness the King of Saudi Arabia. - Dharmendra Pradhan, Union Minister of Petroleum and Natural Gas, Govt of India.

Investing in India is a key part of our company’s global downstream strategy, and another milestone in our growing relationship with India. The signing marks a significant development in India’s oil and gas sector, enabling a strategic joint venture and investment partnership that will serve India’s fast-growing demand for transportation fuels and chemical products. Participating in this mega project will allow Saudi Aramco to go beyond our crude oil supplier role to a fully integrated position that may help usher in other areas of collaboration, such as refining, marketing, and petrochemicals for India’s future energy demands. - Amin Nasser, CEO, Saudi Aramco.

The refinery will be situated in two villages namely Nanar and Babulwadi. Activists and local political party are protesting the upcoming project over land acquisition issues and alleged 'destruction of the environment'. A fear among locals is created as the mega refinery and petrochemicals complex is just 14km away from World's largest nuclear power plant at Jaitapur. The project is expected to give 40,000 direct and indirect jobs in the Konkan region. These two projects are important to turn around the financial fortunes of the Konkan region. Among this political slugfest, the Union government and Maharashtra government has clarified that it will go-ahead with Ratnagiri mega refinery project.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Saudi Aramco, PIB.

Wednesday, 11 April 2018

Choosing an English language test to go abroad? #DefinitelyPTE


The globalised world has shaped the importance of English as a global language. From Los Angeles to Christchurch, English has spread its roots to become the official language of the unions and finance. India and Indians are not an exception here. India has accepted English as an official language of union and diplomatic communication since independence. There are very few countries in the world which are as linguistically diverse as India. Though I am writing this blog in English, my most comfortable language of communication is my mother tongue, Marathi. Millions of students and professionals who aspire to study abroad need to skill up their English language. All you need is practice and guidance.

Lack of expertise in Grammar is a major issue for most aspirational Indians. At large, English is a complicated language. Before applying for universities abroad, a student must groom himself with effective English writing, hearing and speaking skills. Universities generally look for intelligent candidates who are equally good at everything. A good score in Quants and a bad score in English could affect your chances of being selected. English becomes an important choice of communication between the local students and international students. Also, an effective English portrays on employment readiness for students who are willing to work abroad once they finish their studies.

Pearson is a trusted name in the education consultancy. Thousands of students have successfully enrolled in foreign universities with PTE test. The Pearson Test of English or #DefinitelyPTE is a computer-based language test that offers candidates the fastest, fairest and the most flexible way of proving their English language proficiency for immigration and student Visas. Students can enroll for PTE online or can visit Pearson centres which are located in all majors cities in India.


Before the exam, students can prepare from the Pearson handbook provided online. It also contains a sample of 200 questions and gist of the syllabi. The PTE Academic is a single 3-hour English test comprising of these sections namely – Introduction, speaking and writing, reading and finally listening. Students can book an exam 24 hours in advance. The test is scored by the computer and generally takes 5 days to get the result. PTE Academic test is as par as IELTS or TOEFL. The certification is accepted by thousands of institutions and universities abroad. Professionals can attach the PTE Academic certificate to CV, as most jobs require strong communication skills.

#DefinitelyPTE! There are more than 150 centres so can choose from if you are serious about opportunities abroad. Get over rejection as PTE score are accepted by London Business School, University of Pennsylvania, University of Ottawa, Deakin University and more than 6,000 universities.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Disclaimer: I am really happy to work with our sponsor, Pearson, for sharing this information with our readers.

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Edelweiss Mobile Trader app – Your personal wealth advisory.

EMT share market india app

India’s economy and her bustling stock markets had a phenomenal rise in the last decade. Such is its success that very few would believe that BSE Sensex was trading below 10,000 points just 8 years back. With a reform-based approach, Indian stock markets have improved their index by three-folds. As per the World Bank report, India’s economy is expected to double to $5 trillion by 2025. Most market experts firmly believe that BSE will touch the historic 1,00,000 index points before 2025. It is impossible to miss out on this golden opportunity. Stock market investment, be it equity or mutual funds, are one of the very few investment avenues which can beat real inflation.

The times they are a changin’! From floor trading to desktop and now in a mobile app. Mobile-based trading apps are the choice of today as they are highly efficient. You can manage the products or assets at any time with easy to operational and navigational tools. If you are so serious about stock trading, then it is must for you to keep every piece of information at your fingertips. Yes, nothing else than a mobile app can do this for you. Timely information means greater margin.

