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Aung San Suu Kyi to attend the 2nd Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Africa Business

Aung San Suu Kyi gives speech to supporters at Hlaing Thar Yar Township in Yangon, Myanmar on 17 November 2011. Author Htoo Tay Zar. Source: Wikipedia.org

 

It is with great pleasure that we are able to announce that Daw Aung San Suu Kyi, Nobel Prize laureate and Chairperson of the National League for Democracy will be attending The 2nd Myanmar Oil and Gas Summit, Yangon, 17-18 June.

The conference and exhibition which is endorsed by the ASEAN Council on Petroleum (ASCOPE) will also be attended by a delegation from the Myanmar Oil and Gas Enterprise (MOGE), local and international oil companies and service providers form throughout the world.

To receive the latest event agenda as well as registration details, please reply to this email and my colleague will be in touch. This is the largest oil and gas event which takes place in Myanmar and we do expect it to sell out again.

SPEAKERS INCLUDE:

Ms Cho Cho Wynn, Deputy Director General, MINISTRY OF NATIONAL PLANNING & ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT / DIRECTORATE OF INVESTMENT AND COMPANY ADMINISTRATION (DICA)

VICTORINO BALA, Secretary in Charge, ASEAN COUNCIL ON PETROLEUM (ASCOPE)

U KYAW SOE, Exploration Geologist, PARAMI ENERGY DEVELOPMENT CO LTD

DR DEVA GHOSH, Professor in Geophysics, Universiti TEKNOLOGI PETRONAS,

U Kyaw Kyaw Hlaing, Chairman, SMART GROUP OF COMPANIES

U LYNN MYINT, Vice President, NORTH PETRO-CHEM CORPORATION (MYANMAR), Former Chief Geologist, MOGE

U AUNG MIN, Freelance Consultant, ASIA PIONEER PETROLEUM EXPLORATION TEAM, FORMER MOGE

U AUNG MYAT KYAW, Secretary Geotechnical Committee MYANMAR GEOSCIENCES SOCIETY

DR ANDRZEJ BOLESTA, Economic Counsellor, EMBASSY OF THE REPUBLIC OF POLAND IN BANGKOK

CHRIS FAULKNER, CEO, BREITLING OIL & GAS

JOHN MCCLENAHAN, Ashurst, PARTNER

JAMES FINCH, DFDL Mekong Group, PARTNER

Kenneth Stevens, Managing Partner, LEOPARD CAPITAL

Sebastian Pawlita, Partner, POLASTRI WINT & PARTNERS

DR EULOGE ANICET NKOUNKOU, Minerals on Energy, INTERNATIONAL LAW OF PETROLEUM EXPERT

Please visit: http://www.myanmarsummit2013.com/

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Daily Analysis for Monday May 20

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Africa Business

This week begins with great anticipation for profitable trading opportunities. Banks in Europe and Canada will be closed on Monday, but traders could take advantage of the release of the Australian Monetary Policy Meeting Minutes. Later in the week, we are expecting inflation and retail sales data out the United Kingdom. These announcements will surely pave a clear direction for the British Pound. Meanwhile, home sales in the world’s largest economy will be put forth on Thursday. Whether the U.S. dollar is affected, that remains to be seen.

USD/CAD


Friday’s inflation report was softer than consensus expectations. Headline CPI is increasing at its slowest since October 2009 when the economy was still experiencing the consequences of the recession. In this environment, inflation is clearly not the main radar the Bank of Canada is looking at for now, but growth is. Given our expectations of subpar growth for 2013, rate hikes in Canada are unlikely anytime soon. Look for the Loonie to continue weakening in the coming days.

Stop loss 1.0250

Take profit 1.0315

Gold


The yellow metal started the new week on the wrong foot, tumbling during Monday’s morning session as traders increased their bearish bets on this commodity. It has been falling since October 2012, with the sharpest market movement taking place just last month. We have recently reached the lowest point last seen on April 14th. Traders are advised to hold onto their short positions until further notice. We expect to reach $1,300 within days, possibly by Thursday of this week.

Stop loss $1,370

Take profit $1,300

USD/ILS


The Bank of Israel surprised with a 25 basis point rate cut to 1.5% last week, an intra-meeting move. The next scheduled meeting is set for May 27th. We’ve been looking for more cuts, especially as the Shekel has strengthened in recent weeks. As it cut rates, the central bank noted that the shekel has been boosted by natural gas sales and global monetary easing. Furthermore, the Bank of Israel announced a plan to increase its holdings of foreign exchange in an effort to offset the money from gas sales. For now, the high probability of sequential rate cuts suggests this pair is likely to continue heading north. We’re currently aiming at 3.6370.

Stop Loss 3.6316

Take profit 3.6370

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DC Finance’s CEO will be visiting NYC from June 17thto promote the East Coast Family Office & Wealth Management Conference and the firm’s institutional investment, corporate finance, going public and family office events in Israel. Available for meetings

Posted on 21 May 2013 by Africa Business

 

DC Finance, the manager of one of the world’s largest Family Office events, ( www.israelwealth.com), is proud to present the East Coast’s top HNWI & SFOs wealth management event – The Annual East Coast Family Office & Wealth Management Conference, OCT 2nd, at the Union League Club, New York City ( www.nyc-wealth.com).

We are currently seeking firms who wish to support and join this 1st tier event. Mr Denny Chared, DC Finance’s CEO, will be more than happy to meet firms who may be intrested in meeting our target audiance of SFOs and HNWI.

