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Items filtered by date: December 2016

Brazil Solar energy drive stalled by high costs, strict rules

February 3, 2017

Luciano Costa

(Reuters) A government plan to spur the construction of solar energy farms in Brazil is faltering because of high costs, strict rules requiring local components and low-priced competition from Chinese suppliers, say regulators and power sector executives. Developers had been excited about solar power's potential in a continent-sized country with 200 million consumers and plentiful sunlight. But many have grown discouraged, and the government's three-year-old program is moving so slowly that the national development bank is taking another look at rules that require a minimum amount of locally made components in projects.

"Investors are disheartened," says Armando Abreu, director of Braselco, an energy consultancy in the northeastern city of Fortaleza. "Many of these projects, in my opinion and that of many others, probably won't get off the drawing board." Even if the current program were successful, more than doubling the current supply of solar-generated power, it would still amount to only about 2 percent of Brazil's total electricity matrix. That would hardly revolutionize energy in Latin America's biggest country, powered mostly by hydroelectric dams...

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Read More At Reuters: http://www.reuters.com/article/us-brazil-power-solar-idUSKBN15F2L8

 

 

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Tesla Gives the California Power Grid a Battery Boost

February 3, 2017

Diane Cardwell

(The New York Times) Just off a freeway in Southern California, 396 refrigerator-size stacks of Tesla batteries, encased in white metal, have been hastily erected with a new mission: to suck up electricity from the grid during the day and feed it back into the system as needed, especially in the evening. The installation, capable of powering roughly 15,000 homes over four hours, is part of an emergency response to projected energy shortages stemming from a huge leak at a natural gas storage facility. The project, which officially came online Monday but began operating at the end of last year, is an important and surprising demonstration of how utilities can use enormous collections of batteries in place of conventional power plants.

It is also an indication of how rapidly Tesla is moving to transform itself from a maker of luxury electric cars into a multifaceted clean-energy company. "I had relatively limited expectations for the battery industry in advance of 2020," said Michael J. Picker, president of the California Public Utilities Commission. "I thought that it would not really accelerate and begin to penetrate the electric grid or the transportation world for a while to come. Once again, technology is clearly moving faster than we can regulate."...

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Read More At The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/30/business/energy-environment/battery-storage-tesla-california.html

 

 

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Small Funds Driving Private Infrastructure Investing in Canada

February 3, 2017

Allison McNeely

(Bloomberg) Canada's small infrastructure funds are happily snapping up the scraps left by the market's biggest players. Northleaf Capital Partners last week closed the second fund in its $2.5 billion program targeting long-term projects like health care, renewable energy and transportation in developed countries around the world. The Canadian-based fund targets equity investments of $150 million to $200 million with a return in the 10 percent range on a project.

Northleaf's projects are dwarfed by those of some of the bigger players. Canada Pension Plan Investment Board targets infrastructure investments of C$500 million to C$2 billion with its C$22 billion of infrastructure assets under management, according to board financial statements. And Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP raised $14 billion last year in what was at the time the largest private infrastructure fund ever raised in the industry...

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Read More At Bloomberg: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-01-30/small-funds-driving-private-infrastructure-investing-in-canada

 

 

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Con "bonos de agua" de CAF, inversionistas japoneses aportan al desarrollo de America Latina

27 de enero 2017

CAF -Banco de Desarrollo de América Latina- realizó de la mano de Daiwa Securities Group su tercera colocación temática de bonos específicamente dirigidos al financiamiento de proyectos de agua. Los papeles, que fueron adquiridos en el mercado Uridashi por inversionistas minoristas de Japón, tienen un plazo de 3 años y se emitieron en reales brasileños por un monto total de BRL 220,2 millones.

"Este tipo de bonos temáticos son fundamentales para promover el desarrollo de proyectos que mejoren el bienestar de la población. A pesar de contar con más de un tercio de los recursos de agua dulce del planeta, América Latina tiene por delante el desafío de universalizar el suministro de agua potable; atender el aumento de la demanda por cuenta de las altas tasas de urbanización y los mejores estándares de vida de la población; además del crecimiento de diversas actividades productivas como la agricultura para la exportación y los servicios vinculados al turismo", afirmó Enrique García, presidente ejecutivo de CAF. El apoyo a los 19 países miembros en el desarrollo del sector del agua es una de las prioridades de CAF. Por ello, a través de financiamiento y asistencia técnica la institución desembolsó USD 4.300 millones entre 2012 y 2015, que representaron el 9% del total de sus aprobaciones...

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Lea Mas:  https://www.caf.com/es/actualidad/noticias/2017/01/con-bonos-de-agua-de-caf-inversionistas-japoneses-aportan-al-desarrollo-de-america-latina/?parent=home

 

 

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Gobierno emitira decreto para acelerar nueva licitacion de gasoducto

20 de enero 2017

Desde Arequipa, señaló que el Ejecutivo "está a punto de sacar un decreto supremo para acelerar el proceso de subasta del Gasoducto del Sur, si ponemos en marcha ese proyecto nos añadiría este año, por lo menos, medio punto porcentual (de crecimiento)". Thorne recordó lo señalado sobre el impacto de los contratos que tiene Odebrecht actualmente, los que, si se detienen, podrían reducir la proyección de 4.8% a 3.8%.

"El 3.8% será si no hacemos nada, pero estamos haciendo muchas cosas. Para dar una idea, si logramos que nuestros ministros ejecuten sus inversiones al 80% (en 2017), del 73% que ejecutaron el año pasado, la obra pública crecería al 15%, en vez del 5%, y eso nos daría un crecimiento de 4.3% (de la economía peruana este año)", sostuvo. Thorne señaló que el Gobierno ejecutará un shock de inversiones este año, con tres componentes: transferencias a las regiones, Iniciativas Privadas Cofinanciadas (IPC) y destrabe de proyectos...