With an enormous amount of data and continuous transactions, traders often complain of mobile app downtimes. This is a unique problem of sentimental markets like India. Be it budget, government policy, US fed, SGX Nifty or Trump’s China trade feud, the downtime of trading apps is a major issue where traders may potentially lose hard-earned money. Users on Google Play Store have commended the Edelweiss Mobile Trader (EMT) app for smooth functioning during national and global events. The EMT app is built on the philosophy of speed, stability and simplicity.

Market mein kya chal raha hain?

The Edelweiss mobile trader app offers OTP based login for quick, simple and secure trade. The application is free for all. Users can check quotes from BSE and NSE from the main landing page itself. Users can track and trade across Equity, Equity Derivatives, Commodity, Currency Derivatives, NCDs, Bonds, Debt and e-SIP across NSE, BSE, MCX and NCDEX, all in one place. This is not something you can find being offered by all brokerages, all in one place. Market experts can predict early trends with movements in SGX Nifty of Singapore. Edelweiss Mobile Trader app is an early pioneer to bring SGX Nifty index feature. Drag the bull down when you wake up and you can the sense of movements in Indian markets later in the day.

An investment in knowledge pays the best interest. When it comes to investing, nothing will pay off more than educating yourself. - Benjamin Franklin.

Research is at the core of investing. Important information like live indexes, currency exchange rates, market commentary, sector performances, IPOs, FII DII flow, volume buzzer are easy to find in the EMT app. The left-hand side of the app is dedicated for research and the right-hand side involves trading. Trading advisories and Buy & Sell calls on a short term to long term horizon help in investment decisions. The research calls are thoroughly studied by the team of research analysts at Edelweiss.

Buy low and sell high. The super trend feature in technical studies allows to you to study the historical data of the selected scrip in detail for last 15 years. Along with updates on important events like bonus, splits or dividends, traders can buy when the super trend line indicates green and sell when its red. Prediction analysis and technology truly reflects in Ease of Doing Trading. The Edelweiss Mobile Trader app is one of the finest and advance charting tool on Smart Phone provided by anyone in the country.

Edelweiss Mobile Trader app tops the chart on both Google PlayStore and iOS App Store. With over 3 million minutes of app usage every day, the EMT app has a rating of 4.4 and 4.3 out of 5 on Android and iOS stores respectively. Each query raised on play store or social media by users is reviewed on daily basis. The Edelweiss Mobile Trader app has been awarded for ‘Best use of Mobile Technology in Financial Services’ by ET NOW BFSI Awards & best ‘Consumer Mobile Service’ by BBC Knowledge.

Download the #BestTradingApp from Play Store and iOS app store and try it yourself.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni.

Monday, 9 April 2018

India to have 50 crore mobile internet users in 2018

RailTel wifi

478 million mobile internet users in India by June 2018: IAMAI

Like food, garments, and shelter, the internet connectivity for e-governance and information has been the 21st century’s basic human need. Cut-throat competition between telcos like Jio, Airtel and Idea has benefitted mobile internet penetration at large. Some telcos going ahead announcing that India’s 99% villages will get 4G internet connectivity by Diwali 2018. This isn’t a mere announcement as Open Signal report suggests that India’s mobile internet penetration may be far ahead than the US and developed countries in Europe. Although India ranks amazingly good (much better than its competitors) at last-mile internet connectivity, but we still suffer from low and inconsistent speeds.

The Internet and Mobile Association of India and Kantar-IMRB report points that India may have 478 million mobile internet users by June 2018. According to the report, the number of mobile internet users increased by 17.22% from December 2016 to reach 456 million users by December 2017. Urban India witnessed an estimated 18.64% Y-o-Y rise, while Rural India witnessed an estimated growth of 15.03% during the same period. With 59% penetration, Urban India is expected to show a slowdown, while Rural India with only 18% mobile internet penetration is clearly the next area of growth.

Young students are the most prolific users of most services. Middle-aged and older men show the greater propensity of using social networking and browsing; with old men having lower habits of audio/video streaming. Working women have the highest propensity for social networking and browsing, while non-working women have the highest propensity for text chatting. The report further finds that Mobile Internet is predominantly used by youngsters, with 46% of Urban users and 57% of Rural users being under the age of 25. Urban India has around twice the proportion of users over the age of 45, while the age range of 25 to 44 has almost equal distribution of users in Urban and Rural Areas.

Data is the new oil.

