Strategic financing, better partnerships needed to move Region’s energy transition

first_imgParticipants at the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum in Nassau, The Bahamas in January Ms, Tessa Williams-Robertson of the CDB Ms.Lisa Johnson. US Representative at the opening of CSEF V Mr. Jerry Butler of the IDB Mr. Glynn Morris of GIZ/REETA Mr. Mark Lambrides of the World Bank Ms. Kim Osborne of the OAS Mr. Matthew Straub, Canadian Representative Participants at the Energy Forum The transition to a mix of energy systems from regional electricity grids that are based solely on fossil fuels requires major strategic financing, according to bankers and energy officials. Finance was as a key topic of discussion at the Fifth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF V) held in The Bahamas in 23-25 January, 2017, under the theme ‘Future Energy 2027’, with key figures calling for appropriate means of funding energy transition. One of the main objectives of the Forum was to propose actions to support the ability of Member States to attract the right type of capital that is capable of delivering sufficient financing for sustainable energy deployment. During one of the panel discussions on the final day of the energy forum, participants explored the structure and level of funding, and the kinds of partnerships required to move energy transition along. There was a clear call for more private sector involvement and for a special component at the next Energy Forum that would focus on engagement with the business community to shape the culture that has to evolve to attract investment. Oct 2, 2020 Oct 15, 2020 Developing countries urgently need finance to green their power sectors https://t.co/rFjcak6Ewt See findings of our new survey pic.twitter.com/Qs4tdFrurO— UN Climate Action (@UNFCCC) February 7, 2017 Financial viability, technical assistance and capacity-building, transparent procurement systems and absorptive capacity, were among the matters that participants felt were critical to attracting the kind of investment in energy in the Region. The challenges they identified included the lack of energy interconnection, and the general perception of the Region being a high risk for investment; lack of economies of scale to attract private sector funding; insufficient awareness of the potential of public private partnerships, and insufficient project preparation. Forum participants, however, acknowledged that financing alone was not the solution to the challenges the Region faced in energy. They argued that there was need to get ready in all kinds of ways and that preparation needed to be done concurrently. It was necessary to broaden the conversation, they said, to include others outside of the energy sector, since the sector was impacted by factors such as poverty, climate change, disaster risk, education, health, human rights and coastal and marine management. CARICOM Heads of Government also had to be clear about how the ambitious energy targets were going to be achieved.  With the recognition that access to secure, cost effective energy is key to its economic transformation, the Community’s Energy Ministers in April 2013,  announced a goal to provide the Region with 47 per cent of its power requirements from renewable energy sources by 2027. “In addition to mobilising financing, we must learn from the lessons that have emerged, particularly during the past five years. We know that Caribbean governments need champions who can promote a clear vision for their energy sectors. As a Region, we must commit to practising good governance; and create more enabling environments if we are to achieve real progress on our renewable energy targets,” Williams said. CDB, which co-hosted the 2014 CSEF, established energy security as a critical cross-cutting theme. Since 2015, the Bank has made renewable energy and energy efficiency a consideration across all its investments in all sectors and has recorded immediate results.   Common Thread   The subject of energy financing was a common thread running through the remarks delivered at the Forum’s opening ceremony that was held on the evening of Monday 23 January. Representatives of international organisations highlighted the areas in which they had provided support and where they were willing to invest.   Longstanding regional partner in the field of energy and CSEF founding partner is the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ)-executed Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme.  Mr. Glynn Morris, GIZ/REETA representative based at the CARICOM Secretariat, spoke briefly of the  support to the Community. He told the gathering that last last year, GIZ was identified as the delegated implementation partner for the EU-funded Technical Assistance Programme for Sustainable Energy in the Caribbean (TAPSEC). The ten million Euro Programme, funded by both GIZ and the European Union, is to be implemented under the 11th EDF Caribbean Regional Indicative Programme (CRIP) over the four-year period from 2017 to 2020. The EU TAPSEC complements the existing GIZ REETA Programme and these programmes will jointly seek to enhance the institutional capacity in the region with an emphasis on the establishment and operations of the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (CCREEE).   