The 3 Week Diet System

Friday, July 31, 2015

Solid Energy considers liquidation

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July 31:


State-owned coal miner Solid Energy is mulling three options for its future, one of which is total liquidation.

The company says no decision has been made and there is no timeline for the decision.

It has told staff three options are on the table.

"In our staff updates, we have explained that there are three potential paths for the company under consideration - some arrangement that would allow us to trade on, some kind of controlled sell-down, or liquidation," the company said in a statement today.


The Engineering, Printing and Manufacturing Union, which represents miners, expects a decision within weeks, Radio New Zealand reports.

Solid Energy has been badly hit by falling international coal prices and has shed hundreds of jobs during the last two years.

In February, the board said that it could see an issue coming to do with the company's ability to either repay or refinance its debt as it falls due from September next year, and had acted early in starting talks with its banks and shareholder.

Finance Minister Bill English has said previously that the government was working on the company's future viability.

Solid Energy still employs about 400 people.


Source: http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/solid-energy-considers-liquidation-2015080109#axzz3hViJ8TIt


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FBI investigating possible threats against PennEast employees

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July 31:


The FBI is investigating letters sent to PennEast, the company proposing a controversial natural gas pipeline that would span 114 miles from Wilkes-Barre to Mercer County, N.J., for possible threats against company employees.

PennEast has received plenty of "spirited" comments since entering the public comment phase of the project last October, but several letters received in April caused enough concern that the company turned them over to authorities, said PennEast spokeswoman Patricia Kornick.

She declined to specify the nature of the alleged threats contained in those letters, but said the company has since hired a private security firm to provide extra protection for employees.

Kornick wasn't certain how many letters the company received, but said the FBI has been investigating since April.

J.J. Klaver, a spokesman for the FBI in Philadelphia, did not immediately return phone calls for comment Friday.

"There is a strong organized movement of opposition regarding natural gas, so as a precaution, many firms will hire additional security for the safety of their employees and they will also step up security when there are public meetings," Kornick said.


The pipeline has generated a lot of public reaction with more than 3,000 comments logged on the website of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission since Oct. 7, 2014, the date comments were first allowed on the project.

During this stage, PennEast has been collecting comments from the public in preparation of filing their official application, including the finalized route. It will be up to FERC to approve the project.

Pipeline opponents on Friday said they were shocked at allegations of threatening letters. They were not aware of the FBI reaching out to anyone in connection to the investigation.

Laura Wilson, founder of Stop the PennEast Pipeline Facebook group in Holland Township, N.J., said members of her group have always been peaceful in their protests and always notified police if they planned to stand outside a meeting to hold up signs or hand out fliers.

"It came as a shock to us and we were concerned because we don't want anything to happen to anybody, regardless of if they are with PennEast or associated with Marcellus Shale. That's unacceptable," she said of the alleged letters.

Wilson owns a farm in the township and said the latest route changes have the pipeline crossing directly where her home, a pond and barn are located.

There are about 2,500 members of the Stop the PennEast Pipeline public Facebook group and another nearly 1,500 members in a private group geared toward impacted landowners.

"I am astonished to hear anything like this because I don't know a single soul who would do something like this. I don't even know how to react to it," said Karen Feridun, founder of the grass roots anti-fracking organization, Berks Gas Truth in Kutztown.

Feridun estimates her group has hundreds of members, though none of them are located directly in the path of PennEast pipeline.

Tracy Carluccio, deputy director of Delaware Riverkeeper Network in Bristol, questioned the validity of the letters.

"It doesn't seem like a likely story to us. It doesn't fit in with any of the attitudes of the people who have been involved in the PennEast discussions …" Carluccio said.

She's also concerned the alleged threats could draw attention away from environmental concerns and concerns about landowner rights that come with a project like the PennEast pipeline.

"I think we need to stick to the issues and all our central concerns about why we are opposed to this pipeline," she said.

Lately, the pipeline has faced increased opposition, particularly in New Jersey, where a recent report from FERC says only 33 percent of landowners along the proposed Garden State section of the route have agreed to let the pipeline survey their land.

Mercer County and Hopewell Township also recently took action to prohibit PennEast from surveying on their public land.In Pennsylvania, 78 percent of private landowners have agreed to allow the surveys. Kornick was not aware of any Pennsylvania counties or municipalities that have prohibited PennEast from surveying.


Source: http://www.mcall.com/news/breaking/mc-penneast-fbi-investigation-20150731-story.html

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TerraForm Global Tumble In Nasdaq Debut

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July 31:

Shares of TerraForm Global Inc (GLBL) dropped in its trading debut on the Nasdaq Global Select Market on Friday, after the company's initial public offering.
TerraForm - a subsidiary of renewable energy development company SunEdison Inc - had priced its IPO of 45 million Class A common shares at $15.00 each, in line with the revised expectations.
The company granted the underwriters a 30-day option to purchase up to an additional 6.75 million shares.
TerraForm expects gross proceeds of $675 million from the offering, and a further $67.5 million from a private placement; it expects to use the aggregate net proceeds to acquire newly-issued Class A units of TerraForm Global LLC.
TerraForm Global LLC will use such proceeds and cash on hand, along with proceeds of the $810 million senior unsecured notes offering of TerraForm Global Operating LLC, to repay debts, to pay pending acquisition consideration, and for general corporate purposes, which may include future acquisitions of clean energy generation assets from SunEdison.

TerraForm, based in Bethesda, Maryland, owns clean power generation assets in high-growth emerging markets. The company's portfolio consists of wind, solar and hydroelectricity assets across countries including China, India, Southeast Asia and Latin America.
TerraForm closed Friday's regular trading session at $14.00, down $1.00 or 6.67%, on a volume of about 21 million shares on the Nasdaq. The stock traded in a range of $13.50 - $14.44 during the session. In after hours, the stock dropped $0.03 or 0.21% at $13.97.

Source: http://www.rttnews.com/story.aspx?Id=2533370

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Iraq's Kurdistan condemn PKK's bombing of oil pipeline

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July 31:

IRBIL, July 31 (KUNA) -- The government of Iraq's Kurdistan province Friday condemned the Kurdish Workers
Party's (PKK) bombing of a pipeline used to ship oil from the region to Turkey.
The government, in a statement, said the attack took place against the pipeline inside the Turkish territories.
It said Kurdistan was already suffering from lack of financial resources because Baghdad failed to send the
budget coupled with the war against ISIL, and proceeds of oil shipped through this pipeline were the only
resource to pay wages.
The province will export oil through Iraq's oil marketing company (SOMO), it added.
PKK claimed responsibility for bombing the pipeline as well as a gas pipeline from Iran to Turkey.
Kurdistan announced in July it was selling its own oil because of unsolved differences with Baghdad.

Source: http://www.kuna.net.kw/ArticleDetails.aspx?id=2453873&Language=en

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China Must Reduce Dependence On Coal To Achieve Energy Security

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July 31:

China must reduce its dependence on coal, and shift its attention to a variety of fuels, if the country is to have long-term energy security.
These are the primary findings from new research published by the University of East Anglia in England. The new study was published in the journal Technological Forecasting and Social Change, and analyses the electricity supply in China, in tandem with the issues China’s energy industry faces in reducing its carbon emissions — a vital discussion, considering that China’s electricity sector is accountable for over half of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions.
China is by far the world’s largest consumer of coal, with its electricity sector standing as the largest single source of coal demand, consuming approximately half of the country’s coal. As the country continues to expand, its electricity consumption follows suit. In the first three quarters of 2013, the University of East Anglia notes that the rate of growth of China’s electricity consumption was 7.2%, while its electricity production for the same period similarly increased, at a rate of 6.8%.
Curbing its emissions has been a vital part of much of China’s current international policy work, including its Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDC). In a visit to Paris at the beginning of July, China’s Premier Li Keqiang announced plans for his country to reduce carbon emissions. Specifically, “China’s carbon dioxide emissions will peak by around 2030, but China will work hard to achieve the target at an even earlier date.”
The University of East Anglia’s research attempts to present viable solutions for China to gain its energy independence, a step towards reducing the country’s dependency upon domestic natural resources — namely, coal.