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Lea Mas:  http://larepublica.pe/economia/843059-gobierno-emitira-decreto-para-acelerar-nueva-licitacion-de-gasoducto-sur

 

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States Vie to be part of trillion-dollar infrastructure spending sprees

January 27, 2017

Richard Perez-Pena, Alan Blinder, and Mitch Smith

(The New York Times) New Jersey wants a railroad tunnel under the Hudson River, California wants high-speed rail linking north and south, Florida wants improved seaports, and most everyone wants highways and bridges. President Trump and congressional Democrats have proposed trillion-dollar infrastructure spending sprees, and among their most ardent allies are the nation's governors, Republicans and Democrats, who cite years of pent-up demand for fixing or expanding old assets and building new ones.

"Every single governor in this nation has roads, bridges, tunnels and airports, and we want to work together, because we need to replace them, and we need to repair them," Gov. Terry McAuliffe of Virginia, a Democrat, said on Wednesday at a National Governors Association meeting in Washington.  Last month, the Trump transition team asked the governors association to collect wish lists from the states, with an emphasis on "shovel ready" projects that are far enough along in engineering, approval and even construction to begin using the money quickly, and those that enhance national security and economic competitiveness, especially in manufacturing. The president has expressed a preference for partnerships between government and private industry, used in projects like toll roads that can attract private investors with a steady stream of revenue...

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Read More At The New York Times: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/25/us/donald-trump-infrastructure-spending-trillion-dollars-states.html

 

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Amazon Expands Into Ocean Freight

January 27, 2017

Laura Stevens

(The Wall Street Journal) The online retail giant has begun handling shipment of goods by ocean to its U.S. warehouses from Chinese merchants selling on its site—taking on a role it previously left to global freight-transportation companies. The move marks Amazon's latest step in a multiyear effort to build out its delivery business. The company doesn't own or operate ships, but is openly acting as a global freight forwarder and third-party logistics provider, categories of companies that book space on ocean vessels and truck goods between ports and warehouses.

Amazon has helped ship at least 150 containers of goods from China since October, according to shipping documents collected at ports of entry that were compiled by Ocean Audit, a company specializing in ocean-freight refund recovery for shippers. This month, Amazon started posting rates for new services such as sorting, labeling, and trucking shipments that traditionally are handled by global freight companies. The services and rates were posted under the name of its Chinese subsidiary, Beijing Century Joyo Courier Service Co., with Distribution-Publications Inc., a widely used platform for such information...

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Read More At The Wall Street Journal: http://www.wsj.com/articles/amazon-expands-into-ocean-freight-1485357884

 

 

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Magufuli seeks Turkish Loan for railway as erdogan visits Tanzania

January 27, 2017

(The Star) Tanzania on Monday asked for a loan from state-owned Export Credit Bank of Turkey (Eximbank) to help finance a stretch of a new railway it hopes will help it open up east Africa's hinterland and compete with neighbouring Kenya as a trade hub. Tanzania wants to construct a 2,561 km standard gauge railway connecting its main port of Dar es Salaam to land-locked neighbours, including Democratic Republic of the Congo, Zambia, Rwanda and Uganda.
President John Magufuli said he made the funding request to visiting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan during talks in Dar es Salaam on Monday. Turkish firms are among those that have submitted bids for the standard gauge project. Magufuli said he sought financing for a more-than 400 km stretch of track...

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Read More At The Star: http://www.the-star.co.ke/news/2017/01/24/magufuli-seeks-turkish-loan-for-railway-as-erdogan-visits-tanzania_c1493213

 

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Investment in infrastructure assets soars to record

January 27, 2017

Gill Plimmer

(Financial Times) Private investment in infrastructure assets soared last year as fierce competition for roads, airports, ports and power plants pushed prices higher.
Investment in global infrastructure assets hit a record $413bn in 2016, a rise of 14 per cent on the year before.  But although the deal value rose from $362bn to $413bn in 2016, the number of deals held steady at 1,772, showing that there is still a surplus of money chasing too few projects.

The number of deals has stayed at between 1,700 and 1,800 a year since 2013, according to Preqin, which provided the data. Tom Carr, head of real assets products at Prequin, said: "Demand for infrastructure has increased over the last decade, [so] greater competition for assets — particularly secondary stage [already-built and operating] assets in developed economies — has pushed valuations upwards...

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Read More At The Financial Times: https://www.ft.com/content/c841e854-d988-11e6-944b-e7eb37a6aa8e

 

 

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Skills and Infrastructure top priority in industrial strategy, say UK firms

January 27, 2017

Graham Ruddick

(The Guardian) The government's new industrial strategy must focus on improving skills and infrastructure in Britain rather than bailing out struggling large companies, according to a survey of business leaders.The findings suggest businesses are not in favor of rescue deals such as the government's proposed support for the steel industry.

Theresa May, the prime minister, and Greg Clark, the business, energy and industrial strategy secretary, are expected to unveil an industrial strategy for the UK next week. They will set out the government's approach to key industries and issues such as infrastructure, skills, regulation and research and development.The survey by the Institute of Directors found that almost nine out of 10 business leaders supported the introduction of an industrial strategy. However, while 95% believed a focus on developing skills was important, just 29% thought cash support for struggling large companies should be part of the strategy...

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Read More At The Guardian:https://www.theguardian.com/business/2017/jan/21/skills-and-infrastructure-top-priority-in-industrial-strategy-say-uk-firms

 

 

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