Sourcing people skills, capital equipment and money - SWOT analyses - Prepare due-diligence data rooms and pre-feasibility and bankable feasibility reports for Funding Acquisitions. Execute within budget and ontime with highly skilled best of breed cross border project management teams. Future Forecasting for strategic planning
Wednesday, 22 September 2010
European Investment Bank supports GBP 250m gas network expansion and upgrade in Scotland and southern England
The European Investment Bank has agreed to lend GBP250 million for the replacement, reinforcement and expansion of the gas distribution networks operated by Scotland Gas Networks and Southern Gas Networks. The two companies, wholly owned by Scotia Gas Networks (SGN), will receive GBP150m and GBP100m respectively. The loan will be for up to 16 years and will enable replacement of nearly 1,000km of cast iron pipes, increase connections to final customers and provide new pipelines linked to the national distribution network. The three year infrastructure development programme will be undertaken from 2010 to 2013 and will ensure the maintenance of a safe and reliable service for existing customers, as well as catering for increased capacity/storage and peak requirements.
Increasing domestic, commercial and industrial gas use will replace less efficient use of more polluting energy sources, contributing to EU energy and environmental objectives, in particular concerning the supply security and diversification. The project will also involve expanding the gas network by 120km in Scotland and 175km in southern England, and provide gas services to remote parts of the Scottish Highlands and Islands, an EU convergence region. It is expected that around 40,000 new customer connections will be made during the year, with approximately 20,000 in each network area.
“The European Investment Bank recognises the investment challenges essential to ensuring the reliable provision of gas across the UK. We are committed to working closely with leading energy companies investing in improved delivery of gas when and where it is needed, alongside increasing storage and import capacity. This project complements EIB financing of LNG storage facilities at key UK facilities.” said Simon Brooks, European Investment Bank Vice President responsible for the United Kingdom.
SGN Chief Executive Officer John Morea said: “Borrowing long-term finance from the EIB for our company helps secure both the short and medium term future of both our gas distribution networks. Since our formation in 2005, we have spent many millions of pounds on the continued expansion and refurbishment of our gas networks, ensuring safe and reliable gas supplies for our customers far into the future. We are committed to ensuring gas has a major part to play in the UK's future energy mix and this financing will help us meet our current commitments and achieve our objectives.
The European Investment Bank is the long-term lending institution of the European Union, whose shareholders are the 27 member states. The promotion of sustainable, competitive and secure sources of energy is a key policy objective of the European Union and the European Investment Bank has made lending to support Europe’s energy objectives a top priority. Over the last five years the institution has provided over GBP 4.5bn for key energy infrastructure across the United Kingdom and UK energy projects totalling GBP 1.8bn are currently being examined by the European Investment Bank. Key funding has been provided to six of the eight UK gas distribution networks by the EIB.
SGN is the UK's second largest gas distribution company, operating two of the largest gas networks. Scotland Gas Networks covers the whole of Scotland and Southern Gas Networks covers central southern and south east England. The combined distribution networks deliver gas safely and efficiently to over 5.7 million homes and businesses.
Posted by Editorial at 03:18
Tuesday, 21 September 2010
The global bottled water market valuation grew by 7% in 2006 to reach a value of $60,938.1 million. The volume of bottled water grew by 8.1% in 2006 to 115,393.5 million liters. In 2011, the market is forecast to have a value of $86,421.2 million, an increase of 41.8% since 2006. In 2011, the market is forecast to have a volume of 174,286.6 million liters, an increase of 51% since 2006.
The global rate of consumption more than quadrupled between 1990 and 2005. Purified water is currently the leading global seller, with U.S. companies dominating the field, and natural spring water, purified water and flavored water being the fastest-growing market segments.
Effects of bottled water
The major criticism of bottled water concerns the bottles themselves. Individual use bottled water is generally packaged in Polyethylene terephthalate (PET). According to a NAPCOR study, PET water bottles account for 50% of all the PET bottles and containers collected by curbside recycling, and the recycling rate for water bottles is 23.4%, an increase over the 2006 rate of 20.1%. PET bottled water containers make up one-third of 1 percent of the waste stream in the United States.
The International Bottled Water Association also reports that the average weight of a plastic bottle water was 13.83 grams in 2007, compared to 18.90 grams in 2000, representing a 26.7% decline. Pepsi-Co has since introduced a bottle weighing 10.9 grams and using 20 percent less plastic, which it says is the lightest bottle of its kind that is nationally distributed.
An estimated 50 billion bottles of water are consumed per annum in the US and around 200 billion bottles globally.