“China’s energy sector is under pressure to achieve a secure and affordable supply while at the same time reducing its carbon emissions,” said lead researcher Dr Konstantinos Chalvatzis, of UEA’s Norwich Business School and the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research. Going on:
There has been this long argument about whether China can give up coal because that would harm their supply security.
We recommend that the Chinese Government continues to work towards two main objectives. First, increase the share of renewable energy sources, such as wind and hydro-power, in the fuel mix and as a result maintain high energy independence. Secondly, improve diversity in the fuel mix. If imports are necessary, prioritise non-coal fuels, such as nuclear fuels and natural gas. These two objectives will improve electricity supply security while allowing China to decarbonise its economy.
The report’s authors are careful to acknowledge that China has begun to make moves away from reliance upon coal and other fossil fuels by focusing more on renewable energy development, but they are wary of the scale of this move, describing it as “only a gradual, incremental change that will not deliver a radically different fuel mix in less than a decade.”
“We argue that long-term aggressive deployment of renewable energy will unblock China’s coal-biased technological dependence and increase supply security in all fronts,” explained Dr Chalvatzis, a Senior Lecturer in Business and Climate Change.
However, reduced supply diversity in China during the 1990s will not recover until after 2020s due to the long-term coal lock-in that can threaten to hold China’s back from realising its full potential.
China’s rapid growth rate presents a challenge as well as an opportunity for the country’s energy future. The challenge is to secure increasing energy supplies while maintaining a decarbonisation path. In contrast, the opportunity lies in transforming the historical coal lock-in into a diversified and secure energy supply system that will fuel the Chinese economy for the years to come.



Source: http://cleantechnica.com/2015/07/31/china-must-reduce-dependence-coal-achieve-energy-security/

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Facebook: Our drones will use lasers to deliver 10Gbps Internet access

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July 31:

Facebook has made significant progress in a project to build solar-powered drones that can deliver Internet connectivity using a mix of lasers and radio signals, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced yesterday.
"I'm excited to announce we’ve completed construction of our first full scale aircraft, Aquila, as part of our Internet.org effort," Zuckerberg wrote. "Aquila is a solar powered unmanned plane that beams down Internet connectivity from the sky. It has the wingspan of a Boeing 737, but weighs less than a car and can stay in the air for months at a time. We've also made a breakthrough in laser communications technology. We've successfully tested a new laser that can transmit data at 10 gigabits per second. That's ten times faster than any previous system, and it can accurately connect with a point the size of a dime from more than 10 miles away."
Obviously, that 10Gbps would be shared among multiple users, but it could connect a lot of people to the Internet. The network will operate similarly to Google's Project Loon. While Loon uses balloons instead of drones, the aircraft in both networks distribute signals to each other to increase range.
Lasers will be used for the drones to communicate with each other, while the drones will communicate with the ground using radio signals. "A ground station will transmit a radio Internet signal to a mother aircraft that will then feed other aircraft in the constellation using laser technology," with the drones sending radio Internet signals down to users on the ground, Facebook explained in a video that accompanied Zuckerberg's Facebook post.
Facebook's Internet.org project aims to bring Internet service to parts of the world where people have little or no access. Today, Facebook is working with mobile operators to provide free access to parts of the Web on low-end phones. But that won't be enough, Zuckerberg wrote.
"This effort is important because 10 percent of the world’s population lives in areas without existing Internet infrastructure. To affordably connect everyone, we need to build completely new technologies," he wrote. Facebook plans to test the systems "in the real world" over the coming months, but Zuckerberg didn't offer an estimate of how long it'll take to go from testing to production.
Aquila is "a very lightweight, very large wingspan aircraft capable of flying above normal airliners, above 60,000 feet, for up to three months at a time," Andy Cox, engineering lead for the Facebook aviation team, said in the video.


Source: http://arstechnica.co.uk/information-technology/2015/07/facebook-our-drones-will-use-lasers-to-deliver-10gbps-internet-access/

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High Arctic Energy Services - A Look At Upcoming Earnings

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July 31:

Summary

  • High Arctic Energy Services is an oil and gas drilling, service, and rental company that is based in Canada, but generates the majority of revenue from Papua New Guinea.
  • High Arctic Energy Services will be releasing Q2 results shortly, and this article will offer an analysis of their expected results.
  • Based on this analysis, High Arctic is likely to be very closely in line with analysts expectations of .04 per share.
I first wrote about High Arctic Energy Services (OTC:HGHAF) last month and suggested one should start building a position, especially as the price of oil continues to slide. Since then, the price of oil has fallen further and High Arctic Energy Services is trading at an attractive value as it currently trades at $3.68 on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
High Arctic Energy Services is an oil and gas drilling, service, and rental company that is based in Canada, but generates the vast majority of their revenue from Papua New Guinea. The Papua New Guinea revenue is derived from contracts with larger companies, such as Oil Search Limited (OSL), in the Exxon-Mobil (NYSE:XOM) operated Papua New Guinea LNG Project; one of Exxon's PNG LNG co-venture partner is the National Petroleum Company of Papua New Guinea, a fully state owned company that owns 16.57% of the project. This government investment, in a country with limited economic resources, essentially assures the continuation of production regardless of the energy environment. When compounded with the lower production costs, and High Arctic's position as the leading service provider in the project, it seems that High Arctic is in a fantastic position right now. For a more detailed overview of the company, please view my previous article that offered more of an overview on High Arctic Energy Services.
Today, I am going to have a look at what to expect from High Arctic Energy Service's upcoming earnings release. Fortunately, High Arctic is a relatively easy company to understand, and should be somewhat easier to predict than their competitors due to their fixed contracts in Papua New Guinea.
HWO Chart
HWO data by YCharts

Revenue

There should be a slight increase in revenue from Rig 115 coming online on June 15th, however, this effect will be minimal as it was only in production for 15 days. However, High Arctic did receive reduced revenue since late March as they were servicing and transferring the rig. Therefore, I would anticipate a slight increase in overall revenue compared to Q2 2014. High Arctic has also achieved contracts for a minimum of 2000 rental mats for rigs 115 and 116, which is anticipated to produce $4 to $7 million in revenue per year; however, this revenue would have not had any significant effect as it would only have occurred towards the very end of the quarter.
Looking at Q2 2014, it seems that High Arctic produced 39.8 million in revenue, in which 31.8 million came from Papua New Guinea (79.9%); however, it is important to consider the effect of the downturn affecting Canadian revenue much more, coupled with the capital expenditures in PNG increasing revenue. Therefore, I calculated the proportion of PNG revenue from Q1 2015 to be 78.7%. It's important to understand the seasonal nature of drilling in Canada makes their Canadian operations susceptible to an especially stronger Q1 and a weak Q2; therefore, I imagine the proportion of PNG will actually be even higher in Q2. I think that it is fair to consider the Q2 2014 earnings when considering the potential Canadian revenue (in light of the oil prices), while using Q1 2015 for their PNG revenue comparison. Comparing how High Arctic did in 2014 Q1 vs Q2, we see that their revenue fell from 15 million in Q1 to 8 million in Q2; this represents a 47% decrease in revenue.
Using this logic, it seems that High Arctic's PNG revenue will grow from 35.2 million last quarter, to at least around 36.5 to 37 million in Q2. I think that their Canadian revenue will fall approximately 47% due to the tough Canadian high-cost environment, and this should produce Canadian revenue of around 4.24 million. Rounding these numbers, I predict that the overall revenue should be around 41 million. The transportation revenue for Rig 115 was not provided in the financial reports, as it only said the revenue was "reduced"; if this revenue is more significant than I anticipated, it is possible for PNG revenue to go as high as 40 million, producing overall revenue of 44 million.