The event will bring together 200 UHNWI, HNWI and SFOs with an average net worth of $400 million, with 50 of the best speakers in the fields of oil and gas investments, real estate, homeland security, high tech investments, philanthropy, private family banks, families in business, direct investing, family office, estate planning, trusts and other various investment alternatives.

Our current confirmed speakers lisr include: Dr. Yossi Vardi, Mr. Martin S. Indyk, vice president and director of the Foreign Policy Program at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., and former U.S. ambassador to Israel Mr. Howard Cooper , CEO, Cooper Family Office | Mr. David Sable , Global CEO, Y&R | Mr, Tewodros Ashenafi ,  CEO, SouthWest Energy Ltd, Ms. Kay Koplovitz , Founder, USA Networks and Chairman and CEO of Koplovitz & Co. LLC. Kay Koplovitz | Mr. Dror Berman , Founding Managing Partner, Innovation Endeavors (The Eric Schmidt Investment Fund), Ms. Wendy Craft , Executive Vice President and General Counsel, Fulcrum Equities | Mr. Lowell Sands , Rosewood Resources | Mr. Angelo J. Robles, CEO, Family Office Association Mr. Munib R. Masri, Chairman, Engineering and Development Group | Mr. David Gorman , Americas Advisor, The Table Club | Ms. Candice Beaumont , Managing Director, L. Investments | Mr. Harold F. “Rick” Pitcairn , II, CFA, CIO, Pitcairn and Chairman, Wigmore Association | Mr. Steve Oyer , Partner, Grail Partners | Mr. Ira Perlmuter , Head of Family Office Direct Investing, T5 Equity Partners| Mr. Nirmal Saverimuttu , Principal, Virgin Group | Mr. Andy Unanue , Managing Partner, AUA Private Equity Partners | Ms. Karen Wawrzaszek , Managing Director, Pitcairn | Mr. Warner King Babcock , Chairman and CEO, AM Private Enterprises, Inc. | Ms. Raya Strauss Bendror , President and Co-Owner, Strauss Investment, The Strauss Family | Ms. Nava Michael Tsabari , Academic Director, Family Business Program, Lahav-Executive Education, Recanati Business School, Faculty of Management Tel Aviv University, The Strauss Family | Mr. Guy Schory , Head of New Ventures, eBay | Mr. Shimon Eckhouse , Co-founder and Chairman of the Board, Syneron Medical |  Mr. Jamie McLaughlin , Owner, J. H. McLaughlin & Co., LLC |   Mr. Louis Hanna , Corigin Family Office | Ms. Kay Koplovitz , Founder, USA Network | Mr. Kent M. Swig , President, Swig Equities, LLC | Ms. Steffi Claiden , Founder/Editor-in-Chief, Family Office Review | Mr. Daniel Shakhani , CEO, RDS Capital

 

 

Other events:The trip also supports The 2014 institutional investment conference , March 2014, ( www.tlvii.com ), The Israeli Family Office & Wealth Management Conference, June 2013, ( www.israelwealth.com ), the “Family Wealth” magazine and advisors sourcebook, The Annual Kibbutz Industries Financial Conference, Sep 10th 2013, The Annual Going Public and Raising Capital Abroad Conference Oct 9th 2013 and Israel’s Annual Corporate Finance Conference, Nov 22nd 2013 ( www.israel-finance.com( .

Firms with an interest in meeting our target audience are welcome to reply to this email and we will do our best to schedule a meeting. Please be advised that due to a busy schedule not all requests may be fulfilled.

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Oando Energy Resources Announces Additional 2,500 bopd Production Capacity From Ebendo Field

Posted on 16 May 2013 by Africa Business

About Oando Energy Resources Inc. (OER)

OER currently has a broad suite of producing, development and exploration properties in the Gulf of Guinea (predominantly in Nigeria) with current production of approximately 5,205 bopd from the Abo Field in OML 125 and the Ebendo Field. OER has been specifically structured to take advantage of current opportunities for indigenous companies in Nigeria, which currently has the largest population in Africa, and one of the largest oil and gas resources in Africa.

 

Oando Energy Resources Inc. (“OER” or the “Company“) (TSX: OER), a company focused on oil exploration and production in Nigeria, today announced results from the successful completion and testing of the Ebendo 5 well. The completion and testing of the Ebendo 5 well, which is expected to contribute an additional 2,500 barrels of oil per day (“bopd”) gross (1,069 bopd net to OER), follows the successful resumption of 3,200 bopd gross (1,368 bopd net to OER) production on the Ebendo field, as was announced on April 24, 2013.

“We’re extremely pleased to announce the successful completion of the Ebendo 5 well drilling programme, increasing our net capacity by 1,069 bopd,” said Pade Durotoye , CEO of OER. “Ebendo currently has a total production capacity of up to 7,000 bopd, but is currently subject to takeaway capacity restrictions as a result of the Kwale-Akri pipeline. In light of this, we are increasing our efforts to establish our alternative evacuation pipeline, the 53 Kilometer, 45kboepd Umugini pipeline, that will further support the development of this field and reduce our dependence on one evacuation pipeline.”