Innovative financing was also a recommendation from the Canadian Government representative, Mr. Matthew Straub, First Secretary-Development, of the Canandian High Commission in Barbados. In his remarks, Mr. Straub pointed to the need for strong long-term strategies and innovative financing to move on clean energy. Canada, he said, was a firm supporter of the renewable energy agenda in the Caribbean Region, and possessed an abundance of expertise in that area. He said that his government was pleased to support the Region through the Cdn$5M Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund delivered by the CDB. The Fund aims to strengthen government capacity in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to develop and implement related policies and solutions.  “Together, we have made exciting progress.  For example, we ha regional and multilateral partners to implement the Caribbeaough this platform, CARICOM is creating a more systematic approach to energy policy implementation and project planning.  The United States has allocated more than $2 million to support this platform. “Our joint efforts also have led to multi-million dollar investments in the region, such as gas and wind projects in Jamaica, geothermal projects in St. Kitts & Nevis, and in the not-too-distant future, potential battery storage projects,” she said at the opening ceremony.  She alluded to the energy deals in the Caribbean that the Overseas Private Investment Corporation financed in 2015 to the tune of US$120M. The deals included a 36-megawatt wind farm and a 20-megawatt solar PV installation in Jamaica. Also in 2015, she said, the US government launched a Clean Energy Finance for the Caribbean and Central America, which provided $10M in its first year to catalyse greater private and public sector investment in clean energy projects. Jamaica and Belize benefitted under that programme.   “Concessional financing is also critical to driving sustainable energy innovation in the Caribbean,” she added. “CDB is pleased to report that we have had successes in mobilising such resources to power a clean energy future for the Caribbean Region,” she said. The CDB said that its Borrowing Member Countries now have access to grant and loan resources, and technical support that it has raised from a number of partners and agencies. They include funding from the Government of Canada; the European Investment Bank Climate Action Line of Credit; the European Union Caribbean Investment Facility; the Government of Germany; the Inter-American Development Bank; and the United Kingdom Department for International Development. Ms. Williams-Robertson also spoke of the efficacy of utilising the bilateral route and blending resources through the multilateral financial institutions (MFIs). In addition to taking the appropriate steps to secure the right kind of financing, Mr. Joseph Williams, Sustainable Energy Adviser, CDB, encouraged attendees at the high-level forum to apply lessons learned as they chart a path to energy security. Two Major Leaps Towards a Climate Resilient, Emission-Free… CSEF was established in 2008 as a biennial sustainable energy event in the Caribbean Community (CARICOM).  The CARICOM Secretariat event was organised this year in collaboration with the Government of The Bahamas. Support for the staging of the Forum was provided by: the US Government, through the Organisation of American States (OAS); the German Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), through the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) executed Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Technical Assistance (REETA) Programme; the CDB, through the Canadian Support to the Energy Sector in the Caribbean Fund; the IDB; and the World Bank through the SIDS DOCK Support Programme. The Forum facilitates dialogue and actions towards the adoption of more robust policies and the transfer of appropriate technologies in renewable energy and energy efficiency in CARICOM. It seeks ultimately to enhance stakeholder support and contribution to diversification of the regional energy supply from its current fossil fuels base to a mix that includes significant renewable sources. Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… “As a founding member of the Caribbean Development Bank, we are confident in its capacity to bring energy solutions to the region and… we are equally confident in the CARICOM Energy Unit and its ability and efforts to coordinate regional energy planning,” he said. Ms. Lisa Johnson, Charge d’Affaires, US Embassy in The Bahamas pointed to the Caribbean Energy Security Initiative that the US launched in 2014. The Initiative is aimed at working with leaders in the Region, energy partners, and the private sector to enhance access to financing, improve energy governance and promote greater regional coordination on energy. CARICOM Formulating Energy Security Strategy You may be interested in…center_img Standards, Codes Critical to CARICOM Energy Sector… “I think we are putting our money where our mouth is when it comes to us as a partner with CARICOM and us as a partner with the other entities