Expenses

I believe that expenses will be slightly higher than last quarter due to the additional rig arriving towards the end of the quarter, as well as the depreciation should increase due to the larger amount of assets; this should be somewhat offset by reduction in Canadian expenses due to declined activity, and should not be significantly higher than last quarter. Therefore I expect costs could be as low as 38 million, compared to 37.8 million last quarter. However, I think it is more realistic that expenses could increase to around 40 million for Q2.

Earnings Estimate

Lets look at four different scenario's using these numbers, starting with the more conservative expense estimate. Using the more conservative estimate of revenue, this should produce operating earnings of around 2 million, and after tax earnings of about 1.5 million (as foreign exchange and interest should not have a huge effect); for a more liberal estimate, this should produce operating earnings of 6 million, with net earnings of 4.5 million. This produces estimates of .03 per share for the more conservative estimate, and .08 for the more liberal estimate.
Now, lets crunch the numbers using the more liberal estimate for expenses. Using the more conservative estimate for revenue, this would suggest that the company would break even, and produce no profit. Using the more liberal estimate for revenue, this would produce 4 million in operating income, which would be approximately 3 million net, or .05 cents per share. Converting this confusing paragraph into a table, we are ultimately left with 4 EPS estimates, ranging from 0 to 8 cents; averaging these numbers creates an EPS of .04 cents. I believe overall that it is more likely for the liberal expense estimate to be accurate, and I believe the revenues will be closer towards the liberal estimate.
EPS Based On EstimatesConservative Expense Estimate (38)Liberal Expense Estimate
(40)
Conservative Revenue Estimate (40)0.030
Liberal Revenue Estimate
(44)
0.080.05

Analysts

Although I strongly disagree with using analysts recommendations for purchasing stocks, I think it can be helpful to look at other estimates to see how other people view the same company. The average analyst is predicting revenue of 43.9 million, with an average EPS of .04; this suggests that analysts are likely viewing what I suggested to be the more liberal evaluation for both costs and revenue. However, keep in mind that this was only based on the results of two analysts, and could vary significantly from the actual numbers.

Share Buybacks

High Arctic Energy Services has been aggressively buying back shares in the first quarter, and I believe that this trend will likely continue due to their large supply of cash. At the start of Q1 High Arctic had 55.65 million shares, and by the end of the quarter they had repurchased 473 thousand shares back, at a total cost of 1.7 million and bringing their total shares down to 55.18 million shares; this represents an average purchase price of $3.59, suggesting that management was quite disciplined with when they bought back shares, despite buying a large number; I like this approach, because this is exactly how I buy their company shares too.
I think it is very impressive when a company buys back almost 1% of their company in a single quarter, and I believe that the low commodity environment and high amounts of cash will continue to allow them to do this for at least the rest of the year; I also believe that they will release another course issuer bid when this one expires. All of that aside, I think that management will purchase a similar value of shares, with a slightly higher average price that may be closer to the low $3.80's; therefore, if they bought another 1.7 million shares, this would equal 447 thousand shares, and bringing their overall number of shares down to 54.73 million shares. This should not effect the EPS estimates as it is only 1% of the shares, and the EPS was a low number.

Conclusion

I am expecting nothing shocking from High Arctic Energy Services, and am hoping for more good news on rig 116. The analyst estimate of .04 seems in line with my .04 to .05 estimate. It is of note, however, that High Arctic Energy's share price has proven to be resilient over the last few weeks, despite the low oil prices, and therefore should not change much after a neutral earnings report. I still argue that High Arctic Energy Services may currently be one of the best values in the Canadian oil patch when considering the overall risk return, especially for the more conservative investor.
Editor's Note: This article discusses one or more securities that do not trade on a major U.S. exchange. Please be aware of the risks associated with these stocks.

Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3383835-high-arctic-energy-services-a-look-at-upcoming-earnings

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Thursday, July 30, 2015

Shell to shed Japanese refining assets

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July 30:

Royal Dutch Shell PLC has entered a deal to sell nearly all of its interest in Japanese refiner Showa Shell Sekiyu KK to Idemitsu Kosan Co. Ltd. as part of the company’s ongoing strategy to reduce its downstream refining assets. As part of the agreement, Idemitsu Kosan will buy Shell’s 33.24% majority interest in Showa Shell Sekiyu for about $1.4 billion, Shell said on July 30 (OGJ Online, July 30, 2015).
Shell will retain, through its subsidiary Anglo-Saxon Petroleum Co. Ltd., a 1.8% ownership interest in Showa Shell Sekiyu, according to a July 30 regulatory filing by the Japanese operator.
Shell said it expects to finalize the deal in 2016, pending regulatory and contractual approvals.
The divestment, which includes majority ownership in Showa Shell Sekiyu’s three Japanese refineries, aligns with Shell’s strategy to concentrate its downstream footprint on a smaller number of assets and markets where it can be most competitive, said John Abbott, director of Shell’s downstream operations.
The company, however, has no plans to exit Japan entirely.
Shell intends to continue its partnership with Showa Shell in other Japanese downstream business ventures, including lubricants, chemicals, and trading.
Japan also remains an important LNG market for Shell’s upstream integrated gas business, the company said.
Shell’s sale of Japanese refining assets follows Shell Australia’s announcement last year of the sale of its 118,000-b/d Geelong refinery in Victoria and its network of 870 retail outlets across the country to Dutch group Vitol (OGJ Online, Feb. 21, 2014).
In 2012, the company closed its 79,000-b/d Clyde refinery at Sydney (OGJ Online, June 7, 2012) after selling refineries in the UK and some mainland European countries, as well as other downstream divestments in Italy, Egypt, Spain, Greece, Finland, and Sweden.
Earlier this year, Shell Refining Co. (FOM) Bhd. (SRC), a Shell holding, said it is evaluating either the potential divestiture or closure of its 125,000-b/d Port Dickson, Malaysia, refinery (OGJ Online, Jan. 14, 2015).
Following a structured review of SRC’s resilience in a persisting poor-margin environment, the company’s board continues to investigate long-term options which include, but are not limited to, sale of the refinery or its conversion to a storage terminal.
That structured review remains ongoing, SRC said in its latest filing with Bursa Malaysia.
Showa Shell Sekiyu refineries
Showa Shell Sekiyu holds the majority interest in three subsidiary-run refineries in Japan that have a combined crude oil processing capacity of 445,000 b/d, according to company’s latest operations report.
The Keihin refinery, in Kawasaki, Kanagawa prefecture, is operated by Toa Oil Co. Ltd., and has the following unit processing and production capacities:
• Atmospheric distillation, 70,000 b/d.
• Vacuum distillation, 58,000 b/d.
• Fluidized catalytic cracking (FCC), 42,000 b/d.
• Diesel hydrodesulfurization (HDS), 20,000 b/d.
• Vacuum diesel HDS, 46,000 b/d.
• Kerosine HDS, 15,000 b/d.
• Naphtha HDS, 17,000 b/d.
• Naphtha cracking HDS, 7,000 b/d.
• Continuous catalyst regeneration (CCR) reforming, 9,500 b/d.
• Coker naphtha scrubbing, 2,500 b/d.
• Isomerization (ExxonMobil Isosieve process), 6,000 b/d (2,500 b/d).
• Flexicoking, 27,000 b/d.
• Hydrogen, 930,000 cu m/day.
• Low-calorie gas scrubbing, 5.13 million cu m/day.
• Sulfur recovery, 380 tonnes/day.
• Light catalytic-cracked gasoline scrubbing, 10,000 b/d.
• Heavy catalytic-cracked gasoline scrubbing, 16,000 b/d.
• Polynaphtha, 518 tonnes/day.
• LPG hydrofining, 400 tonnes/day.
• Solvent manufacturing, 750 tonnes/day.
• Propanel propylene splitting, 345 tonnes/day.
Operated by Showa Yokkaichi Sekiyu Co. Ltd., the Yokkaichi refinery, in Yokkaichi, Mie prefecture, completed an expansion project to boost capacities at two of its crude distillation units in February 2014, the company said.
The refinery, which increased its crude processing capacity to 255,000 b/d from a previous 210,000 b/d, also includes the following unit processing and production capacities:
• Vacuum distillation, 105,000 b/d.
• FCC, 61,000 b/d.
• Kerosine-diesel HDS, 103,500 b/d.
• Vacuum diesel HDS, 40,000 b/d.
• Naphtha hydrotreating, 69,000 b/d.
• Residue HDS, 45,000 b/d.
• CCR reforming, 60,800 b/d.
Isomerization, 10,000 b/d.
Alkylation, 17,000 b/d.
• Catalytic-cracked gasoline HDS, 21,000 b/d.
• Solvent deasphalting, 9,800 b/d.
• Solvent extraction, 10,500 b/d.
• Solvent dewaxing, 6,000 b/d.
Operated by Seibu Oil Co. Ltd., the 120,000-b/d Yamaguchi refinery, in Ube, Yamaguchi prefecture, also includes the following unit processing and production capacities:
• Vacuum distillation, 44,000 b/d.
• FCC, 28,000 b/d.
• Kerosine-diesel HDS, 62,000 b/d.
• Naphtha hydrotreating, 34,000 b/d.
• Residue HDS, 51,500 b/d.
• CCR reforming, 46,000 b/d.
• Isomerization, 6,800 b/d.
• Catalytic-cracked gasoline HDS: 13,000 b/d.