The Ebendo 5 well was spudded as a deviated appraisal/development well on October 12, 2012, mainly to appraise the intermediate reservoirs encountered by the earlier Ebendo 4 well. The Ebendo 5 well was drilled to a total vertical depth (TVD) of 11,513ft and encountered eight hydrocarbon bearing sands. A drill stem test was successfully completed on two of these sands (XVIIIc and XVIIId). Sand XVIIId flowed for 18 hours and 30 minutes during the final flow test on four choke sizes. On average, it flowed on choke 28/64″ for 3 hours and 30 minutes, with an average oil and gas rate of 1,592 bopd and 2.45 mmscf/day, respectively. Sand XVIIIc flowed for 15 hours and 50 minutes during the final flow test on three choke sizes. On average, it flowed on choke 24/64″ for 8 hours and 23 minutes, with an average oil and gas rate of 840 bopd and 4.62 mmscf/day, respectively. Oil with API gravities of 47.2 degrees and 46.4 degrees were recovered from levels XVIIIc and XVIIId, respectively. Testing of sand XV is planned to occur during production, as there was a mechanical failure during testing of this sand after the completion of the well. However, from Modular Formation Dynamic Testing (MDT) pressure sampling, the fluid gradient in level XV was 0.272 pressure per foot (psi/ft), which is indicative of oil, there was no appreciable steady decline in the pressures during the Test.

The Ebendo 5 well was dually completed and sand XV will be produced through the short string while sands XVIIIc and XVIIId will be produced through the long string via a sliding sleeve. The Acme Rig-5 was released on April 17, 2013 from the Ebendo 5 well site.

The Company further announced that a new rig, the Deutag T-26, has been mobilised and a sixth well (the Ebendo 6 well) was spudded on April 18, 2013. TVD for the Ebendo 6 well is planned to be at 10,680 ft. To date, the Ebendo 6 well has been drilled to a total vertical depth of 6,231 ft. The results from this drilling programme will enable further appraisal of the shallow reservoirs encountered in the last two wells.

As pressure transient analysis or well-test interpretation has not been carried out, all results disclosed in this press release should be regarded as preliminary and are not necessarily indicative of long-term performance or ultimate recovery. The results will be updated when additional data becomes available.

 

SOURCE Oando Energy Resources Inc.

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Baird Furthers Canada’s Interests and Values in Kenya

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

OTTAWA, Canada, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today signalled Canada’s interest in growing trade and investment with Kenya and our intent to meaningfully engage when it comes to shared values.

Canada looks forward to both countries beginning exploratory discussions regarding a foreign investment promotion and protection agreement to help create a safer, more stable environment for investors and economic opportunities for both countries.

“Our government is focused on creating jobs, growth and long-term prosperity,” said Baird. “When it comes to African markets, Kenya is a major player, and increasing trade ties will benefit both countries.”

The potential for increased Canadian investment in Kenya is important and Canada is keen to explore opportunities for freer trade generally with Kenya and the East African Community, especially for Canadian natural resource companies, which are becoming leaders in the Kenyan mining and oil and gas industries.

Baird highlighted that greater commercial engagement and people-to-people ties come with the opportunity and responsibility to engage on protecting and promoting Canadian values.

To that end, Baird held a round-table meeting with defenders of the rights of sexual minorities in East Africa.

“In too many places, people are branded as criminals or made victims of violence because of their sexuality,” said Baird. “Canada is a leading defender of human rights for all, and I applaud the courage and conviction of those advocates working on the ground to improve the lives of sexual minorities.”

Baird also encouraged Kenya’s newly elected government to continue its engagement with the International Criminal Court.

 

SOURCE

Canada – Ministry of Foreign Affairs

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Global Trade Partners in the 21st Century

Posted on 15 May 2013 by Africa Business

WASHINGTON, May 15, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ — Remarks

Robert D. Hormats

Under Secretary for Economic Growth, Energy, and the Environment

World Economic Forum

Pretoria, South Africa

May 14, 2013

 

 

As Prepared

 

Thank you Lyal for the kind introduction.

I am delighted to be in South Africa again. I visited last fall with Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

What was most striking then, and continues to be the case today, is the extent to which the image of Africa has changed. According to the IMF, growth in sub-Saharan Africa will surge to 6.1% next year, well ahead of the global average of 4%.

Africa is booming in nearly every sector, ranging from massive energy developments in Mozambique, Tanzania, Ghana, and other countries; to the growth of Rwanda and Kenya’s information and communications technology sectors; to South Africa’s thriving auto industry. And, though far from declaring victory, Africa is reaching a turning point in its hard-fought battles against poverty and corruption.

Today’s Africa looks nothing like what, in 2000, The Economist referred to as the “Hopeless Continent.” It is critical that we concentrate the world’s eyes on the new image of Africa, that of progress and promise. Perspectives are evolving—in 2011, The Economist referred to Africa as the “Rising Continent” and, last March, as the “Hopeful Continent.”

Trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. So, in this context, I will speak first about America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century and then, focus on implications and, indeed, opportunities for Africa. America’s global trade agenda in the 21st century is shaped by a foundation laid, in large part, in the mid-20th century. After World War II, American and European policymakers worked together to build a set of international institutions that embodied democratic and free market principles.

The GATT—which led to the WTO—World Bank, IMF, and the OECD were designed to foster international economic cooperation. These institutions were vital to the economic prosperity of the United States, and to the success of America’s foreign policy and national security for the next three generations.

As we move into the 21st century, a new multi-polar global economy has surfaced. The emergence of a new group of economic powerhouses—Brazil, Russia, India, and China, of course, but also countries in Africa—has created momentum (if not necessity) for greater inclusiveness in the global trading system.

At the same time, these new players must assume responsibilities for the international economic system commensurate with the increasing benefits they derive from the global economy. In addition to the geography of international trade, the nature of trade and investment has evolved to include previously unimaginable issues such as e-commerce and sustainability.

So, part of our vision for trade in the 21st century is to build a system that is more inclusive, recognizes the new realities of economic interdependence, and matches increased participation in the global trading system with increased responsibility for the global trading system.