that work with us,” Mr. Jerry Butler, IDB Executive Director said. The bank’s efforts, he underscored, were focused on improving the socio-economic lot of citizens in the Americas. Focus on the Caribbean was continuous, and Mr. Butler added that the economic sustainability, competitiveness and job creation potential of the Region could be unlocked by focusing on generating its indigenous type of renewable energy. Oct 5, 2020 Funding opportunities and challenges Ms. Tessa Williams-Robertson, Head of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency, at the Caribbean Development Bank (CDB), spoke at the opening ceremony of the Forum and was the keynote presenter of the panel discussion titled Innovative Financing Mechanisms and Tools: How to unlock “the appropriate quantity and quality” of capital for the region’s sustainable energy needs. She pointed to the need to promote and unlock financing towards the clean energy shift in the Region, and the significant role that the private sector had to play. According to the CDB, the Caribbean needs at least US$15B in financing to achieve the 2027 target. “As a Region, we face a number of constraints to accessing financing for sustainable energy development. These include our small market size and the perceived high risk of investing in the Caribbean,” said Ms. Williams-Robertson. She said that to drive the right quantity and quality of investments, Caribbean governments needed to ensure that their legal frameworks allowed and supported sustainable energy financing; establish the feasibility and financial viability of the proposed projects; and determine if capacity-building or technical assistance was needed for implementation. Find Way for Private Sector to Assume Role as Jobs Generator… Oct 6, 2020 Agriculture, climate change, renewable energy to benefit as IDB carves out $13B for lending #CSEFV #FutureEnergy2027 https://t.co/TFv026kIfN pic.twitter.com/CfY2blVHls — CARICOM (@CARICOMorg) January 24, 2017 “…our focus on the Caribbean is not stopping – whether it be smart financing programmes in Barbados, whether it be programmes associated with renewable energy and energy efficiency in Jamaica, or whether it be programmes in Guyana off-grid or on-grid – we try to do everything that we can to bring resources, technology, intelligence and at the same time best practices to everything that we do when it comes to the topic of renewable energy,” he said. Representatives of the World Bank and the Organisation of American States (OAS), who are also energy partners with the Region, participated in the panel discussions and provided examples of their support to the transition to clean energy in the Caribbean. The World Bank is a key partner on the C-SERMS platform and is providing support to several Member States in their quest for clean and sustainable energy. It has invested more than US$600M in the Caribbean, Mr. Mark Lambrides, Senior Energy Specialist at the Bank said. The OAS plays a central role in helping CARICOM Member States to build on and utilise the C-SERMS platform through the support of the US Department of State. “Through the Caribbean Clean Energy Programme, the United States, in coordination with CARICOM, provides resources to accelerate clean energy development in Jamaica and the Eastern Caribbean.  The program has an estimated total public and private investment of $15 million over five years.  “The opportunities are endless, and together we can create the conditions necessary for a stronger, more sustainable, and competitive energy sector in the region,” she said. Other energy partner, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has set aside some US$13B for loans next year of which 30 per cent will go to agriculture, climate change and renewable energy. Twenty per cent of that money will go to the Americas for climate change and renewable energy projects.  Stakeholders want CARICOM Heads of Government to meet on energyParticipants at a recently concluded high level forum want energy to be placed squarely before the Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Heads of Government to generate speedier action and firmer commitments to the transition to renewables. The general thinking at the Fifth Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEF V) held from 23 –…February 1, 2017In “CARDI”Communications Strategy being formulated for Sustainable Energy in CARICOMThe Energy Unit of the CARICOM Secretariat has launched an initiative to formulate a Region-wide communications strategy for sustainable energy. The purpose of the strategy will be to create and increase awareness of challenges and opportunities in the energy sector; to facilitate behavioural change at all levels; to encourage innovation;…June 12, 2018In “CARICOM”CSEF V highlightsThe first full day of the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Forum (CSEFV) discussions concluded on Tuesday evening. A Ministerial discourse started the proceedings. There were two other panel discussions that focused on shifting the Caribbean Sustainable Energy Roadmap and Strategy (C-SERMS) from concept to action; lessons from the last five years of…January 24, 2017In “CARICOM”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