Since the launch of Jio, the affordability aspect of mobile internet services has been benefitting consumers at large. 4G internet can be obtained at just Rs 5 per day if chosen for a three-month plan. Expenditure on Voice has been steadily decreasing from 2013; and with the popularity of VOIP and video chatting, the expenditure on voice services has decreased drastically in recent times. This in turn means that there is a rise in proportion of Data expenditure in comparison to Voice expenditures for most users. In just 5 years from 2013 to 2017, the ratio of Data:Voice went from 45:55 to 84:16.

Telecom companies now not just offer data. They have also ventured into video content, music streaming and online news portals. The latest example of business diversification is JioMusic, which merged into Saavn to create $1 billion dollar entity.

Going forward, NTP 2018 with focus on new technologies like 5G is expected to promote better quality data services at more affordable prices and can be expected to help address the digital divides and promote internet penetration in the rural areas via mobile internet.

– Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source – IAMAI

Friday, 30 March 2018

Ministry of Civil Aviation invites EOI tender for Air India sale

Air India divestment
Source - Airplane Pictures

Air India Expression of Interest has been released by the government. The government hopes to announce EOI winner on May 28. Then, the government would proceed with RFP and RFQ. Aviation experts suggest that the complete sell-off will be done before December 2018.

The government has decided to retain a 24 percent stake in Air India and Air India Express, as part of its divestment in the state-owned airline. The government is also proposing divesting 50 percent of its stake in Air India Sats Airport Services. The divestment is to be carried out through an open competitive bidding process.

Air India is the national flag carrier of our country with a significant market position in the domestic and international aviation market. Air India along with Air India Express has 42.8% share of international traffic to and from India among Indian carriers and 16.9% share amongst international carriers. With the competition increasing from new players in India's domestic aviation market, Air India's domestic market share has been reduced to 12.3% recently. 

Air India, being the oldest commercial airplane, has extensive reach at smaller airports. Air India, a prestigious star alliance member operates to/from 54 domestic locations and 39 international destinations. The world's longest direct flight, from Indira Gandhi International Airport in Delhi to San Francisco is operated by Air India. Air India has an operated fleet of 115 aircraft as on December 2017, comprising of Airbus and Boeing. The Air India Express, the low-cost carrier operates from 16 domestic and 13 international locations.

Air India SATS is a 50:50 joint venture between Air India Limited, and SATS Limited. As part of the Indian Government's initiative to upgrade its airports to world-class facilities and attract more airlines to fly into India, AISATS was formed with the vision to provide world-class airport services in ground and cargo handling that exceed customers’ expectations. Since the start of its operations in 2008, AISATS has provided hassle-free and comprehensive solutions to its customer airlines in international airports at Bengaluru, Delhi, Hyderabad, Mangalore, and Trivandrum. AISATS has more than 7000 employees.

The government is proposing a strategic divestment of the airline by transferring management control and sale of 76 percent of its equity share capital in Air India. Ernst and Young is the transaction advisor to the government on the divestment process.

The bidder should have a minimum net worth of 5,000 crore rupees and the requirement is subject to certain conditions depending on the class of entities. Among others, the Civil Aviation Ministry has said that each consortium member should have a positive profit after tax in at least three of the immediately preceding five financial years from the EoI deadline. The bidder will have to keep the name 'Air India' for a specified number of years mentioned in RFP proposal. The last date for submission of EoI is May 14 and intimation to the qualified interest bidders will be made on May 28. Bidding can be done as a single player or as part of a consortium.

CAPA, an aviation think-tank has said that Air India may get 6 to 8 bidders.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Ministry of Civil Aviation.

Saturday, 24 March 2018

EESL subsidiary acquires UK based Edina for Rs 493 crore

EESL India Edina UK

Energy Efficiency Services Limited (EESL), a joint venture of four National Public Sector Enterprises under administrative control of Ministry of Power, Government of India, today announced its acquisition of Edina, a leading supplier, installer and maintenance provider for combined heat and power (CHP), gas, and diesel power generation solutions in the United Kingdom (UK). The £55 million (INR 493 crore) acquisition is the first-of-its-kind venture by an entity under the Ministry of Power, Government of India and is effected through its UK subsidiary, EnergyPro Assets Limited (EPAL).

Edina has around a quarter of UK gas engine market share and turns over around £100m. EESL plans to use its acquisition both to grow the CHP market in India via ‘as-a-service’ models, and simultaneously tap into the UK energy services market. With a business experience of over 30 years, Edina services over 400 customers, providing bespoke containerized solutions that reduce customers’ energy costs and carbon emissions, while also providing a continuous and reliable power supply, from sites in the UK, Ireland, and Australia. Edina is the sole distributor of MWM gas engines in the UK and Ireland, and of Perkins diesel engines in Ireland.

