Tag Archives: Natural Gas Distribution (TRBC level 5)

Germany regrets the US decision to sanction Russian vessels involved in Nord Stream 2 | Instant News


BERLIN (Reuters) – The United States has informed Germany that it plans to impose sanctions on a Russian pipeline laying vessel involved in the construction of the Russia-led Nord Stream 2 gas pipeline from Russia to Germany, the German Economy Ministry said on Monday.

FILE PHOTOS: A road sign directs traffic towards the entrance of the Nord Stream 2 gas line landing facility in Lubmin, Germany, 10 September 2020. REUTERS / Hannibal Hanschke / File Photo

“We record the announcement with regret,” said a spokesman for the Ministry of Economy in Berlin.

German business daily Handelsblatt previously reported US sanctions will take effect on Tuesday as part of the Act Against America’s Enemies Through Sanctions (CAATSA).

It said sanctions would be imposed on the Russian pipeline laying ship “Fortuna” and its owner, KVT-RUS.

Nord Stream 2, designed to double the capacity of the existing Nord Stream subsea gas pipeline, will pass through Ukraine, eliminating lucrative transit costs. The project has become a point of contention between Moscow and Washington, with the United States seeking to cut Europe’s dependence on Russian energy.

The group behind the pipeline suspended work in December 2019 due to threats of sanctions from Washington, even though the project was nearing completion.

Germany and European allies accuse Washington of using the newly introduced CAATSA sanctions regime to interfere with their foreign and energy policies.

According to Refinitiv ship tracking data, Fortuna is still anchored in the Baltic Sea near Rostock in northern Germany.

A spokesman for the US embassy in Berlin told Handelsblatt that Washington would continue to take “all necessary and appropriate steps” to prevent Nord Stream 2.

“Although we do not comment on future sanctions measures, we will continue to exchange ideas with allies and partners on potential sanctions issues,” the spokesman said.

The US government hopes Germany will reconsider its position on Nord Stream 2, he added.

The US State Department said it was not reviewing possible sanctions action and the Treasury Department did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

A German government spokesman told reporters earlier on Monday that Berlin’s view of the pipeline remains unchanged, namely that Nord Stream 2 is a private sector project.

Russia’s state-owned gas giant Gazprom is implementing the project together with Western partners Uniper, Wintershall, Engie, OMV and Shell.

US President-elect Joe Biden has opposed Nord Stream 2 in the past, but it is unclear if he can compromise on the issue after taking office on Wednesday.

Handelsblatt quoted a spokesperson for Nord Stream 2 as saying that it is up to the European Union and governments in the countries involved to protect the company from any sanctions.

Gazprom declined to comment and Nord Stream 2 could not immediately be reached for comment. KVT-RUS could not be reached for comment.

Reporting by Michael Nienaber; Additional reporting by Timothy Gardner in Washington and Vladimir Soldatkin in Moscow; Edited by Maria Sheahan, Peter Graff and Catherine Evans

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New Fortress Energy is betting on Brazilian LNG growth with the acquisition of Hygo | Instant News


RIO DE JANEIRO (Reuters) – US-based New Fortress Energy Inc said on Wednesday it would buy natural gas company Hygo Energy Transition Ltd for $ 2.18 billion to expand its presence in Brazil, the frontier for growth in the burgeoning liquefied natural gas market. developing.

New Fortress, an energy infrastructure company, is among the private sector players turning their sights to Brazil, where demand for super-cooled LNG is increasing, although the market is smaller than in India and China, where power generation is shifting away from more coal. dirty to natural gas.

With Brazil opening up its natural gas industry to private investors, other companies including oil major BP PLC and US-based EIG Global Partners are also planning multibillion-dollar investments in the country.

New Fortress, a growing competitor in the LNG industry, has a small liquefaction plant in Florida and ships LNG throughout the Caribbean. In the past year, its market value has jumped 286% to $ 10 billion, according to Refinitiv Eikon data. The company is building a larger LNG import terminal in Mexico.

The company will acquire all of Hygo’s outstanding shares for 31.4 million shares of NFE Class A common stock and $ 580 million in cash.

Brazil’s annual demand for LNG is expected to grow by more than 80% by 2021, the fastest rate in the world, although its starting point is relatively low compared to large Asian consumers, said Kristen Holmquist, forecasting specialist at Poten & Partners.

Unlike these countries, most of Brazil’s electricity comes from hydropower. This LNG supply is partly intended to replace the supply of natural gas from pipelines originating from Bolivia.

Hygo transports supercooled fuel and has become a key player in Brazil’s natural gas industry as state-controlled Petrobras sells assets, canceling what was almost a monopoly on the market.

Hygo – a 50-50% joint venture between US private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners and Golar LNG – has recently invested in a number of LNG projects in Brazil for power generation. The company is also competing to operate a highly desirable LNG import terminal which is leased by Petrobras.

“There is strong growth in Brazil for electricity-powered projects,” Holmquist said in a webinar on Wednesday.