Source: http://www.ogj.com/articles/2015/07/shell-to-shed-japanese-refining-assets.html


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China’s Shift From Coal to Hydro Comes at a Heavy Price

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July 30:

As outlined in China’s national climate plan, submitted to the United Nations last month, the country’s aim to peak greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 or sooner will rely heavily on a shift from coal to use of non-fossil fuels.
To many, that would seem a clear win for the environment in coastal megacities and mining areas, where air, water, and soil pollution are a potent toxic legacy of China’s long-term addiction to fossil coal.
But China’s target to use non-fossil fuel sources for around 20 percent of its primary energy consumption by 2030 will likely prompt a fresh round of dam building in ecologically fragile Tibetan regions of China, particularly in impoverished western areas.
Hydropower is responsible for far fewer greenhouse gas emissions than coal. But shifting away from coal in favor of water-driven electricity entails major risks.
These include the low-generating efficiency of hydropower, heightening the need for back-up coal power during sustained periods of low rainfall, weak grid systems, and potential for large dams on international rivers to spark conflict with neighboring countries.

Hydropower—A Green Savior?

Hydropower is China’s second-largest energy source after coal, and the country’s installed hydropower capacity is set to rise to 350 gigawatts (GW) by 2020, up from 300 GW today. The country is already home to half the world’s 80,000 dams, more than the U.S., Brazil, and Canada combined.

Environment

05.14.15
Chinese authorities hope that a large-scale rollout of hydropower can help reduce toxic smog that has triggered public outrage and health scares both at home and abroad.
Hydropower has already helped slow growth in China’s greenhouse gas emissions, some experts claim. China’s coal use fell by nearly 8 percent in the first four months of this year—in part, says Greenpeace, due to power fed into the grid by hydro plants since brought online.
“Hydropower is one of the main ways for the power sector to replace fossil fuels, save energy, and reduce emissions,” points out Zhang Boting, Deputy Secretary General of the China Society for Hydropower Engineering.
China is already the largest dam builder in the world, but its vast hydropower resources are underdeveloped compared with its potential, meaning the country is overwhelmingly reliant on coal, says Zhang.
If China exploited its remaining hydropower resources it could meet a fifth of China’s peak energy demand and displace about 1.3 billion tonnes of coal, he adds.
The most enthusiastic advocates of new dams in China say the country can almost double its current hydropower capacity to 540 GW by 2050.

High Price for Clean Air

Replacing coal with hydropower may lead to cleaner air for citizens on the east coast, but there will be a high environmental price to pay for people who live in the more remote and ecologically fragile southwest, where at least 80 percent of the new dams will be built.
Chinese environmentalists have called for an urgent halt to large hydro projects, pointing out that the country’s dash for dams has already destroyed river ecosystems, fish habitats, and raised fears about safety in earthquake-prone regions.
The concentration of dams will be particularly dense on the Jinsha (upper Yangtze) River, where cascades equal to five times the 22.5 GW capacity of the Three Gorges dam are proposed. These dams will not only hold back water flow but also silt, heightening risk of major subsidence in the Yangtze delta and floods around major cities such as Shanghai.
Other cascades will pack China’s last free-flowing international rivers—such as the Mekong and Brahmaputra—which will stem water flow and could spark tensions with India and southeast Asian countries downstream.

Skepticism

Many experts are skeptical that more hydropower means less coal. “Hydropower will never completely replace thermal power,” argues Fan Xiao, geologist and chief engineer at the Sichuan Geology and Mineral Bureau.
So-called “green” hydropower is in fact spurring the construction of new coal-powered plants in the southwest, says Fan.
“Because the seasonal flow of rivers affects hydropower, some areas have built more thermal power to solve the problem of peak energy load.”
There is anecdotal evidence that for every new hydropower dam built in the southwest, an additional coal-fired power plant is also constructed, often as back up.
Guizhou province has built more coal-fired generating capacity than hydropower to ensure a stable supply of power in the dry season. Sichuan, Guangxi, and Yunnan are doing the same.

Waste and Inefficiency

China’s installed capacity in hydro is impressive, but its contribution to the country’s overall energy mix is far more modest. Due to rushed construction and other industry problems, Chinese dams are highly inefficient, with an average capacity factor of 31 percent—about two-thirds the world average. Capacity factor refers to the amount of electricity produced compared to the installed capacity.
And since the bulk of new hydropower plants will be built in remote mountainous regions of the southwest, electricity has to be transferred vast distances to manufacturing hubs of southern China—meaning a lot of electricity is lost along the way.
Click here to see original image.
China could be losing enough hydroelectricity to power the U.K. and Germany for a year as a result of poor planning and weak grid infrastructure, Reuters recently reported.
Meanwhile, hydropower development has further spurred energy-hungry and polluting industries, as provincial governments try to absorb the extra electricity generated in remote areas. One example is the Lijiang aluminum refinery, which is close to one of China’s top tourist destinations in Yunnan.
In addition, extreme weather caused by climate change may mean generating power from unpredictable river flow becomes increasingly unviable in the future. In 2011, extreme drought caused hydropower output in Yunnan to drop by half; more than 1,000 dams in central China were forced to suspend operations.

2050 Roadmap

But despite the high financial and environmental costs, hydropower will play an essential role in any low carbon future, argues Darrin Magee, a U.S. academic and energy specialist who has been working with the Rocky Mountain Institute, Lawrence Berkeley National Labs, and the Chinese government think-tank, Energy Resource Institute (ERI) to explore the future of renewable energy.
The radical 2050 roadmap—published in April this year—predicts China could get almost 86 percent of power generation from renewable energy by 2050. ERI sits in China’s National Reform and Development Commission, the country’s powerful planning ministry, and is responsible for drawing up energy strategy in the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-2020). The ERI’s views often carry a great deal of weight in policymaking circles.
In a well-managed grid system, hydropower can replace coal by providing a baseload power and smooth out vagaries of the sun and wind since these plants would be able to be switched on and off in a matter of minutes, Magee explains.
The hardware already exists, although is only gradually being rolled out. The three ultra high voltage direct current (UHV-DC) lines under construction in China will be capable of transmitting power over long distances more safely and with less loss of power.
These new lines will also enhance the ability of hydropower to interconnect with solar and wind stations. The world’s largest solar-hydro hybrid station—recently connected to the grid at Longyangxia on the Tibetan plateau—is a sign of things to come.
And if renewables and hydropower are to displace coal, smart grid technology will have to be deployed to curb surges in demand and avoid the need to run extra coal plants.
China’s State Grid Corporation aims to have a nationwide smart grid by 2020. It will allow real-time electricity prices to be transmitted to homes and factories and will encourage greater efficiency.
There are still some major hurdles, however. The rules to get renewables onto the grid and bring predictability to how dam operators will dispatch electricity haven’t yet been enacted.