We are making progress with bringing new players into the global trading system as equal partners. Free Trade Agreements with Korea, Colombia, and Panama entered into force last year.

And, we are continuing negotiations on the Trans-Pacific Partnership—or TPP as it is more widely known. With Japan’s anticipated entry into the negotiations, TPP will grow to include 12 countries of different size, background, and levels of development. The agreement, when finalized, will encompass nearly 40% of global GDP and one-third of global trade.

In addition to TPP, we are embarking on a Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership with the European Union. TTIP—as it is being called—will strengthen economic ties between the United States and Europe, and enhance our ability to build stronger relationships with emerging economies in Asia, Africa, and other parts of the world.

TPP and TTIP are truly historic undertakings. Our objective is not only to strengthen economic ties with the Asia-Pacific and Europe, but also to pioneer approaches to trade and investment issues that have grown in importance in recent years.

These agreements will seek to break new ground by addressing a multitude of heretofore unaddressed non-tariff barriers, setting the stage for convergence on key standards and regulations, and establishing high quality norms and practices that can spread to other markets. TPP, for example, will raise standards on investment and electronic commerce, and afford protections for labor and the environment.

Our agenda also includes strengthening the multilateral trading system through the World Trade Organization. For example, the United States would like to see a multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement, which would commit WTO Members to expedite the movement, release, and clearance of goods, and improve cooperation on customs matters. A Trade Facilitation Agreement would be a win-win for all parties—Africa especially.

Cross-border trade in Africa is hindered by what the World Bank calls “Thick Borders.” According to the latest Doing Business Report, it takes up to 35 days to clear exports and 44 days to clear imports in Africa. Clearing goods in OECD countries, in contrast, takes only 10 days on average and costs nearly half as much. Countries like Ghana and Rwanda have benefited tremendously from the introduction of trade facilitation tools and policies.

Ghana, for instance, introduced reforms in 2003 that decreased the cost and time of trading across borders by 60%, and increased customs revenue by 50%. A multilateral Trade Facilitation Agreement will create a glide path for increased trade with and within Africa.

Our views for 21st century global trade partnerships go beyond Europe and the Asia-Pacific, and efforts at the WTO. We are committed to supporting Africa’s integration into the global trading system. The cornerstone of our trade relationship with sub-Saharan Africa is the African Growth and Opportunity Act—known as AGOA. Of all of our trade preference programs, AGOA provides the most liberal trade access to the U.S. market.

Exports from Africa to the United States under the AGOA have grown to $34.9 billion in 2012. While oil and gas still represent a large portion of Africa’s exports, it is important to recognize that non-petroleum exports under AGOA have tripled to nearly $5 billion since 2001, when AGOA went into effect. And, compared to a decade ago, more than twice the number of eligible countries are exporting non-petroleum goods under AGOA.

South Africa, in particular, has made great strides in diversifying its exports to the United States. Thanks to AGOA, the United States is now South Africa’s main export market for passenger cars, representing more than 50% of exported value in 2012. Because AGOA is such an important mechanism for African countries to gain access to the U.S. market, the Administration is committed to working with Congress on an early, seamless renewal of AGOA. Our trade relationship with Africa goes beyond AGOA. For instance, AGOA represents only one-quarter of South African exports to the United States. The composition of South Africa’s exports to the United States, moreover, reflects complex interdependencies and industrial goods.

And, our trade relationship with Africa is not just about one-way trade. There is an immense opportunity for U.S. companies to do business on the continent.

We recently launched the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign” to help American businesses identify and seize upon trade and investment opportunities in Africa. The campaign was announced in Johannesburg, in part, because South Africa can play a prominent role in directing U.S. investment into other parts of the continent.

Although progress has been made on diversifying exports beyond energy, there is much more to be done. African ingenuity and entrepreneurship must be unleashed to drive innovation and growth throughout the continent. This requires closer integration to share ideas, transfer knowledge, and partner on solutions. Through AGOA and the “Doing Business in Africa Campaign”, we are promoting a business climate in Africa that enables and encourages trade and investment. However, realizing these goals is goes beyond trade preferences and commercial linkages.

Africa is also featured in America’s vision for global trade in the 21st century.

For example, we recently launched the U.S.-East African Community Trade and Investment Partnership—the first of its kind—to expand two-way trade and investment. The Partnership is designed to build confidence among the private sector by building a more open and predictable business climate in East Africa. We are considering a variety of mechanisms to accomplish this, including a regional investment treaty and trade facilitation agreement. The Partnership highlights our desire to help Africa integrate and compete in today’s global economy.

I will conclude with one final point. I began by saying that trade is at the heart of Africa’s economic resurgence. Trade is also at the heart of America’s economic recovery. We have a common interest and a common goal.

When it comes to enhanced trade, what is good for Africa is good for America. And what is good for America is good for Africa.

Thank you.


SOURCE

US Department of State

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WORLD ENERGY CONGRESS UNVEILS PROGRAM THEMES

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

Ministers, CEOs and experts to address full range of energy issues

LONDON &SEOUL– 14th May 2013: The 2013 World Energy Congress Organizing Committee announced today some of the significant program topics that will be discussed by leading figures in the energy sector at the world’s premier energy event, to be held in Daegu, South Korea from October 13 to 17, 2013.

Under the theme of ‘Securing Tomorrow’s Energy Today’, topics range from the future prospects of the oil & gas, coal, nuclear, and renewables sectors to the tough policy decisions needed to balance the often conflicting priorities of energy security, universal access to affordable energy, and environmental protection. Delegates will also be given insights into how finance and innovation are shaping our energy future.