Hygo has told Reuters in 2020 that it plans to use LNG instead of diesel in trucks.

The transaction has a corporate value of $ 3.1 billion and an equity value of $ 2.18 billion, according to the statement.

The Hygo acquisition comes four months after the company’s trading debut in New York was suspended at the last minute after Brazilian federal prosecutors said the then company’s chief executive was appointed in the early stages of a corruption investigation, to activity at the company previously.

The CEO at the time, Eduardo Antonello, had left the company. He hasn’t been charged.

New Fortress also agreed to buy Hygo’s controlling company, Golar LNG Partners LP for about $ 251 million in general equity value and a company value of $ 1.9 billion.

Golar LNG Ltd was up 15% in US trading, while New Fortress Energy was up 10%.

Reporting by Sabrina Valle and Rithika Krishna; Edited by Maju Samuel, Krishna Chandra Eluri, Steve Orlofsky and David Gegoryo

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UPDATE 2-Mexico has cut off Brazil’s Braskem gas supply, the president said | Instant News


(Rewrite the whole)

MONTERREY, Mexico, December 2 (Reuters) – Mexico has cut natural gas supplies for Braskem’s operations in Mexico, companies and the government said on Wednesday, raising a row between President Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador and a Brazilian petrochemical company.

“There is no more natural gas for the company because the contract has expired,” Lopez Obrador told reporters during an early morning press conference.

The Lopez Obrador government has sought some time to renegotiate a separate contract that includes a different supply of gas, ethane, to make plastics at the Braskem-Idesa Etileno XXI plant near the Gulf coast.

The arrangement, signed by another Mexican government in 2010 and in effect until 2034, obliges state-owned oil company Pemex to supply low-priced ethane to Braskem-Idesa, a consortium owned 70% by Braskem Brasil and 30% by Grupo Idesa Mexico.

It seems that the decision to shut down natural gas supplies was taken to make it impossible for the power plant to continue operating.

The company asked the authorities to “rectify” the decision taken by the CENAGAS natural gas pipeline manager and warned they had to take legal action to defend their rights.

“CENAGAS ‘actions have led to a complete shutdown of the factory process,” Braskem-Idesa said in a statement.

Braskem-Idesa accused the authorities of endangering the safety of factories and employees by abruptly cutting off gas supplies and failing to provide a 48-hour cutback to safely stop operations.

Braskem-Idesa’s remarks appeared to contradict Lopez Obrador’s claim that the natural gas contract had expired, which he described as “in effect”.

“We have repeatedly expressed our willingness to discuss with the authorities the issues raised today in connection with the operation of Braskem Idesa and its contracts with the Mexican state company, bringing forward proposals for solutions,” the company said.

Under the terms of a 20-year contract for ethane supply, Pemex is committed to selling ethane to Braskem-Idesa for 16 cents per gallon. When the contract was signed in 2010, the market price for ethane tripled, at 50 cents per gallon.

A hydrocarbon derived from natural gas, ethane is used to make ethylene, which is then used to make ordinary plastic polyethylene. (Reporting by Laura Gottesdiener and Diego Ore, Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Grant McCool)

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REFILE-FACTBOX-How CDP country-backed lenders are increasing their role in Italy Inc. | Instant News


(Adds extra context on the role at Telecom Italia)

Nov 2 (Reuters) – What do the bids for Italy’s biggest highway operator have in common involving Macquarie and Blackstone and a hedge fund campaign for board seats in the country’s top telecommunications group? The answer is Cassa Depositi e Prestiti (CDP) which is featured in both.

The 170-year-old Italian state-backed lenders and investors, led by CEO Fabrizio Palermo, have played an increasingly active role at Italy Inc in recent years to keep strategic assets in national hands and reduce the economic damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

Currently, it has 35 billion euros ($ 40.8 billion) invested in funds and companies ranging from oil giant Eni to plasma derivative specialist Kedrion – a number set to increase in the coming months.

And what is most interesting is that the debt is not accounted for as part of a huge public debt pile in Italy.

Below is an overview of the most recent transactions brokered by CDP investing savings made by Italians through the Poste Italiane national post office network.

MOTORWAYS

A consortium led by the CDP involving investment funds Macquarie and Blackstone is in talks with Italian infrastructure group Atlantia to buy its 88% stake in highway unit Autostrade per l’Italia in a deal worth 9 billion euros. CDP can get 40% from the tender company.

If the CDP is successful, more than 3,000 km of roadways will return under effective state control, drawing a line under the fierce dispute between Atlantia and the government that has its roots in the collapse of the deadly Genoa bridge in 2018.

STOCK MARKET

In the coming months CDP will become a leading shareholder in French stock market operator Euronext and a major investor in the Milan stock exchange group, which manages the Italian stock market and government bond platform MTS.

With 7.3% of Euronext, CDP will own the same stake as its French counterpart Caisse des Depots.