Environment

05.20.15
“The biggest challenge right now is that the dispatch and operation rules remain very opaque,” Magee says. “Currently rapid releases of water in dam reservoirs to meet poorly predicted peak loads lead to landslides and erosion around reservoirs and negative impacts downstream,” he adds.
China’s power grid system is in desperate need of a major overhaul, but making the necessary changes remains a tough slog. The central government’s efforts to break down the current monopoly practices, hive off grid company revenues from the sale of power, and a move to force grid companies to prioritize renewables over coal and their own assets have dragged on since the 1990s.More Efficiency, Less Power
In the long term, encouraging consumers, factories, and cities to consume less electricity could render new dams obsolete.
For example, an ERI study estimates that replacing incandescent bulbs with more efficient LED lighting by 2020 alone could save as much electricity every year as the Three Gorges Dam produces.
Chinese policymakers are beginning to realize the potential of switching to energy-efficient light bulbs on an industrial scale, Magee points out in a recent paper published in the Copenhagen Journal of Asian Studies.
Improving the efficiency of pumps and fans across the industrial sector could reduce electricity use by 20 percent, equivalent to the amount of hydroelectricity produced by all of China’s powered-up dams in 2013, the paper estimates. Pumps and fans matter, since they are estimated to consume half the world’s industrial demand for electricity.
A number of major hurdles remain. First is the question of who pays for the upfront costs of efficiency upgrades. One idea is to allow companies to sell the electricity they have saved through efficiency measures back to the energy market.
Second, excessively cheap energy and electricity prices in China mean consumers are less frugal. Weak prices also deprive utilities of the necessary revenues to plough back into energy efficiency measures.
That means that if power suppliers have too little impetus to compete on price and efficiency, China will end up adding more expensive and environmentally destructive hydropower projects to an ever wasteful and dysfunctional grid system

Source:http://www.chinafile.com/reporting-opinion/environment/chinas-shift-coal-hydro-comes-heavy-price?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A%20chinafile/All%20%28ChinaFile%29




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Petronet LNG appoints GAIL's Prabhat Singh as new MD and CEO

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July 30:


Prabhat Kumar Singh has been appointed the new managing director and CEO of Petronet LNG Ltd, India's biggest liquefied natural gas importer.

Singh, 58, is presently the director of arketing at state gas utility GAIL India Ltd.

"The Board of the company at its meeting today approved appointment of Prabhat Singh as the new CEO and MD," said, RK Garg, acting CEO and director (finance), Petronet LNG Ltd.

Singh, he said, has vast experience in gas marketing and trading as well as commercial contracts. "His appointment is a gain for Petronet. We will see growth of Petronet under him."

Singh was selected from among over a dozen candidates who had applied to replace Ashok Kumar Balyan, whose five-year term ended on July 15.

A Search Committee comprising representatives of all Petronet's promoters -- GAIL, IOC, ONGC, BPCL and GDF of France interviewed the candidates on Wednesday and recommended the name of Singh to the board.

Besides Singh, other who had applied for the Petronet top job included former SAIL chairman CS Verma, GAIL director (projects) Ashutosh Karnatak, ONGC director (onshore) Ashok Varma and ONGC Videsh Ltd director (finance) SP Garg.

Petronet director (finance) RK Garg and its director (technical) Rajender Singh had also applied.

Garg said the Search Committee of promoters replaced a previous panel to select a successor to AK Balyan, who completed his five-year term on July 15. He was eligible for an extension till he attains the superannuation age of 65 years in July 2016, but he was not given an extension.

The then oil secretary Saurabh Chandra had in March constituted a three-member panel headed by ONGC chairman Dinesh K Sarraf.

Besides Sarraf, the committee included two independent directors of Petronet and its constitution was questioned by at least one promoter director.

The panel could not come up with a consensus by April-end from among seven applicants, including Pramod K Bajpai, the then director (finance) of BHEL and an IIT Kanpur batchmate of Chandra.

That panel, Garg said, "could not arrive at a decision regarding the preferred candidate by consensus. Therefore, it was decided that an enlarged Search Committee with greater representation of promoters must be constituted".

With Chandra retiring on April 30, new oil secretary Kapil Dev Tripathi has decided to revert to the old system of choosing the head of Petronet through promoters.

The eligibility rules said candidates should not be more than 60 years as on July 16, 2015.

Bajpai retired from BHEL on May 31 and thus was not eligible.

Petronet is majority owned by state-owned oil firms, but is registered as a private company and the oil secretary is its ex-officio chairman. Board members of the company are appointed for five years or until 65 years, either of which is earlier.


Source: http://www.hindustantimes.com/business-news/petronet-lng-appoints-prabhat-kumar-singh-as-new-md-and-ceo/article1-1374862.aspx

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Giant wind farm scrapped following planning changes

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July 30:

Campaigners feared proposed Nocton Fen wind farm, on land owned by Sir James Dyson, could ruin views of Lincoln cathedral 

 A history of the world's tallest structures

 Campaigners feared the wind farm would ruin views of Lincoln cathedral Photo: GETTY

Controversial plans to build one of England's biggest wind farms near Lincoln have been scrapped as a result of Government changes to give locals a greater say over planning decisions.


The proposed Nocton Fen wind farm would have been built on land owned by Sir James Dyson and campaigners feared it could ruin views of Lincoln cathedral.


Developer Vattenfall wanted to build 20 turbines each standing up to 149.5 metres tall – the tallest in England, and nearly double the height of the cathedral - under plans described as “ghastly and monstrous” by Lord Cormac, a local resident.


The turbines would have had a combined capacity of up to 68 megawatts – equalling the power of the biggest wind farm in England.


But Vattenfall announced on Thursday it was stopping work on the project after concluding it would “not fit with the Government’s emerging changes to planning policy”.



Ministers announced in June that big wind farms such as Nocton Fen would no longer be dealt with by national planners as Nationally Significant Infrastructure Projects, and decisions would instead be taken at local level in order to ensure communities had the “final say” over onshore wind farms.

Vattenfall said: “Due to the Government’s significant recent shift in national planning policy for onshore wind farms, Vattenfall has decided to stop the Nocton Fen Wind Energy Project.

“Whilst this project would have satisfied the Government’s policy to drive down the cost of electricity from onshore wind farms, the expected changes to the planning system mean that a project of this scale will no longer be supported by national planning policy.”

Sir James’s position on the windfarm has never been made clear. Although the entrepreneur has previously spoken out in support of renewable energy, the agreement with Vattenfall was signed before his company, Beeswax Farming, acquired the land.

In a statement, Beeswax Farming said: “Beeswax Farming bought this estate, which is excellent farming land, in order to grow crops. That remains the case. Any decision on wind farms is a matter for Vattenfall only.”

• Ending onshore wind farm subsidies 'will save hundreds of millions of pounds'

A Conservative source said: "This Government was elected with a clear manifesto commitment to give local people the final say over onshore wind farms and that is what we have done."

Vattenfall’s decision to scrap the project also follows the Government’s move to end subsidies for onshore wind farms.



John Constable, director of Renewable Energy Foundation, a UK charity that has long been critical of subsidies, said this was also likely to be a factor in its decision.