Posted by Editorial at 14:00
Monday 20 September 2010
Contracts were signed, on 20 September, for two loans backed by resources made available to the Italian banking group UniCredit Leasing by the European Investment Bank (EIB) to support investment by small and medium-sized Italian businesses and projects in the renewable energy and environmental infrastructure sectors. The EIB has granted UniCredit Leasing two credit lines designed to further strengthen cooperation with the company. These latest contracts provide for €350 million for financing investments by SMEs and €200 million for supporting renewable energy and energy efficiency projects.
Posted by Editorial at 05:28
Sunday, 19 September 2010
International Energy Association forecasts some $250 billion of investment in LNG business over the next 30 years.
"For bankers and advisors the day of the LNG specialist is therefore with us and has been so for a number of years."
A successful natural gas venture involves a series of independent projects in order to take gas extracted from the wellhead through processing, liquefaction, storage, transportation and regasification up to delivery of gas to the wholesale end customers. Traditionally, the various links in this chain were separately and independently developed, but this no longer holds true. An LNG project can therefore range from a narrowly defined "within fence" construction of, say , a facility to the creation of a massive multi-jurisdictional business that covers all or the major part of the energy chain. Recent examples of this latter phenomenon include the Qartar Gas II project and Phase 2 of the Sakhalin II project in Russia. It is not therefore possible in today's world to speak of a definitively of a single methodology for financing LNG projects as the underlying dynamics vary so widely and the scope for innovative financing structures increases. Financing techniques, and indeed financiers, have evolved rapidly to meet the greater opportunities and challenges which the industry now presents. While a number of financing structures remain along relatively straightforward and traditional lines ( e.g. single facility tolling structures or vessel financing on an asset-backed basis), the headline deals are now far more complicated and require a deep understanding of the issues arising throughout the energy chain.
To date, the LNG industry has raised more than $95bn of debt, according to Dealogic, of which over $60bn was for liqufaction projects, constituting over 50% of the total capital raised. But the assumption that capital always available for good projects cannot always be made, not only because of the global financial crisis, but also beacause of the sheer size of recent LNG Projects. Before 2009, most projects were financed primarily by commercial banks, aided by export credit agencies (ECAs) where political-risk protection was required. Around 30 commercial banks provided about two thirds of project finance lending volume and they were typically able to provide up to $2bn-3bn in aggregate for any one project adequate for most projects when combined with ECAs.
Nordic Partnership are looking at a range of innovative financial regasification structures for a client in order to optimize the funding having assembled a specialist LNG funding team with direct access to LNG funding both in terms of equity and debt.
Asia LNG Summit 2010 October 13th –14th, 2010 | Beijing, China
Asia LNG Summit 2010 October 13th –14th, 2010 | Beijing, China
For all enquiries contact Nordic Partnership +44 207 193 3604
Posted by Editorial at 10:48
Sunday, 12 September 2010
By Timothy R. Barry
What qualities are most important for a project leader to be effective? Over the past few years, the people at ESI International, world leaders in Project Management Training, have looked in to what makes an effective project leader. With the unique opportunity to ask some of the most talented project leaders in the world on their Project Leadership courses ESI have managed to collect a running tally on their responses. Below are the top 10 in rank order according to frequency listed.
Inspires a Shared Vision
An effective project leader is often described as having a vision of where to go and the ability to articulate it. Visionaries thrive on change and being able to draw new boundaries. It was once said that a leader is someone who "lifts us up, gives us a reason for being and gives the vision and spirit to change." Visionary leaders enable people to feel they have a real stake in the project. They empower people to experience the vision on their own. According to Bennis "They offer people opportunities to create their own vision, to explore what the vision will mean to their jobs and lives, and to envision their future as part of the vision for the organisation." (Bennis, 1997)
The ability to communicate with people at all levels is almost always named as the second most important skill by project managers and team members. Project leadership calls for clear communication about goals, responsibility, performance, expectations and feedback.
There is a great deal of value placed on openness and directness. The project leader is also the team's link to the larger organisation. The leader must have the ability to effectively negotiate and use persuasion when necessary to ensure the success of the team and project. Through effective communication, project leaders support individual and team achievements by creating explicit guidelines for accomplishing results and for the career advancement of team members.
One of the most important things a project leader must remember is that his or her actions, and not words, set the modus operandi for the team. Good leadership demands commitment to, and demonstration of, ethical practices. Creating standards for ethical behaviour for oneself and living by these standards, as well as rewarding those who exemplify these practices, are responsibilities of project leaders. Leadership motivated by self-interest does not serve the well being of the team. Leadership based on integrity represents nothing less than a set of values others share, behaviour consistent with values and dedication to honesty with self and team members. In other words the leader "walks the talk" and in the process earns trust.