CDP is working with Euronext and Italy’s biggest bank Intesa Sanpaolo to agree to buy Borsa Italiana from the London Stock Exchange in a 4.3 billion euro deal last month.

DIGITAL PAYMENTS

CDP is orchestrating a merger between Italy’s Nexi and smaller rival SIA to create a dominant domestic payments group. Nexi is now in exclusive talks to buy Nordic rival Net.

Prior to the potential deal with the Nets, CDP was expected to own a quarter of Nexi-SIA, making it the largest single investor, followed by private equity owners Nexi, Advent, Bain Capital and Clessidra. CDP has invested 240 million euros to get nearly 50% of SIA.

TELECOM AND BROADBAND

CDP has built a 10% stake in the former state telephony monopoly Telecom Italia, which is valued at 630 million euros at current market prices, to offset the influence of French media group Vivendi, which is the largest shareholder in a company it deems strategic.

In a bid to ease Vivendi’s grip on Italian telephone groups, the CDP sided with US activist fund Elliott at a major shareholder meeting to appoint a new board of directors in 2018.

CDP is interested in creating a unified national operator that combines the network assets of Telecom Italia with its smaller rival Open Fiber, a broadband network operator in which CDP is investing 360 million euros for a 50% stake.

Sovereign lenders will be leading shareholders in every champion of a new network designed to give businesses and homes a fast connection and close Italy’s digital divide. CDP will have the authority to examine strategic issues regarding new network operators.

CONSTRUCTION

Under ‘Project Italy’, CDP joined forces with construction company Webuild to organize a joint rescue of small rival Astaldi to create national power and revive the country’s ailing construction industry.

CDP guaranteed a 250 million euro capital increase in Webuild to acquire an 18.7% stake in the group. ($ 1 = 0.8583 euros) (Reporting by Francesca Landini, Stephen Jewkes, Elvira Pollina, Valentina Za Editing by Keith Weir)

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Hygo’s trade was suspended as the named CEO of a Brazilian corruption probe | Instant News


RIO DE JANEIRO / LONDON, Sept. 24 (Reuters) – Trading debuts at Hygo Energy Transition Ltd were suspended on Thursday hours after the chief executive of liquefied natural gas transportation and infrastructure operators was named in a corruption probe in Brazil.

Hygo is led by Eduardo Antonello, a former executive of offshore oil rig firm Seadrill Ltd who has been accused of bribery by Brazilian federal prosecutors in a court filing that outlines a new phase of Car Wash’s massive corruption probe.

Antonello, who is now based in London, did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Hygo, a joint venture between Golar LNG Limited and US private equity firm Stonepeak Infrastructure Partners whose shares will be divested in New York, did not confirm or deny the cancellation of the IPO, its press office said by email. Stonepeak did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Golar said the allegations against Antonello “involved preceded behavior and did not, in any way, involve his job at Hygo.”

“However, with great care, Hygo has initiated a review to ensure that there is no deviation from a culture of compliance with respect to Mr Antonello’s service to Hygo,” the company said in a statement.

Hygo’s share price was due on Thursday, but the New York Stock Exchange said they had suspended it without giving a reason.

Golar’s stock was down more than 25% at $ 7.25 in New York morning trade.

Hygo announced in September its plans to raise $ 485 million in an initial public offering, with shares ranging from $ 18- $ 21 each, according to regulatory filings.

As part of the final stage of the Car Wash probe, a corruption probe that in six years saw two former Brazilian presidents and hundreds of executives and politicians imprisoned, Brazilian and Dutch police executed dozens of search warrants on Wednesday.

According to Brazilian federal prosecutors, the current stage involves Seadrill as investigators deepened the ongoing investigation into three contracts worth $ 2.7 billion signed in 2011 by Malaysia’s Sapura Energy Berhad and Brazilian state-controlled oil company Petroleo Brasileiro SA.

Sapura strongly denies involvement in any form of bribery or corruption in its business dealings in Brazil and anywhere in the world, the company said on Thursday in a statement.

The investigation is in its early stages and details were first revealed by Brazil’s federal prosecutors on Wednesday. Nothing is officially billed.

Antonello was working for Seadrill at the time and was responsible for establishing the company’s operations in Brazil. Court documents in Brazil show that his phone was tapped and his email was monitored by police.

Seadrill confirmed its subsidiary Seadrill Servi├žos de Petroleo Ltda was served on Wednesday with a search and seizure warrant from the federal police in Rio de Janeiro. He said it was cooperating fully with the ongoing investigation.

Seadrill shares closed down 6.5% on Thursday in Oslo.

The contract between Sapura and Petroleo Brasileiro, for the construction and leasing of three pipeline support vessels, known as the PLSV, is still in effect today, prosecutors said. (Reporting by Sabrina Valle and Gram Slattery in Rio, and Jonathan Saul in London; Additional reporting by Niket Nishant and Luciano Costa; Editing by Christian Plumb and Daniel Wallis)

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