“Reductions in subsidies are clearly beginning to cool down an over-excited onshore wind sector, to the huge relief of local communities,” he said. “The real challenge now is to rebuild public confidence in a reformed climate change agenda, but this is not going to be easy, and environmentalists may come to rue the day that the wind industry became the poster-child of their movement."


Source: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/earth/energy/windpower/11774011/Giant-wind-farm-scrapped-following-planning-changes.html

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LPGA demands transparency in reallocation of LPG quota

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July 30:

lpg

The LPG Association of Pakistan has urged Federal Petroleum Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi to look into and ensure complete transparency in the re-allocation of LPG quota’s by Pak-Arab Refinery Company (PARCO) saying that all allocations should be made through open tender systems.

In a statement issued here, LPG Association of Pakistan Chairman Farooq Iftikhar said that all marketing companies approved by OGRA should be given equal opportunities to participate in the PARCO bids for LPG.

He said that at present the PARCO was producing 450 to 500 MT of LPG per day which was allocated to 16 marketing companies only. He said that allocation agreements had since expired but instead of calling open tenders, the PARCO management was trying to strike a deal quietly in the next couple of days.

Farooq Iftikhar said that there were 94 marketing companies working across the country but the PARCO was re-allocating LPG to only 16 marketing companies through negotiations.

He said that all marketing companies should be provided a level playing field through open tender system as due to the present policy of PARCO’s management, majority of the marketing companies are left with no choice but to sell imported LPG.

The chairman said the ministry of petroleum should look into the matters of PARCO and make its management to call open tenders for LPG as was done in the case of LPG allocations of GHBL, OGDC and other producers.

Farooq Iftikhar also urged the government to down the present high selling price of locally produce LPG and assist the government efforts in economic uplift of the country by providing cheap fuel to the masses.


Source: http://www.pakistantoday.com.pk/2015/07/30/business/lpga-demands-transparency-in-reallocation-of-lpg-quota/

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Subsea 7 to install West Nile Delta subsea spread

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July 30:




LUXEMBOURG – BP has awarded Subsea 7 a $500-million contract for the subsea development of the Taurus and Libra fields offshore Egypt.

This represents the first phase of the West Nile Delta project in water depths of around 800 m (2,624 ft).

Subsea 7 will be responsible for engineering, procurement, installation, and pre-commissioning of subsea infrastructure for nine wells, including 75 km (46.6 mi) of umbilicals and 100 km (62 mi) of pipeline.

It will manage the program from its Global Projects Centre in London, with fabrication of the subsea structures and spools to be performed at the Petrojet Maadia yard near Alexandria.

Offshore installation is expected to start during the second half of 2016 using the pipelay vessel Seven Borealis and the heavy construction vessel Seven Arctic.

Elsewhere, Subsea 7 has completed installation of bundles and pipelines for the Talisman-operated Montrose project in the UK central North Sea, and has started pipelay for Premier’s Catcher project in the same sector.



Source: http://www.offshore-mag.com/articles/2015/07/subsea-7-to-install-west-nile-delta-subsea-spread.html

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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Peabody Energy - Thoughts About Bankruptcy And The Hedging Program

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July 29:

Summary

  • Bankruptcy fears have put enormous pressure on Peabody's shares.
  • The hedging program has been a nightmare in 2015.
  • I present my views on these topics.
In my view, Peabody Energy's (NYSE: BTU) second-quarter report was not bad at all. The stock market agreed with this stance on the day of the earnings release, and Peabody's shares gained 14% in one day. There's little to celebrate, of course, as Peabody's shares are down 84% year-to-date. Just like many others, I awaited the company's earnings call to hear Peabody' thoughts on its own future.
In my view, the only question that is on investor's minds right now is whether Peabody plans to file for bankruptcy. Such fears brought the company's stock to the $1 level. Walter Energy has already filed for bankruptcy protection. Alpha Natural Resources is on the verge of doing the same. I read comments to my articles, and a considerable number of people argue that Peabody Energy should file for bankruptcy as soon as possible in order to gain competitive advantage. In this light, it's important to watch both the company's actions and words to try and anticipate its plans.
I am not naive. No manager in the world will tell you that he spends his nights dreaming about bankruptcy. However, I think that it is possible to access chances of bankruptcy based on the managements' action and the company's financial position. Here is what Peabody's CEO had to say during the quarterly earnings call: "Make no mistake, Peabody is committed to work through these highly demanding conditions". The company's CFO mirrored his view when speaking about whether the company will be able to repay $1.5 billion of debt in 2018: "2018 maturity is about three years away, so we feel like we have plenty of runway to deal with that as the date approaches". I've been reading Walter Energy's conference calls for several years, and I can't remember that the management stated something similar. Indeed, I've just re-read Walter Energy's fourth-quarter earnings call - it was total ignorance from the company's management. The fact that Peabody's management tries to address the market's worries and discuss them is a good sign. Burying one's head in the sand has never been a good strategy. In my view, Peabody's actions, including the change of CFO, the sale of assets, the reduction of spending and production cuts confirm that the company is willing to continue as a going concern.
Now let's talk about Peabody's hedging program, which has been a source of more than $200 million loss in 2015. In fact, the unfortunate hedging program could have been a major driver for the change of CFO. The new CFO stated that hedging losses were related to currency, and that the majority of the remaining hedge losses would roll off over the next two years. The currency is, of course, the Australian dollar, which has substantially weakened against the U.S. dollar this year. I've notice a comment here on SA that now was the time to hedge while the Australian dollar was low. I would like to argue that a resource company with mines in Australia should not hedge the Australian dollar exposure at all. Australia is a resource-rich country. When commodity prices go up, the Australian dollar goes up as well. Does it increase costs for Peabody? Yes. Does it hurt the bottom line? No! Peabody produces coal, and the times when Australian dollar appreciates are typically the times when coal prices appreciate as well. In this light, hedging is speculation for Peabody.
All in all, I think that Peabody Energy will continue to fight for survival without filing for bankruptcy protection. In this light, Peabody's shares present a speculative opportunity after they have been almost destroyed by the market.

Source: http://seekingalpha.com/article/3371815-peabody-energy-thoughts-about-bankruptcy-and-the-hedging-program

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Gas Awakening From U.S. Shale Slumber as LNG Shipments Near

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July 29:

In a dock opening onto the Hooghly River near central Kolkata, one of India’s most lethal new weapons is going through a final outfit.
The Kadmatt is a submarine killer, bristling with technology to sniff out and destroy underwater predators. It’s the second of four warships in India’s first dedicated anti-submarine force -- a key part of plans to spend at least $61 billion on expanding the navy’s size by about half in 12 years.
The build-up is mostly aimed at deterring China from establishing a foothold in the Indian Ocean. It also serves another goal: Transforming India’s warship-building industry into an exporting force that can supply the region, including U.S. partners in Asia wary of China’s increased assertiveness.
“India’s naval build-up is certainly occurring in the context of India moving towards a greater alignment with U.S. and its allies to balance China,” said David Brewster, a specialist in Indo-Pacific security at the Australian National University in Canberra. “India wants to be able to demonstrate that Beijing’s activities in South Asia do not come without a cost, and Delhi is also able to play in China’s neighborhood.”
China showed its growing naval prowess when it deployed a nuclear-powered submarine to patrol the Indian Ocean for the first time last year, while a diesel-powered one docked twice in Sri Lanka. India says another Chinese submarine docked in May and July in Pakistan, which is reportedly looking to buy eight submarines in what would be China’s biggest arms export deal.

Obama Help

The U.S.’s Seventh Fleet has patrolled Asia’s waters since World War II and is backing India’s naval expansion. On a January visit to New Delhi, President Barack Obama pledged to explore ways of sharing aircraft carrier technology. The two countries also flagged the need to safeguard maritime security in the South China Sea, where neither has territorial claims.
India’s present fleet of 137 ships falls far short of the more than 300 vessels in China, which has Asia’s biggest navy. China boasts at least 62 submarines, including four capable of firing nuclear ballistic missiles, according to the Pentagon.
“We would like to have the Moon,” Navy Vice Chief P. Murugesan told reporters on July 14, acknowledging that its goal of a 200-ship navy by 2027 was ambitious.
The vessels on India’s wish list show Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s intent on expanding the navy’s influence from Africa to the Western Pacific. Most of them will be made in India, a sign that moves to upgrade the country’s shipyards are starting to pay off for the world’s biggest importer of weapons.

