Tag Archives: Water & Related Utilities (TRBC level 4)

Drought, fire and floods hit Australia in the bush | Instant News


HOLLISDALE, Australia (Reuters) – Robert Costigan thought the worst was behind him when he saved two family properties from wildfires last summer.

This year, they drifted away.

The home of Australian breeder and father-in-law Brian Watt, who lives next door, swept its foundations this month when heavy rains caused the river to reach its highest level in half a century, submerging bridges and buildings. Watt’s house crashed into a telegraph pole.

“If it weren’t for bad luck, I probably wouldn’t have had any at all,” Costigan told Reuters on his 100-acre property in Hollisdale, 400 km (249 miles) north of Sydney.

Days after the flood, the property was filled with farm equipment, trees and overturned debris.

“I don’t know if it’s just someone testing me or what, but that’s what I guess. You can get through it, ”he added, holding back tears.

Costigan’s ordeal is familiar to thousands of people living outside the cities on Australia’s densely populated east coast.

After years of drought devastating crops and livestock, they battled the country’s worst wildfires in a generation in the southern hemisphere’s 2019-20 summer, only to face flooding amidst this year’s La Nina wet weather event.

The same river system Costigan used to pump water to save her home from wildfires has returned to destroy it with floods.

The water level had receded but the insurance company had removed the building, with the wooden structures torn off, the tin roof shattered and everyday objects – mattresses, fluffy children’s toys – in disarray.

When the fire broke out, the family remained safe in the city because Costigan remained on the property in an effort to protect it. Now they all live with neighbors, homeless and heartbroken.

Two days before the house was swept away, Costigan’s daughter, Eva, had to cancel her 11th birthday party because of the flood.

“He was upset about it and then we had to tell him he lost his house Saturday morning. “All the gifts he got on Thursday are gone,” said Costigan.

Even so, the 39-year-old farmer, who also works for the local council, vows to rebuild.

“I’ve worked too hard to just walk away,” he said.

Reporting by Stefica Nicol Bikes; Written by Byron Kaye; Edited by Karishma Singh

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UPDATE 2-Agreement with CPPIB Canada helps Igua Brasil in the privatization of Cedae-source | Instant News


(Adds details about Igua’s interest in privatization, the advisor in charge of selling Cedae)

SAO PAULO, March 22 (Reuters) – Canadian pension fund CPPIB acquired a 45% stake in Brazilian sanitation company Igua Saneamento SA for 1.18 billion reais ($ 213 million), according to a statement on Monday.

CCPIB said it would acquire 514 million reais ($ 93.4 million) of new shares issued by Igua Saneamento and 664 million reais in existing shares.

The deal reinforces Igua’s bid for the privatization of Rio de Janeiro’s Cedae sanitation company, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Monday.

Igua has hired investment banking units Banco Bradesco SA and Banco BTG Pactual SA to advise on bids in the auction scheduled for April 31, added the person, who requested anonymity to reveal private discussions.

CPPIB’s support could also help fund another deal the company is considering, the privatization of the sanitation company Corsan, in the state of Rio Grande do Sul, the source added.

After CADE approves the acquisition of CPPIB, existing investor Alberta Investment Management Corporation (AIMCo) will hold a 39% stake in Igua, Brazilian development bank BNDES will own 11% and private equity firm IG4 Capital Group will retain 5%.

CPPIB said the two private equity funds managed by IG4’s asset managers would remain Igua’s controlling shareholders.

This new funding round underscores investor interest in the sanitation sector as new laws passed in June are expected to encourage states and cities to privatize water and sewage companies and to universalize services in Brazil.

For now, Igua is suspending plans for an immediate initial public offering expected for this year. However, Igua kept a mid-term plan for listing. The CPPIB acquisition contract has a clause in which the company commits to conduct an IPO within three years. ($ 1 = 5,5057 reais) (Reporting by Carolina Mandl and Tatiana Bautzer in Sao Paulo Editing by Bernadette Baum and Matthew Lewis)

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FACTBOX-EU is unlikely to face a Facebook news ban after Australia | Instant News


BRUSSELS, February 19 (Reuters) – Facebook has blocked people in Australia from accessing and sharing news content in a dispute with the government requiring it to share news revenue.

Jurisdictions around the world have enacted rules requiring Google, Facebook and others to share revenue with publishers, including a 2019 directive from Brussels which EU countries will enact into law in June.