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National Park Service Awards More Than $2.8 Million In Grants To Preserve And Interpret World War II Japanese American Confinement Sites

first_img“As America’s storytellers, the National Park Service is committed to preserving the stories of our shared history,” National Park Service Deputy Director P. Daniel Smith said. “These projects help ensure future generations of Americans learn from the struggles and perseverance of Japanese Americans incarcerated during World War II.”  WASHINGTON, D.C. ― The National Park Service today announced more than $2.8 million in Japanese American Confinement Sites grants to fund 19 preservation, restoration, and education projects. These projects will help tell the story of the more than 120,000 Japanese Americans, two-thirds of whom were U.S. citizens, imprisoned by the U.S. government following the attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941. Over the past 10 years of the grant program, successful projects have included a memorial and exhibit to tell the lesser known stories of Japanese Americans who were forced to leave their homes in Juneau, and nearby Alaskan communities during the war; the restoration of headstones and monuments at the Rohwer cemetery in Arkansas; and the construction of visitors centers in Utah and Wyoming to tell the history of the Topaz and Heart Mountain incarceration sites and the larger, national story of Japanese American World War II incarceration. Today’s announcement brings the current award total to more than $29 million. The full list of the projects receiving funding can be found in the NPS newsroom. For more details about these projects, visit www.nps.gov/JACS/. Among the new grant projects, the Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation will continue to restore the only remaining root cellar at the site. In 1942, incarcerees constructed the root cellar to store produce grown as part of the center’s agricultural program. Courtesy/Heart Mountain Wyoming Foundation Examples of funded projects include:New York Japanese American Oral History Project: The Japanese American Association of New York will collect oral histories of Japanese Americans detained at Ellis Island during World War II, and of those who resettled on the East Coast after the war. Snapshots of Confinement:  The University of Denver will produce a feature-length documentary telling stories of World War II incarceration at the Manzanar and Granada incarceration sites in California and Colorado, incorporating new interviews alongside rarely seen photo albums created by incarcerees. Discrimination, Resilience and Community Building: The Resettlement of Japanese Americans in Eastern Washington after WWII: Spokane-based KSPS Public Television will produce a series of short videos and curriculum for middle-school and high-school students to teach the history of Japanese Americans who were incarcerated at Heart Mountain in Wyoming and Minidoka in Idaho.   Japanese American Confinement Sites grants may be awarded to projects associated with the 10 War Relocation Authority centers established in 1942 and more than 40 additional confinement sites. The program’s mission is to teach future generations about the injustice of the World War II confinement of Japanese Americans and to inspire commitment to equal justice under the law. Successful proposals are chosen through a competitive process that requires applicants to match the grant award with $1 in non-federal funds or “in-kind” contributions for every $2 they receive in federal money. Congress established the Japanese American Confinement Sites grant program in 2006, authorizing a total of $38 million in funding for the life of the program. NPS News: “Sites like Minidoka National Historic Site and Tule Lake National Monument tell a complex chapter of United States history, one that we are honored to preserve for future generations,” said U.S. Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt. “For more than a decade, these grants have supported a wide variety of projects, from oral histories to education programs, and from historic building renovations to digitization of records.”last_img read more

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Downturn must not derail Crossrail

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Fears after Shell Centre and Smithfield Market call-ins

first_imgWould you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletters To access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week.last_img

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‘Queen of green’ loses role at Quintain

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

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Think 2016 was volatile? You ain’t seen nothing yet