100 Warships

India plans to add at least 100 new warships, including two aircraft carriers, as well as three nuclear powered submarines capable of firing nuclear-tipped ballistic missiles. It will also tender for submarine-rescue vessels, a first for a navy that’s operated submarines for four decades.
“What we are seeing here is a significant ramping up of blue-water capacity,” said Collin Koh Swee Lean, an associate research fellow at the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies in Singapore. The expansion would help maintain India’s regional naval supremacy and project power, he said.
Part of that strategy involves overseas sales. India recently made its first ever warship export to the island nation of Mauritius. The patrol vessel was built by Kolkata-based Garden Reach Shipbuilders and Engineers Ltd., one of four government-run shipyards.
The same company is bidding to win a Philippine tender for warships, and last year India agreed to sell Vietnam four offshore patrol boats. Both nations compete with China for territory in disputed waters.

Billionaire Invests

India wants to produce all of the components on its naval vessels domestically by 2030, Navy Chief Admiral RK Dhowan said this month. Now it only makes about a third of weapons and sensors, and about 60 percent of propulsion systems.
To make that happen, Dhowan wants private firms involved. Billionaire Anil Ambani said this month his Reliance Anil Dhirubhai Ambani Group Ltd. would make a 50 billion rupee ($780 million) investment in a shipyard on India’s western coastline.
While India is capable of building warships, it relies on the U.S., Russia and Europe for technology and lags the world’s bigger players, according to Siemon Wezeman, a senior researcher at the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
“India does not have a very glorious record in defense manufacturing, and certainly not for exports,” he said. “Things may change for the better with the private sector.”
India is also reaching out to the region. It’s boosting ties with Mauritius and Seychelles, and has offered to help Myanmar modernize its navy. India is also hosting naval exercises with the U.S. and Japan later this year, and holding its first-ever drills with Australia in September.
Chinese experts led by Defense Ministry spokesman Senior Colonel Yang Yujun told Indian media this month that clashes are possible if India views the adjacent ocean as its “backyard.”
“India wants to take a leadership role in the Indian Ocean and ultimately become the predominant naval power,” ANU’s Brewster said. “Its moves reflect an instinctive view among many in Delhi that if the Indian Ocean is not actually India’s Ocean, then in an ideal world it ought to be.”


Source: http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-07-29/gas-awakening-from-u-s-shale-slumber-as-lng-shipments-near

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SolarCity narrows Q2 loss as revenue surges to record

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July 29:


 SolarCity


SolarCity, the leader in US solar rooftop systems, halved its second quarter loss to $22.4m, or 23 cents a share, versus a $47.7m loss, or 52 cents, a year earlier.

The California-based company said excluding items, the loss was $1.61 a share, within its $1.60 to $1.70 forecast in May.

The improvement was mainly a result of a 68% surge in revenue to a record $102.8m, as installations in the quarter were a high of 189MW versus 107MW a year earlier.

Residential installations were 168MW against 90MW year-on-year, while commercial rose to 21MW from 17MW. First quarter installations were 153MW – 139MW residential and 14MW commercial.Looking ahead, SolarCity expects to add 260MW in new capacity in the third quarter. It left unchanged its 2015 forecast at 920MW to 1GW, versus 502MW last year.

Source: https://www.blogger.com/blogger.g?blogID=8479946400539425401#editor/target=post;postID=6676311874799788602

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Maduro hits out at ‘provoker’ Granger

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July 29:


NICOLAS MADURO criticised Guyanese President David Granger’s “aggressive provocation” over a Venezuelan dispute in Guyana with oil giant ExxonMobil on Tuesday.

Speaking after a meeting with UN secretary general Ban Ki Moon, the Venezuelan president said that Mr Granger would “have to rectify a situation that harms his own people.”

But Mr Maduro put the majority of the blame on ExxonMobil, which announced a major oil find in May in disputed waters off Guyana’s Caribbean coast.

ExxonMobil has come into conflict before with Venezuela’s socialist government over legislation requiring foreign oil firms to become junior partners with the government.

Mr Granger’s APNU-Alliance for Change party narrowly beat the left-wing People’s Progressive Party in May’s general election amid accusations of vote-rigging.

Mr Maduro pointed out that leaders of the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) recently called a summit of the 12-strong Union of South American Nations (Unasur), but said: “I am informed unofficially that President Granger refuses to attend the summit.”

During the meeting with Mr Ban, the Venezuelan president reiterated his country’s historical claim to the sparsely-populated Esequibo region of Guyana, which comprises the western two-thirds of the country.

Earlier this week Mr Maduro said: “The Esequibo has always been Venezuelan. We are reclaiming what is fair and what belongs to us — what was taken from us by the British empire.”

Mr Ban pledged to send a commission to the neighbouring South American countries to arrange a meeting in line with the 1966 Geneva agreement between Venezuela and Britain, three months before Guyana won independence.

That agreement provided for meetings between two delegates from each side to resolve the territorial dispute.

Britain first took control of the Dutch colony in Guyana during the Napoleonic wars, but following independence from Spain, liberation leader Simon Bolivar claimed the Esequibo for the then-nation of Great Colombia.

The region was signed over to Britain in 1899 by a US court, with Venezuela represented by a US lawyer.

Mr Granger has said that his country would seek to resolve the border issue in international courts. Both presidents have affirmed that the conflict will be settled without violence.


Source: http://www.morningstaronline.co.uk/a-7259-Maduro-hits-out-at-provoker-Granger

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China Shenhua sees first-half net profit slide

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July 29:

China Shenhua Energy Co, the country’s largest coal mining group, said yesterday that its net profit for the first six months dropped 45.6 percent year on year to 11.73 billion yuan (US$1.9 billion) .

Business income for the period fell 32.1 percent to 87.78 billion yuan, it said.

The slump was due to weak demand, which affected both sales — down 24.2 percent in the period — and prices, it said, adding that government policies to encourage the use of non-fossil fuels also damaged its sales figures.

Coal accounts for 66 percent of China’s primary energy consumption, 35 percentage points higher than the world average.

The country’s coal output last year fell for the first time this century as a result of slowing economic growth, efforts to cut air pollution and increased investment in renewable energy.

Coal production in the first four months fell 6.1 percent to 1.15 billion tons, accelerating from a 3.5 percent dip in the first three months.

Source: http://www.shanghaidaily.com/business/energy/China-Shenhua-sees-firsthalf-net-profit-slide/shdaily.shtml

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Clean energy sector adds 695 MW in Q1

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July 29:



New capacity addition in the renewable energy sector stood at 695 MW during the first quarter of this fiscal. The April-June 2015 quarter also saw the total solar power installed capacity in the country cross 4,000 MW.

During Q1 of this fiscal, solar segment added almost as much capacity as wind sector. i.e, wind and solar contributed 319 MW and 318 MW respectively to the new capacity addition during the quarter. Small hydro and waste-to-power contributed 46 MW and 12 MW respectively.

Thus, as of June 30, 2015, total grid-interactive installed renewable power capacity in the country stood at 36,471 MW. Total installed capacity of wind power stood at 23,763 mw. Bio-power (comprising biomass and gasification and bagasse cogeneration) occupied the second position with cumulative capacity of 4419 MW.4460 MW target

Small hydro segment was the third major segment with total installed capacity of 4102 MW. Solar occupied the fourth position with a total installed capacity of 4061 MW. Waste-to-power had an installed capacity of 127 MW respectively.