“The Congress will provide a fascinating overview of the opportunities and challenges of our energy world in transition,” said Dr. Christoph Frei, Secretary General of the World Energy Council. “The issues to be highlighted will be addressed from a number of viewpoints, encompassing the perspectives of individual energy sectors and geographical regions, as well as providing a strategic overview of global energy trends.”

More than 200 prominent speakers, including energy ministers, industry CEOs and top experts and researchers, will answer the most pressing questions facing the global energy industry today, such as:

· Oil: Will state oil companies and independents come to dominate the industry?

· Gas: Will shale gas be a game changer in redrawing the global energy map or is it just a bubble?

· Coal: Can demand for coal overcome environmental concerns?

· Renewables: Is the honeymoon over?

· Nuclear: Can effective international governance rules keep alive the nuclear renaissance?

· Hydro: Has its time finally come?

· Biofuels: What are the critical success factors for sustainable projects?

· Utilities: Will new business models succeed in promoting decentralization?

· Energy access: Is it achievable against the competing demands for water and food?

· Energy security: What are the next big energy sources?

· Environment mitigation: Are green growth and rapid economic growth compatible?

· Energy efficiency: Are yesterday’s cities fit for tomorrow’s energy?

· Finance: Is development finance delivering inclusive green growth?

· Energy innovation: Is venture capital more important than government support?

· Asia: Can the region become a showcase for green growth?

· Eurasia: Can it achieve partnerships to unlock its full energy potential?

· Middle East: Will it balance the needs of energy exports, local energy growth and job creation?

· Latin America: Blessed with resources, but overwhelmed by choice?

· Europe: Can it achieve effective energy market integration?

· Africa: Is there an energy infrastructure road map?

“The program at the 22nd World Energy Congress captures the full range and complexity of today’s energy challenges,” said Cho Hwan-eik, chair of the Organizing Committee of the 2013 World Energy Congress. “The Congress offers an impressive and unmatched list of speakers to provide insights on how these challenges can be addressed and overcome.”

Specific sessions and speakers will be announced shortly.

For further information, registration and other details, please log on to www.daegu2013.kr

Media Enquiries:

World Energy Congress – international

Seán Galvin

Tel: +44 (0)20 7269 7133

M: +44 (0)7788 568 245

Email: sean.galvin@fticonsulting.com

World Energy Council

Monique Tsang

Tel: +44 (0)20 3214 0616

Email: tsang@worldenergy.org

About the World Energy Congress

The World Energy Congress is the world’s premier energy gathering. The triennial World Energy Congress has gained recognition since the first event in 1923 as the premier global forum for leaders and thinkers to debate solutions to energy issues. In addition to the discussions, the event provides an opportunity for executives to display their technologies and explore business opportunities. With the upcoming Congress in Daegu the event will have been held in 20 major cities around the world since its founding.

Further details at www.daegu2013.kr and @WECongress

About the World Energy Council (WEC)

The World Energy Council (WEC) is the principal impartial network of leaders and practitioners promoting an affordable, stable and environmentally sensitive energy system for the greatest benefit of all. Formed in 1923, WEC is the UN-accredited global energy body, representing the entire energy spectrum, with more than 3000 member organisations located in over 90 countries and drawn from governments, private and state corporations, academia, NGOs and energy related stakeholders. WEC informs global, regional and national energy strategies by hosting high-level events, publishing authoritative studies, and working through its extensive member network to facilitate the world’s energy policy dialogue.

Further details at www.worldenergy.org and @WECouncil

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SA ECONOMIC GROWTH HIT BY MINING SECTOR

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

Will the Chinese purchase divested mining interests?

South Africa’s economic growth is lagging somewhat behind that of its peers in the developing world. IMF forecasts for 2013 indicate that emerging and developing economies will grow by 5,5% while SA’s GDP is expected to grow between 2,5% and 3%.

Global ranking

Country Name

GDP in Millions of US dollars (2011)

27

South Africa

408,237

39

Nigeria

243,986

60

Angola

104,332

88

Kenya

33,621

105

Zambia

19,206

One of the key reasons for slower growth is SA’s foreign trade structure and reliance on Europe. President Zuma used the opportunity at the World Economic Forum in Davos earlier this year to ensure foreign investors that South Africa is on the right track.

2012 will be remembered for the negative impact of labour unrest and resultant production stoppages in the mining sector. Mining reduced GDP by 0,5% in the first three quarters of the year. This excludes the biggest slump in the sector during the fourth quarter 2012.

Other significant features of the growth slowdown in 2012 were the slowdown in household consumption spending, poor growth in private fixed investment spending and a slump in real export growth.

South African’s inflation rate slowed to a five-month low in January 2013 after the statistics office adjusted the consumer price basket while food and fuel prices eased. In December, the inflation rate fell to 5,4% from 5,7% Statistics South Africa stated.

Government cut the price of fuel by 1,2% in January 2013, as a stronger rand in the previous month helped to curb import costs. Since then, the currency has plunged 4,8% against the dollar and fuel prices are on the rise, with prices increasing in March by a further 8%, adding to pressure on inflation.

South Africa’s strengths

· South Africa is the economic powerhouse of Africa, leading the continent in industrial output and mineral production, generating a large portion of the continent’s electricity.

· The economy of South Africa is the largest in Africa, accounting for 24% of the continent’s GDP in terms of PPP, and is ranked as an upper-middle income economy by the world bank.