“We are excited about this new venture and about harnessing the capabilities of a company that has a long history of successfully implementing combined heat and power technology. Leveraging Edina’s unique bespoke approach with our proven, innovative business models for scaling energy efficiency solutions across international borders, we are confident in the potential of this partnership to scale trigeneration technology adoption and to transform CHP market in India. The acquisition is therefore also an important strategic step in our continued efforts towards facilitating India’s energy security and sustainable energy supply.” - Saurabh Kumar, Managing Director, EESL.

EESL aims to tap into UK’s £6 billion (INR 53,782 crore) energy efficiency market, expanding the offering in the energy service contract model for CHP technology. On the other, EESL intends to bring CHP technology to India, providing an integrated service offering to industries that would enable them to receive equipment maintenance, electricity, heat and power at no upfront costs for technology installation.

EESL is implementing a global strategy and commitment to invest £150 million (INR 1,343 crore) through EPAL into energy services business opportunities in the UK, EU and North America between 2017 and 2019. EESL’s investment plan takes forward the commitment made by PM Modi and UK's May for an enhanced ‘Energy for Growth’ Partnership between the two countries.

Source - Press Release

Tuesday, 13 March 2018

NPCIL and EDF sign agreement for World's largest Nuclear Power Plant.


Jaitapur Nuclear Plant in Konkan, Maharashtra will have 6 European Pressurised Reactors (EPR). The agreements were signed between Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited and France's Electricite De France. Once completed, the plant will produce 9.6 GigaWatt clean electricity.

In presence of PM Modi and France's Macron, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Limited (NPCIL), the government-owned Indian energy company, signed an Industrial Way Forward Agreement for the implementation of six EPR reactors at the Jaitapur site in India. Jaitapur is set to be the biggest nuclear project in the world, with a total power capacity of around 10 GW.

The agreement defines the project’s industrial framework, the roles and responsibilities of the partners, as well as a planned timetable for the next steps. Despite having 80% land acquisition done, the locals in Jaitapur in Konkan area are protesting the project over misinformation spread by regional political parties and NGOs. Some fear that the technology is unused in the world. It is partially untrue as 2 EPR is under construction in France, 1 in the UK and another 1 in Taishan, China. Also, nuclear power technology is not new to India. As of today, there 22 nuclear reactors operating in India.

Under the terms of the agreement, EDF will act as a supplier of the EPR technology. EDF will undertake all engineering studies and all component procurement activities for the first two reactors. For the other four units, the responsibility for some purchasing activities and studies may be assigned to local companies. EDF will also provide NPCIL with its valuable experience from the construction of EPR reactors.

EPR reactor at Taishan, China



In its capacity as owner and future operator of the Jaitapur Nuclear Power Plant, NPCIL shall be responsible for obtaining all authorizations and certifications required in India, and for constructing all six reactors and site infrastructures. EDF and its industrial partners will assist NPCIL during the construction phase.

This industrial framework has already been approved in India and will be bolstered by the complementary skills and experience of the partners involved. In this manner, the knowledge and expertise required to operate the plant can be readily shared. It will also pave the way for the industrial involvement of Indian companies in the project, opening up possibilities for partnerships within the French nuclear power sector. In this way, the project will be developed in line with Indian policies “Make in India” and “Skill India”, with the ever-increasing participation of local companies, reaching a potential 60% for last two of the six reactors.

NPCIL and EDF have signed agreements with French and Indian players for setting out operation foundation for the Jaitapur project. The first such agreement, signed with Assystem, Egis, Reliance and Bouygues, covers the installation of an engineering platform for studies that fall within the scope of the Jaitapur project. EDF will hold 51% of the joint-venture and will be responsible for engineering integration. The second agreement, signed with Larsen&Toubro, AFCEN* and Bureau Veritas, covers the creation of a training centre compliant with standards for the design and construction of equipment for the nuclear industry (RCC codes). The objective is to train local companies on the technical standards applicable to the manufacture of equipment for the Jaitapur project.

Acting as head of the French nuclear power sector, EDF entered into exclusive negotiations with NPCIL in 2016 and in the same year it issued its first technical-commercial proposal for the development and construction of six EPRs. Jaitapur is in Maharashtra state and will be the largest nuclear power site in the world. EPR reactors - with a generating capacity of 1600 MW per unit - are particularly suitable for a country undergoing rapid growth and equipped with a mature electricity system such as in India.

- Chaitanya Kulkarni

Source - Electricite De France, Press Release