first_imgThat hasn’t stopped leading lights of the property world speculating on what could happen in 2017 in what is inevitably Property Week’s most mixed and thought-provoking forecast of recent years. The mood is predictably pretty bullish among Brexiteers and stoically pragmatic – or simply punch-drunk – among remainers.But while it is an admirable industry trait that you all tend to keep your heads while those about you are losing theirs, I’m afraid trying to muddle through in the expectation of jam tomorrow ain’t gonna work.To put it bluntly, the London-centric, business-centric – and dare I say it elitist – view that the Brexit vote was motivated primarily by a desire to regain sovereignty, slash Brussels red tape and jettison old for vastly improved international trade deals is deluded.For a decent chunk of the population, it wasn’t about getting out of Europe, it was about getting Europeans – and all foreign ‘undesirables’ for that matter – out of the UK. Don’t believe me? Watch BBC2 comedy sketch show Revolting, in which prankster ‘Dennis Pound’ canvasses the Essex public for new UKIP policies and elicits genuine calls for hanging to be brought back for immigrant rapists.Make no mistake, people will be baying for blood if May doesn’t deliver on her promise to control immigration, whether there are more starter homes or not (and let’s be honest, the government is way off its 2020 target of 200,000).Extremely long tunnelThe mood is going to become even more tense when they realise their initial spending bravado after ‘retaking control’ last June is about to be curtailed by price inflation in the shops, with high-street bellwether Next predicting the price of clothing will rise by 5% following the fall in the value of the pound and former Sainsbury’s boss Justin King recently forecasting a similar hike in the price of groceries.What impact will all this have on the UK property industry? Not much on the fundamentals, which remain sound, but the seismic national and global economic and political changes afoot do not exactly present a conducive backdrop to strong growth and sectors such as the London office market and housing are going to struggle – even if there are upsides for other sectors such as industrial.Read all of Property Week’s 2017 predictions piecesAs Sir Ivan Rogers made clear this week when he quit as UK ambassador to the EU ahead of Brexit talks, that particular tunnel – light at the end or no – is likely to be extremely long. In his parting note to staff, he urged them to “challenge ill-founded arguments and muddled thinking”.The industry needs to do the same and stop blindly assuming that some sort of trading utopia lies ahead. May is dreaming if she thinks the UK is going to get an easy ride from the EU just because it wants us to continue buying German cars – and so are we. To bastardise the opening line of The Go-Between, the future is a foreign country: they’ll do things differently there.last_img read more

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‘Mamma Mia!’ At SCC

first_imgIf you try to search for meaning, much less a logical story line, in “Mamma Mia!,” the ABBA-based musical now playing at the Southampton Cultural Center, you’re going to drive yourself crazy. Better to go in knowing that Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus’s brainchild — which loosely strings together a bunch of already classic ’70s pop hits from the Swedish sensations — works a lot better if you leave your brain in your Ford Pinto, put on your platform shoes, and just get ready to “feel the beat on the tambourine, oh yeah.” (Now you’ll be singing that all day. You’re welcome.)If you must know the flimsy fantasy tale, think of the smash hit TV miniseries “Lace,” but in reverse. Instead of “Which one of you bitches is my mother?” sweet Sophie Sheridan, who lives on a remote Greek isle with her single mother, Donna, wants her father to walk her down the aisle at her wedding — she just doesn’t know who he is. So, after perusing her mother’s diary, and singing the zippy ditty “Honey, Honey” with her bridesmaids, Sophie admits to sending invitations to the three men with whom Donna hooked up nine months prior to Sophie’s birth. (Hey, why be judgy? It was the ’70s, man.)Never mind how she managed — without internet — to track down three men two decades later with complicated, unique names like Sam Carmichael, Bill Austin, and Harry Bright. What did I tell you? Now go put that cerebellum back in your AMC Gremlin, pull up that tube top, and just stop thinking.Also present for Sophie’s wedding are her intended, Sky, and Donna’s backup singers from the way-back machine — Rosie and Tanya — along with other assorted Grecian isle characters who help Donna with her struggling hotel business. Who really is Sophie’s father? Who cares? You know it’s got a happy ending, right? No Grecian tragedy here.Director Michael Disher is not alone in his adoration for this dopey dollop of Broadway fluff; the theater was packed on a Sunday matinee, the rest of the run is almost sold out, and the audience, of all ages, were tapping their feet and moving their lips along with their favorite Top 40s like the eponymous title song, “S.O.S.,” “Dancing Queen,” ”The Winner Takes It All,” “Take A Chance On Me,” and others.As to the production itself, there were bedazzling bright spots, namely the main characters. Ava Bianchi turns in an ebullient and lovely performance as Sophie, Mary Sabo is terrific as Donna, and Tom Rosante, who plays Sam, has a wonderful singing voice. Alyssa Kelly is funny as Tanya, one of Donna’s many-married friends, and Marco Barrila provides laughs as the priest at the wedding.The real star of the show, although you never see her, is musical director Amanda Jones, who conducts a slamming band offstage, comprised of Jones, Kyle McGann, Douglas Baldwin, Kyle Sherlock, Joseph Freyre, and David Elliot, who kept the crowd rocking from beginning to end.So what if the choreography is a little over ambitious, and there’s the occasional flat note? This is community theater, man. Be there or be square. Center Stage provides an opportunity to bring people back to a simpler time and, as they used to say, have a nice day.“Mamma Mia!” runs at the Levitas Center for the Arts at the Southampton Cultural Center through March 24. For tickets and further information, visit www.scc-arts.org.bridget@indyeastend.com Sharelast_img read more