· The country has abundant natural resources, well developed financial, legal and transport sectors, a stock exchange ranked amongst the top 20 in the world, as well as a modern infrastructure supporting efficient distribution of goods throughout the Southern African region.

South Africa’s weaknesses

· South Africa suffers from a relatively heavy regulation burden when compared to most developed countries.

· Increasing costs for corporates with rising wages.

· Poverty, inequalities sources of social risk mixed with high unemployment and shortage of qualified labour.

Mining

Output in the mining sector remained weak in December with total mining production down by 7,5% y-o-y after falling by a revised 3,8% (previously -4,5%) in November. On a monthly basis production rose by a seasonally adjusted 1,2% compared with 12,0% in November. Non-gold output was down by 5,0% y-o-y, while gold production slumped by 21,2% in December. For the fourth quarter, total mining production fell by a seasonally-adjusted and annualised 4,6% q-o-q as output of most minerals dropped.

For 2012 as a whole, mining volumes fell by 3,1% after contracting by 0,9% in 2011. Mineral sales were down by 15,6% y-o-y in November after falling 13,7% in October. On a monthly basis sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 2,3% in November, but sales were down by a seasonally-adjusted 10,2% in the three months to November after declining by 6,8% in the same period to October. These figures indicate that the mining sector is still reeling from the devastating effects of widespread labour strikes in the third and early fourth quarters.

Prospects for the mining sector remain dim as the industry faces headwinds both on the global and domestic fronts. Globally, commodity prices are not likely to make significant gains as demand conditions remain relatively unfavourable. Locally, tough operating conditions persist. Rapidly rising production costs, mainly energy and labour costs, are likely to compel mining companies to scale back operations or even halt them in some cases.

This will have a negative impact on production, with any improvements coming mainly from a normalisation of output should strike activity ease. These numbers, together with other recent releases, suggest that GDP growth for the fourth quarter was around 2,0%, with overall growth of 2,5% for the year as a whole. Overall economic activity in the sector therefore remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to the weaker rand.

Retail

Annual growth in retail sales slowed to 2,3% in December from 3,6% in the previous month. Over the month, sales rose by a seasonally-adjusted 1,0%, causing sales for the last quarter of 2012 to decline by 0,2% following 2,1% growth in the third quarter.

As a whole, 2012 retail sales rose by 4,3%, slightly down from 5,9% in 2011. Consumer spending is likely to moderate during 2013 as weak consumer confidence, heightened worries about job security and high debt, make consumers more cautious about spending on non-essential items. The overall economic outlook remains weak and fragile, while inflation may increase due to the weaker rand.

Manufacturing

Annual growth in manufacturing production slowed to 2,0% in December 2012 from 3,7% in the previous month, versus the consensus forecast of 2,9%. The increase in output was recorded in seven of the ten major categories. Significant contributions came from petroleum, chemical products, rubber and plastic products. Over the month, total production fell by 2,2% on a seasonally adjusted basis following a 2,6% rise in November.

On a quarterly basis, however, production improved by 1,6% in the final quarter of 2012 following two quarters of weaker growth. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013. A weak Eurozone will continue to hurt the large export-orientated industries.

The recent recovery in infrastructure spending by the public sector will probably support the industries producing capital goods and other inputs for local projects. But the growth rate will be contained by slower capital expenditure by the private sector in response to the bleaker economic environment both locally and internationally.

Therefore, while a moderate recovery in manufacturing production will continue in 2013, no impressive upward momentum is expected. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand.

Infrastructure

A new economic plan, the National Development Plan (NDP), is likely to be adopted in 2013 promoting low taxation for businesses and imposing less stringent employment requirements. This a measure that the ANC is pursuing ahead of the 2014 national elections. The NDP will encourage partnerships between government and the private sector, creating opportunities in petrochemical industries, metal-working and refining, as well as development of power stations.

Construction companies are especially likely to benefit from government plans to invest $112-billion from 2013 in the expansion of infrastructure as part of the NDP. Some 18 strategic projects will be launched to expand transport, power and water, medical and educational infrastructure in some of the country’s least developed areas.

Energy companies will also benefit, following the lifting of a moratorium on licences for shale gas development. Meanwhile, there will be significant opportunities, especially for Chinese state-owned enterprises that have recently made high-profile visits to South Africa, to acquire divested assets in the platinum and gold mining sector as large mining houses withdraw from South Africa.

According to government reports, the South African government will have spent R860-billion on new infrastructure projects in South Africa between 2009 and March 2013. In the energy sector, Eskom had put in place 675 kilometers of electricity transmission lines in 2012, to connect fast-growing economic centers and also to bring power to rural areas. More than 200 000 new households were connected to the national electricity grid in 2012. Construction work is also taking place in five cities including Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Rustenburg, Durban and Pretoria to integrate different modes of transport.

Business Climate

Due to South Africa’s well-developed and world-class business infrastructure, the country is ranked 35th out of 183 countries in the World Bank and International Finance Corporation’s Doing Business 2012 report, an annual survey that measures the time, cost and hassle for businesses to comply with legal and administrative requirements. South Africa was ranked above developed countries such as Spain (44) and Luxembourg (50), as well as major developing economies such as Mexico (53), China (91), Russia (120), India (132) and Brazil (126).

The report found South Africa ranked first for ease of obtaining credit. This was based on depth of information and a reliable legal system.