So, is the EU likely to face a Facebook news ban similar to the one imposed in Australia? Not. Here are a few reasons:

EU COPYRIGHT RULES

Approved in 2019 to help Europe’s creative industry earn a fair share of revenue, EU copyright rules require Google and other online platforms to sign licensing agreements with musicians, artists, writers, news publishers and journalists to use their work.

The rules do not force online platforms to pay for links posted by publishers to their news sites, Facebook’s main complaint with the Australian government.

In France, which is one of the first EU countries to implement the new rules, news publishers have reached an agreement with Google which, according to the European Commission, the EU executive, is a clear sign that copyright rules are effective in leveling the playing field. .

The so-called Media Bargaining Code is based on Australia’s competition law, which underlines a tougher approach than the EU.

FACEBOOK NEWS

Facebook sought to relieve pressure from news publishers last month by launching Facebook News in the UK and listing new partners Channel 4 News, Daily Mail Group, DC Thomson, Financial Times, Sky News and Telegraph Media Group above other news outlets.

Now they are looking for French and German media companies before launching services in the two countries.

EUROPEAN MEDIA GROUP

European media groups, part of the driving force behind EU copyright rules, do not have the same influence and geographic scope as News Corp, which struck a global deal with Google on Wednesday.

Large companies such as Germany’s Bertelsmann and French group Vivendi dominate their national markets due to language and cultural differences across the block. (Reporting by Foo Yun Chee, editing by Timothy Heritage)

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Brazil’s Belo Monte Dam reaches an agreement for a power plant | Instant News


SAO PAULO, February 8 (Reuters) – Brazil’s Belo Monte hydroelectric dam operator reached an agreement with environmental authorities on Monday that will allow it to maintain a steady flow of energy generating water in exchange for investments to reduce environmental and other impacts.

In January, environmental agency Ibama ordered Belo Monte operator, Norte Energia, to increase water flow into the Xingu River because of concerns about damage to the environment and local communities, according to documents reviewed by Reuters.

Environmentalists and indigenous peoples have criticized the construction of the Belo Monte dam – the world’s fourth largest hydropower plant – for unduly reducing water levels in the Xingu River, destroying the local environment and traditional fishing.

On Monday, Ibama and Norte Energia said in separate statements that the dam operator would invest 157.5 million reais ($ 29.4 million) over the next three years in environmental protection and assistance for local residents. Instead, the company does not need to increase the outflow to the Xingu River.

Norte Energia is 49.98% owned by state-owned company Eletrobras with other shareholders including miners Vale SA, Light SA, Neoenergia SA and CEMIG. ($ 1 = 5,3655 reais) (Reporting by Gabriel Araujo; written by Jake Spring; editing by Richard Pullin)

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Brazilian regulators will appeal the order allowing the EDF plant to continue generating power | Instant News


FILE PHOTOS: Power poles from high-voltage power lines are seen next to the EDF power plant in Bouchain, near Valenciennes, France, 7 July 2020. REUTERS / Pascal Rossignol / File Photo

SAO PAULO (Reuters) – Sema, the environmental agency in Brazil’s Mato Grosso state, said it would appeal a court decision allowing operation of the 400-megawatt power plant to resume after thousands of fish in the Teles Pires river died.

The agency ordered the Sinop Energia plant, which is majority owned by a unit of French EDF, to close after the incident in August, but the order was temporarily canceled last week.

“Operation of the overflow gate, as well as the Sinop hydroelectric generator, should only be continued after the agency has approved measures to prevent the death of new fish,” Sema said in a statement.

The regulatory dispute highlighted environmental barriers facing Brazil’s hydropower, the country’s main source of electricity for decades.

Problems at the 3.3 billion reais ($ 612.53 million) Sinop plant occurred in February 2019 when around 13 tonnes of fish died during the filling of the dam’s reservoir. At that time, Sema claimed that closing and opening the floodgates reduced water oxygenation and suffocated the fish.

A second similar incident led to the temporary shutdown of the plant by Sema in March 2020. Sinop Energia denies any wrongdoing and says it has complied with all environmental regulations.

Sinop Energia was fined 50 million reais ($ 9.24 million) when the first incident was reported, 12 million reais for the second incident and 36 million reais in August, when 7 tonnes of fish died, records show.

Reporting by Luciano Costa; Written by Ana Mano; Edited by Kirsten Donovan

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