Mean while, the government has fixed annual capacity addition target at 4460 MW, reported to be the among highest annual target set by the government, for this fiscal.

Of the proposed 4460 MW new capacity addition, wind is expected to contribute 2,400 MW, followed by solar (1400 MW), small hydro (250 MW), Bio-power (400) and waste-to-power (10MW).The Government has already approved a plan to set up 2000 MW grid connected solar power capacity under phase II of National Solar Mission.


Source: http://www.thehindu.com/business/Industry/clean-energy-sector-adds-695-mw-in-q1/article7478005.ece

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Access Bank chief says Techno Oil LPG Plant big dream

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July 29:

Lagos – The Executive Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has described the LPG plant being built by Techno Oil as a big dream that could set Nigeria on course for growth.
Ogbonna made the statement on Wednesday in Lagos at a Town Hall Meeting on LPG Adoption, organised by Techno Oil Ltd.
He said that Access Bank would remain partners in progress with companies embarking on projects that would help Nigeria to turn the corner in its quest for self-reliance.
“I think there is no gainsaying the fact that Techno Oil is a successful brand. So we are happy to be associated with the company.
“As a bank, we are fully in support not only of the LPG project but the vision, initiative and drive that the promoters of Techno Oil have for the company and the Nigerian economy.
Ogbonna said that Access Bank had built fruitful and lasting relationship with Techno Oil, praising the company for investing in a sector that would have direct impact on growth.
He praised the company for building the plant, expected to offer no fewer than 1,000 jobs to Nigerians.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, said the plant was being constructed in partnership with a foreign firm that had built similar plants in over 15 African and Asian countries.
Obi said her company embarked on the project as part of its contribution to the drive by the Federal Government to deepen LPG consumption in Nigeria.
She re-stated that although the use of cooking gas had increased by about 36.8 per cent in Nigeria in the past three years, over 80 per cent of households still relied on kerosene, firewood and other energy sources.
According to her, Nigeria has a population of over 170 million people, yet the country has less than one million cooking gas cylinders in circulation.
“The huge capital expended annually on the importation of LPG cylinders is a monumental loss to this country.
“With the completion of this project, Nigeria will curb its huge capital flight and save about five billion naira spent annually to import cylinders.
She expressed optimism that the plant would assist in checking capital flight and end the huge kerosene subsidy, estimated at over N150 billion being expended by government annually.
The industrialist lamented that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa, 5.5kg and Morocco 44kg per capita.
She argued that making more Nigerians to embrace cooking gas instead of using firewood would help in the drive to sustain the environment and preserve the fragile Eco-system.
Obi listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG as inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets and high cost of cylinders.
“The private sector cannot do it alone. Our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and provide the enabling environment and infrastructure.
The LPG plant, which is located at Ajah, near Lagos is expected to roll out about five million cylinders annually beginning from November this year.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/access-bank-chief-says-techno-oil-lpg-plant-big-dream/#sthash.uXaICIy2.dpuf
Lagos – The Executive Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has described the LPG plant being built by Techno Oil as a big dream that could set Nigeria on course for growth.
Ogbonna made the statement on Wednesday in Lagos at a Town Hall Meeting on LPG Adoption, organised by Techno Oil Ltd.
He said that Access Bank would remain partners in progress with companies embarking on projects that would help Nigeria to turn the corner in its quest for self-reliance.
“I think there is no gainsaying the fact that Techno Oil is a successful brand. So we are happy to be associated with the company.
“As a bank, we are fully in support not only of the LPG project but the vision, initiative and drive that the promoters of Techno Oil have for the company and the Nigerian economy.
Ogbonna said that Access Bank had built fruitful and lasting relationship with Techno Oil, praising the company for investing in a sector that would have direct impact on growth.
He praised the company for building the plant, expected to offer no fewer than 1,000 jobs to Nigerians.
The Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, said the plant was being constructed in partnership with a foreign firm that had built similar plants in over 15 African and Asian countries.
Obi said her company embarked on the project as part of its contribution to the drive by the Federal Government to deepen LPG consumption in Nigeria.
She re-stated that although the use of cooking gas had increased by about 36.8 per cent in Nigeria in the past three years, over 80 per cent of households still relied on kerosene, firewood and other energy sources.
According to her, Nigeria has a population of over 170 million people, yet the country has less than one million cooking gas cylinders in circulation.
“The huge capital expended annually on the importation of LPG cylinders is a monumental loss to this country.
“With the completion of this project, Nigeria will curb its huge capital flight and save about five billion naira spent annually to import cylinders.
She expressed optimism that the plant would assist in checking capital flight and end the huge kerosene subsidy, estimated at over N150 billion being expended by government annually.
The industrialist lamented that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa, 5.5kg and Morocco 44kg per capita.
She argued that making more Nigerians to embrace cooking gas instead of using firewood would help in the drive to sustain the environment and preserve the fragile Eco-system.
Obi listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG as inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets and high cost of cylinders.
“The private sector cannot do it alone. Our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and provide the enabling environment and infrastructure.
The LPG plant, which is located at Ajah, near Lagos is expected to roll out about five million cylinders annually beginning from November this year.
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/access-bank-chief-says-techno-oil-lpg-plant-big-dream/#sthash.uXaICIy2.dpuf
Lagos – The Executive Director of Access Bank Plc., Mr Roosevelt Ogbonna, has described the LPG plant being built by Techno Oil as a big dream that could set Nigeria on course for growth.

Ogbonna made the statement on Wednesday in Lagos at a Town Hall Meeting on LPG Adoption, organised by Techno Oil Ltd.

He said that Access Bank would remain partners in progress with companies embarking on projects that would help Nigeria to turn the corner in its quest for self-reliance.

“I think there is no gainsaying the fact that Techno Oil is a successful brand. So we are happy to be associated with the company.

“As a bank, we are fully in support not only of the LPG project but the vision, initiative and drive that the promoters of Techno Oil have for the company and the Nigerian economy.

Ogbonna said that Access Bank had built fruitful and lasting relationship with Techno Oil, praising the company for investing in a sector that would have direct impact on growth.

He praised the company for building the plant, expected to offer no fewer than 1,000 jobs to Nigerians.

The Executive Vice-Chairman of Techno Oil, Mrs Nkechi Obi, said the plant was being constructed in partnership with a foreign firm that had built similar plants in over 15 African and Asian countries.

Obi said her company embarked on the project as part of its contribution to the drive by the Federal Government to deepen LPG consumption in Nigeria.

She re-stated that although the use of cooking gas had increased by about 36.8 per cent in Nigeria in the past three years, over 80 per cent of households still relied on kerosene, firewood and other energy sources.

According to her, Nigeria has a population of over 170 million people, yet the country has less than one million cooking gas cylinders in circulation.

“The huge capital expended annually on the importation of LPG cylinders is a monumental loss to this country.

“With the completion of this project, Nigeria will curb its huge capital flight and save about five billion naira spent annually to import cylinders.

She expressed optimism that the plant would assist in checking capital flight and end the huge kerosene subsidy, estimated at over N150 billion being expended by government annually.

The industrialist lamented that Nigeria still ranked lowest in sub-Saharan Africa in per capita usage of LPG, consuming 1.1kg compared with Ghana at 3.0kg; South Africa, 5.5kg and Morocco 44kg per capita.

She argued that making more Nigerians to embrace cooking gas instead of using firewood would help in the drive to sustain the environment and preserve the fragile Eco-system.

Obi listed some challenges that had been making it difficult for more Nigerians to embrace LPG as inadequate public awareness on safety, limited distributive outlets and high cost of cylinders.

“The private sector cannot do it alone. Our humble submission is for government to handle the issue of awareness and provide the enabling environment and infrastructure.

The LPG plant, which is located at Ajah, near Lagos is expected to roll out about five million cylinders annually beginning from November this year.


Source: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/07/access-bank-chief-says-techno-oil-lpg-plant-big-dream/

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