Foreign trade

SA’s trade deficit narrowed to R 2,7-billion in December from R7,9-billion in November on account of seasonal factors. The trade balance usually records a surplus in December due to a large decline in imports. Exports declined 9,8% over the month. The decrease was mainly driven by declines in the exports of base metals. Vehicles, aircraft and vessels (down R1,1-billion), machinery and electrical appliances (down R0,9-billion) and prepared foodstuffs, beverages and tobacco (down 0,8-billion). Imports dropped 15,8% m-o-m.

Declines in the imports of machinery and electrical appliances (down R3,3-billion), original equipment components; (R1,8-billion), products of the chemicals or allied industries (R1,5-billion) and base metals and articles thereof (R1,2-billion) were the main drivers of the drop.

The large trade deficit for 2012 is one of the major reasons for the deterioration in the 2012 current account deficit forecast to 6,2% of GDP from 3,3% in 2011. South Africa’s trade performance will remain weak in the coming months on the back of unfavourable global conditions and domestic supply disruptions. Weak global economic conditions will continue to influence exports and growth domestically.

Skills and education

The need to transform South Africa’s education system has become ever more urgent, especially given the service delivery issues that have plagued the system. While government continues to allocate a significant amount of its budget to education (approximately 20%), it has not been enough to transform the schooling system. Coface expects the government to continue to support this critical sector, but that an opportunistic private sector will take advantage of government inefficiencies.

South Africa’s education levels are quite low compared to other developed and developing nations. South Africa began restructuring its higher education system in 2003 to widen access to tertiary education and reset the priorities of the old apartheid-based system. Smaller universities and technikons (polytechnics) were incorporated into larger institutions to form comprehensive universities.

Debt

The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt in South Africa fell by 9,8% year on year in November 2012 to 35 268, according to data released by Statistics South Africa. The total number of civil judgments recorded for debt decreased by 15,2% in three months ended November 2012 compared with the three months ended November 2011.

The number of civil summonses issued for debt fell 23,9% year-on-year to 70 537. During November, the 35 268 civil judgments for debt amounted to R414,1-million, with the largest contributors being money lent, with R142,5-million. There was a 21,9% decrease in the total number of civil summonses issued for debt in the three months ended November last year compared with the same period in 2011. A 23,9% y-o-y decrease was recorded in November.

South Africa maintains respectable debt-to-GDP ratios, although these grew to 39% of GDP by end-2012, substantially higher than the 34% for emerging and developing economies as a whole. When Fitch downgraded SA earlier this year, it specifically mentioned concerns about SA’s rising debt-to-GDP ratio, given that the ratio is higher than the country’s peers.

South Africa is uniquely exposed to foreign investor sentiment through the deficit on the current account combined with liquid and deep fixed interest markets. SA’s widening deficit on the current account is a specific factor that concerns the rating agencies and is one of the metrics the agencies will use to assess SA’s sovereign risk in the near future. Further downgrades are the risk – potentially driven by foreign investor sentiment about political risks.

Political landscape

Persistent unemployment, inequality and the mixed results of BEE (Black Economic Empowerment) intended to favour access to economic power by the historically disadvantaged populations have led to disappointment and resentment.

Social unrest is increasing. Recent events weakened the ruling coalition which came under fire for its management of these events. Tensions could intensify in the run up to the 2014 presidential elections. South Africa has a well-developed legal system, but government inefficiency, a shortage of skilled labour, criminality and corruption are crippling the business environment. South Africa also has a high and growing youth unemployment, high levels of visible inequality and government corruption so we would keep an eye on the escalating service delivery protest trends.

Labour force

The unemployment rate fell to 24,9% in the fourth quarter of 2012 from 25,5% in the third quarter, mainly reflecting an increase in the number of discouraged work seekers. Over the quarter, a total of 68 000 jobs were lost while the number discouraged work seekers rose by 87 000. The formal non-agricultural sector lost 52 000 jobs over the quarter, while the informal sector, in contrast, employed 8 000 more people. The breakdown shows that the highest number of jobs were lost in the private households category (48 000), followed by the trade and transport sectors, which shed 41 000 and 18 000 jobs respectively.

The agricultural sector led employment creation over the quarter, adding 24 000 jobs. Both local and international economic conditions are expected to improve only moderately during 2013.

Weak confidence and high wage settlement will make firms more cautious to expand capacity and employ more people this year. Government is likely to be the main driver of employment as it rolls out its infrastructure and job creation plans. The unemployment rate will therefore remain high in the short term.

Although the reduction in the unemployment rate is good news, it mainly reflects the large number of discouraged work seekers. Overall economic activity remains generally sluggish while upside risks to inflation have increased due to a weaker rand. Coface believes that this will persuade the Monetary Policy Committee to keep policy neutral over an extended period, with interest rates remaining unchanged for most of 2013. A reversal in policy easing is likely only late in the year or even in 2014.


 


Issued by:                                                                              Sha-Izwe/CharlesSmithAssoc

ON BEHALF OF:                                                   Coface

FURTHER INFORMATION:                                  Charles Smith

Tel:          (011) 781-6190

Email: charles@csa.co.za

Web:       www.csa.co.za

Media Contact:

Michele FERREIRA /
SENIOR MANAGER: MARKETING AND COMMUNICATION
TEL. : +27 (11) 208 2551  F.: +27 (11) 208 2651   M.: +27 (83) 326 2268
michele_ferreira@cofaceza.com

 

BUILDING D, DRA MINERALS PARK, INYANGA CLOSE

SUNNINGHILL, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA
T. +27 (11) 208 2500 –
www.cofaceza.com

About Coface

The Coface Group, a worldwide leader in credit insurance, offers companies around the globe solutions to protect them against the risk of financial default of their clients, both on the domestic market and for export. In 2012, the Group posted a consolidated turnover of €1.6 billion. 4,400 staff in 66 countries provide a local service worldwide. Each quarter, Coface publishes its assessments of country risk for 158 countries, based on its unique knowledge of companies’ payment behaviour and on the expertise of its 350 underwriters located close to clients and their debtors. In France, Coface manages export public guarantees on behalf of the French state.