Plain and simple, we don't like leaders who are negative - they bring us down. We want leaders with enthusiasm, with a bounce in their step, with a can-do attitude. We want to believe that we are part of an invigorating journey - we want to feel alive. We tend to follow people with a can-do attitude, not those who give us 200 reasons why something can't be done. Enthusiastic leaders are committed to their goals and express this commitment through optimism. Leadership emerges as someone expresses such confident commitment to a project that others want to share his or her optimistic expectations. Enthusiasm is contagious and effective leaders know it.
What is the difference between empathy and sympathy? Although the words are similar, they are, in fact, mutually exclusive. According to Norman Paul, in sympathy the subject is principally absorbed in his or her own feelings as they are projected into the object and has little concern for the reality and validity of the object's special experience. Empathy, on the other hand, presupposes the existence of the object as a separate individual, entitled to his or her own feelings, ideas and emotional history (Paul, 1970). As one student so eloquently put it, "It's nice when a project leader acknowledges that we all have a life outside of work."
Simply put, to enlist in another's cause, we must believe that that person knows what he or she is doing. Leadership competence does not however necessarily refer to the project leader's technical abilities in the core technology of the business. As project management continues to be recognised as a field in and of itself, project leaders will be chosen based on their ability to successfully lead others rather than on technical expertise, as in the past. Having a winning track record is the surest way to be considered competent. Expertise in leadership skills is another dimension in competence. The ability to challenge, inspire, enable, model and encourage must be demonstrated if leaders are to be seen as capable and competent.
Ability to Delegate Tasks
Trust is an essential element in the relationship of a project leader and his or her team. You demonstrate your trust in others through your actions - how much you check and control their work, how much you delegate and how much you allow people to participate. Individuals who are unable to trust other people often fail as leaders and forever remain little more that micro-managers, or end up doing all of the work themselves. As one project management student put it, "A good leader is a little lazy." An interesting perspective!
Cool Under Pressure
In a perfect world, projects would be delivered on time, under budget and with no major problems or obstacles to overcome. But we don't live in a perfect world - projects have problems. A leader with a hardy attitude will take these problems in stride. When leaders encounter a stressful event, they consider it interesting, they feel they can influence the outcome and they see it as an opportunity. "Out of the uncertainty and chaos of change, leaders rise up and articulate a new image of the future that pulls the project together." (Bennis 1997) And remember - never let them see you sweat.
A team builder can best be defined as a strong person who provides the substance that holds the team together in common purpose toward the right objective. In order for a team to progress from a group of strangers to a single cohesive unit, the leader must understand the process and dynamics required for this transformation. He or she must also know the appropriate leadership style to use during each stage of team development. The leader must also have an understanding of the different team players styles and how to capitalise on each at the proper time, for the problem at hand.
Problem Solving Skills
Although an effective leader is said to share problem-solving responsibilities with the team, we expect our project leaders to have excellent problem-solving skills themselves. They have a "fresh, creative response to here-and-now opportunities," and not much concern with how others have performed them. (Kouzes 1987)
Posted by Editorial at 12:27
Friday, 10 September 2010
6 August 2010
President Jacob Zuma on Friday concluded his state visit to Lesotho by signing several agreements with the landlocked country.
During his two-day visit an agreement on a grant from the African Renaissance Fund for the implementation of the advance infrastructure component of the Metolong Dam and water supply programme was signed.
Other agreements included memorandums of understanding on economic cooperation, as well as concerning cooperation in the legal field, and a declaration of intent on the second phase of the Lesotho Highlands Water Project.
Strengthening existing cooperation
Eight cabinet ministers as well as the speaker of the national assembly and senior government officials accompanied the president on his trip, which included talks with Lesotho Prime Minister Pakalitha Bethuel Mosisili.
Zuma also addressed the joint sitting of Parliament, where he called for strengthening of the existing cooperation in political, economic, social and security sectors of the two countries.
He also launched the dialogue between South African and Lesotho businesspeople, where discussions focused on issues that touch the lives of ordinary people like the facilitation of free movement of people and goods along the common borders.
Cooperation in the fields of tourism, transport and water sectors; implementation of all the bilateral agreements were also on the agenda.
US Security Council seat
In a joint communiqué, the Prime Minister assured President Zuma of Lesotho’s unwavering support for South Africa's candidature for the non-permanent seat in the United Nations Security Council for the 2011/12 term.
Lesotho also thanked South Africa for its support during the attacks that were made at the Makoanyane Military Base, the State House and against some residents of Maseru in April 2009.
SA was commended for the role it plays in peace keeping operations particularly for providing troops in the Sudan, the Democratic Republic of Congo and Burundi.
President Zuma extended an invitation, which was accepted, to Lesotho King Letsie III to visit South Africa.
For information about the Lesotho Highlands Project Development of Water Resources
To learn more click here
For information about the Lesotho Highlands Project Development of Water Resources
To learn more click here
Posted by Editorial at 10:57