New Orleans port engages agency in India

NEW ORLEANS (AP) — The Port of New Orleans has engaged an Indian agency to represent its interests there.

Port President Gary LaGrange says Samsara Shipping Pvt. Ltd. will work with the port to develop business ties, which are expected to initially focus on steel and oil and gas products.

Other areas of interest for the port include apparel, furniture, machinery and other retail merchandise.

Moniz heads to India to reduce solar panel tension, talk policy


Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz is in India today in an effort to soothe tensions from a diplomatic issue and trade dispute over solar panels, and to renew coordination on climate change and energy policy, E&E reports.

Coal crunch gives impetus to India's solar switch

NEW DELHI (AP) — For six years in a row, India's monopoly coal producer has missed its production targets, leading to chronic electricity shortages and sending power producers scrambling for pricier imports. But what looks like a looming crisis could turn out to be an almost accidental energy overhaul.

Like many developing nations, India has relied for decades on cheap coal to provide electricity for burgeoning industry and fast-expanding cities, putting aside worries about pollution and global warming.

But from three years ago when solar capacity was almost zero, the country has added 2.2 gigawatts of solar to its electricity grid, enough to power 20 million Indian homes. It plans another 2 GW this year, toward a total 15 GW addition by 2017. Individual states plan even more. India has also added about 26 GW in coal-fired capacity since 2011, but already plants are sitting idle for lack of cheap supply.


Congress concerned Iran's oil exports may be up

WASHINGTON (AP) — Obama administration officials faced the prospect of contentious questioning Thursday from lawmakers about reports that China and India are significantly expanding imports of Iranian petroleum.

When world powers reached an interim nuclear deal with Iran three months ago, U.S. officials stressed that they weren't easing oil trade restrictions against Tehran. This month, President Barack Obama threatened to come down like a "ton of bricks" on countries that circumvent those penalties.

Nevertheless, Chinese imports of Iranian crude have jumped nearly 30 percent since November compared with the previous six months, according to government data. Some reports suggest Indian imports doubled in January; U.S. officials believe the growth was far more modest.

Delayed Moniz trip to India rescheduled for mid-March


Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz's trip to India, postponed in January after a diplomatic spat, has been rescheduled for March 10-12, Reuters reports.

Indian power: Prospects outweigh risks for foreign investors

The Wall Street Journal

Foreign investors from the Middle East to Europe are flocking to buy into power plants in India, assessing that the prospects of gains fueled by high demand outweigh the risks which turn many into money losing ventures, The Wall Street Journal reports.


Husky sends first-ever shipment of Canadian crude to India

The Wall Street Journal

Calgary-based Husky Energy Inc. on Wednesday shipped the first-ever supply of Canadian oil to India, marking the beginning move of a push among Canadian producers to send oil to markets beyond the U.S., The Wall Street Journal reports.

India to object to U.S. WTO complaint


Indian officials said they plan to dispute the United States' World Trade Organization complaint that alleges India has restrictive market policies to limit imports of American solar panels, Bloomberg reports.

US trade protest over India solar energy program

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. brought a trade complaint against India Monday over a solar energy program it says discriminates against American manufacturers, adding another wrinkle to a bilateral relationship strained by the recent arrest and strip-search of an Indian diplomat.

It is the second time in a year that Washington has requested dispute settlement consultations with India over the program that it contends violates World Trade Organization rules by requiring suppliers use Indian-manufactured solar cells and modules.

U.S. officials say the trade case was in the works long before the December arrest of India's deputy consul general in New York, Devyani Khobragade, who was accused of visa fraud and under-paying her maid. In a compromise, Khobragade was indicted then deported in January, and both governments say they want to repair the relationship.

Wide gap between New Delhi, Beijing smog policies

NEW DELHI (AP) — Think twice before taking a deep breath in New Delhi, where worsening air pollution has drawn comparisons with Beijing, the world's pollution poster child.

On bad days in India's congested capital, the air is so murky it slows traffic to a crawl. Conversations are punctuated with rasping coughs. Weak bands of sunlight filter through a grainy sky.

Air monitoring sensors around the landlocked Indian capital have routinely registered levels of small airborne particles at "hazardous" levels in recent months — three to four times New Delhi's own sanctioned limit, rivaling Beijing.


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