Coface is a subsidiary of Natixis. corporate, investment management and specialized financial services arm of Groupe BPCE.. In South Africa, Coface provides credit protection to clients. Coface South Africa is rated AA+ by Global Ratings.

www.cofaceza.com

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LICEX 2013 Launched Sustainable development and investment opportunities in Lebanon’s infrastructure

Posted on 14 May 2013 by Africa Business

May 2013 – The Lebanon Infrastructure Conference and Exhibition (LICEX 2013) is taking place in the prestigious Hilton Habtoor Grand Hotel, Beirut on 10 and 11 October 2013 with the support of the Secretariat General of the Higher Council for Privatisation.

Organized by Global Events Partners Ltd (GEP) from the UK and Lebanon’s Planners and Partners S.A.L., LICEX 2013 is also supported by the UK Department of Trade and Industry, the Brazilian Chambers of Commerce and other international and local organizations.

‘’LICEX 2013 will feature an exhibition and conference bringing together the infrastructure community in Lebanon,’’ said Paul Gilbert from the GEP. ‘’Participants will have the opportunity to hear from industry experts about the latest planned infrastructure projects and to discuss the vast investment opportunities available in the country. They will have also a chance to hear from international experts about the latest on the Public Private Partnership.”

“There are a lot of new business opportunities to develop in Lebanon, particularly through possible contracts in the sectors of telecommunications, public transport, power and water management,” explained Dory Renno from Planners and Partners.

Gilbert explained that “LICEX 2013 will open the door for companies to introduce their latest products and services and to position themselves as leaders in their field to develop new business in Lebanon and to take advantage of the infrastructure contracts on offer.”

LICEX 2013 will attract exhibitors and visitors from across the infrastructure supply chain; EPC contractors, Government departments and companies from the following sectors: Construction, Technology, Regulators, Banks, Legal, Consultants, Telecommunications, Electricity, Transportation and Water and Power.

Despite the political instability all around the Middle East, Lebanon has kept a stable economy with a great potential for growth in the future. The constantly increasing interest in the country as a leading tourist destination, along with the emerging oil and gas sector offshore, are just two of many drivers for such an expected growth.

“The timing of the event is excellent,” said Renno, “it coincides with the increased interest and talk about the much-needed partnership between the private and public sectors in Lebanon.” A new PPP law is being prepared within the Lebanese Government, and could be approved at any time.

The programme of LICEX 2013 conference is being developed by government and industry partners. Conference will focus on the following main topics which will be structured in two or three days:

1- The investment climate in Lebanon particularly in infrastructure projects

2- The concept of PPP and its application in Lebanon

3- Presentations by a leading government ministries on their available projects

4- Leading local governments and the projects they have on offer

Speakers will include a large number of high-ranking government officials from involved ministries and governmental organizations, as well as representatives of leading infrastructure companies in Lebanon and internationally.

LICEX 2013 is being developed by the organisers of the Lebanon International Oil and Gas Summit (LIOG) which was held in December 2012 under the patronage of the Ministry of Energy and Water and in collaboration with the Ministry of Finance. It attracted over 330 delegates and 35 speakers from 23 countries representing 150 local and international companies and organizations, including major international oil companies (IOCs).

LICEX 2013 is the next step in the partnership between the UK based Global Event Partners Ltd and their local Lebanese partner company Planners and Partners SAL. Both companies are committed to holding the leading industry events in Beirut, with a strong commitment to Lebanon and its business climate.

To learn more about the event, how to participate and other details on the programme, participating delegates, speakers and sponsors, please visit: www.lebanoninfrastructure.com

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Under One Per Cent of Clean Energy Technology Patents Filed in Africa, Highlighting Huge Potential for Exploiting Renewable Sources

Posted on 10 May 2013 by Africa Business

NAIROBI, Kenya, May 10, 2013/African Press Organization (APO)/ Report Launch: 10am, Monday May 13

Venue: Intercontinental Hotel

Speakers:

Nicholaus Thumm , Chief Economist, European Patent Office

Robert Ondhowe, Legal Oficer, United Nations Environment Programme

Less than one per cent of all patent applications relating to Clean Energy Technology (CET) have been filed in Africa, highlighting an opportunity for the continent to leapfrog existing fossil-fuel energy sources and thus cut Greenhouse Gas Emissions and bring major health benefits.

A new study by the UN Environment Programme (UNEP) and the European Patent Office (EPO)—Patents and Clean Energy Technologies in Africa—to be launched on Monday finds that Africa has a huge untapped potential for generating clean energy, but that the slow pace of technology transfer is preventing this from being fully exploited.

The report, which will be launched during a high-level workshop, looks at the patent landscape in Africa, and issues recommendations on how to use the patent system to speed up the transfer of important technologies.

Other experts will be available to discuss the issue, including:

Clarice Wilson, Business Development Manager, Biossal Kenya

Kimani Njoroge, Director, Solimpex Africa

Maarten van Heepen, Phillips International

Said Ramadhan, African Regional Intellectual Property Office (ARIPO)

Dr Henry Mutai, Managing Director, Kenya Industrial Property Institute

Prof. Muya, Chairman, National Social and Economic Council

 

SOURCE

United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP)

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