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Wonders & blunders with Luke Tozer

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more

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Daimler acquires EQT’s stake in Tognum

first_imgTOGNUM: Private equity group EQT is to sell its remaining 22·3% stake in diesel engine manufacturer Tognum AG to Daimler AG. The Daimler board approved the €585m deal on April 30, and it is expected to be completed in the third quarter of this year, subject to regulatory approval. Daimler has also acquired a further 1% of the shares in Tognum, and aims to acquire a blocking stake of 25% plus one share. Tognum is the holding company for MTU and other businesses which were part of the Off-Highway division of DaimlerChrysler (now Daimler) until being sold to EQT for €1bn in 2006 (RG 2.06 p98). Daimler says that at that time the company had ‘faced numerous operational challenges’, was consolidating on its core business and ‘did not want to make the substantial investment required to improve Tognum’s competitiveness.’Tognum subsequently completed a €2·01bn IPO in July 2007. Commenting on the latest deal, Tognum CEO Volker Heuer said ‘with Daimler as a strategic anchor investor, the independence of the company that was achieved through the IPO has now been secured long term in the interests of our customers and shareholders.’ Daimler believes that taking over the equity interest from EQT will allow it to ‘protect its long-term supply relations with Tognum’, particularly in the industrial and agricultural sectors.last_img read more

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Pointers December 2009

first_imgAccording to its legislative programme presented to parliament on November 2, the new government of Portugal hopes to have the high speed line between Lisboa and Madrid in service by the end of 2013. Three bids have been received for the PPP concession to build the 34 km section between Lisboa and Poceirão (RG 5.09 p10). Shortlisted bidders for the PPP concession to build LGV Sud Europe Atlantique between Tours and Bordeaux have until December 15 to submit their best and final offers. French infrastructure manager RFF hopes to select a preferred bidder by the end of March and sign a contract during the summer of 2010. Meanwhile, preliminary offers for the LGV Bretagne-Pays de Loire concession (RG 8.09 p9) are due by December 16. Following the signature of co-operation agreements by the presidents of Argentina and Chile on October 29, a bi-national authority is to be formed to take forward construction of a rail base tunnel under the Andes. Promoter Corporación América is reported to have received US$10m in government funding for geological studies; total project cost is estimated at $3bn. The EBRD is considering providing Georgian Railway with a loan of up to €125m to co-finance a €360m railway bypassing central Tbilisi. EIB would also participate in the project, which will see existing rail facilities relocated to free land in the city centre for redevelopment. The Spanish Ministry of Development is proposing to upgrade the railway between San Roque and La Línea de la Concepción, close to the border with Gibraltar. The €30m project would improve access to port facilities and petrochemical plants on the north shore of the Bay of Algeciras. A report commissioned from consultant Frost & Sullivan by Neptune Orient Lines recommends that Egypt should examine rail freight business models adopted successfully in countries such as India. Private firms could be allowed to provide freight services on designated corridors, with the government retaining overall ownership. The Brazilian government is expected to provide R$30m from its PAC stimulus package to fund engineering design of the proposed Ferroeste extension to Paranagua and environmental studies for other expansion projects (RG 4.09 p61). The Transport Ministry of Mecklenburg-Vorpommern is expected to call tenders shortly for a 10-year contract to operate the Rostock S-Bahn network, following a trial under which local tram company RSAG is operating the Wismar – Rostock – Tessin line as subcontractor to DB Regio. A decision on the new operator is expected in mid-2010.last_img read more

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