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ReneSola Ltd. Expands into Canada , Mexico

ReneSola Ltd. Expands into Canada , Mexico

San Francisco, CA – Solar photovoltaic technology developer ReneSola Ltd.has expanded its North American operations with new offices and warehouse facilities in Mexico City, Mexico and Mississauga, Ontario in Canada.

Mexico expects to generate 35 percent of its energy from renewable sources by 2024. In 2012, only 4 percent of the country’s electricity was generated from wind, solar and geothermal sources.

The Mexican government is anticipating enormous increases in solar and wind power capacity for 2018, with the solar market’s installed base expected to quadruple from 60 megawatts to 240 megawatts by the end of this year.

Canada’s photovoltaic market is mainly concentrated in Ontario, a result of the province’s feed in tariff (FIT).

Previous FIT programs required solar projects to be powered by “domestic content” equipment made in Ontario. The third phase of the program (FIT3) has eliminated this requirement.

12/15/2014

Economists Call for Lifting Ban on U.S. Oil Exports

Washington, D.C. – Two economists are calling on the Obama Administration and lawmakers to lift the current ban on the exportation of U.S.-produced crude oil.

Removing the sanction would boost U.S. trade and economic competitiveness and highlight the need for U.S. trade policy “to reflect the reality of America’s abundant resources,” say economists Dr. Margo Thorning and Dr. William Shughart.

Thorning and Shugart are, respectively, Senior Vice President and Chief Economist at the Logan, Utah-based American Council for Capital Formation (ACCF), and Professor of Economics at Utah State University’s Jon M. Huntsman School of Business and former Federal Trade Commission economist.

“This is an issue whose time has come,” said Thorning. “The momentum for lifting the ban on crude oil exports continues to grow and now is the time for the U.S. to capitalize on its energy advantages. This new project will be a resource for the public and policymakers to get the facts on a critical issue that affects everyone.”

Added Shughart, “Not only will lifting the ban bring substantial economic benefits to the country, but doing so will also advance U.S. and global energy security. The times – and the world – have changed in the decades since the ban was put into place and our energy policies need to catch up.”

Since the export ban was enacted in 1975, the U.S., they said, “has transitioned into a world leader in energy production. The nation’s refined oil – mainly gasoline and diesel – is exported without restriction, yet due to the crude export ban, the country is restricted from exporting its abundant supplies of crude oil.”

Such a restriction, they say, “holds America back from significant economic, geopolitical and price-related benefits.”

11/10/2014

Trade Group Urges DOE to Speed LNG Export Applications

Los Angeles, CA – Despite its recent approval of a pair of major liquified natural gas (LNG) export operations, the US Department of Energy (DOE) needs to speed-up the process of green-lighting a number of other proposed LNG projects, says the American Petroleum Institute (API).

Charging that “dozens of other permits still face lengthy delays,” the trade group is urging the White House “to accelerate this process and work with leaders in Congress who have shown they are ready to strengthen America’s position as an energy superpower,” according to the industry group.

Both Sempra Energy’s Cameron LNG project in Louisiana and the Carib Energy LLC project in Florida were cleared for LNG exports to countries like those in the European Union that don’t have a free-trade agreement with the US.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission granted the $10 billion Cameron project a construction license in June after it was issued a conditional export permit by the Energy Department earlier in the year. Its Louisiana facility will be able to export up to 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas a day for up to 20 years.

The Carib Energy project was approved under a new process that allows the DOE to issue decisions on applications only after federal environmental reviews are completed.

An environmental review was waived for Carib Energy, a subsidiary of the Crowley Maritime Corp, because the exports would be coming from an existing natural gas liquefaction facility that’s already undergone the necessary assessments.

Carib’s operation would move up to 0.04 billion cubic feet a day of gas in ISO-certified LNG shipping containers to countries in the Caribbean and Central and South America.

09/25/2014

China to Invest in Louisiana Methanol Plant

Vacherie, LA – China’s Yuhuang Chemical CEO has said it will inject a $1.85 billion capital investment in a methanol production complex on the Mississippi River in Louisiana’s St. James Parish.

The project by Yuhuang Chemical Inc., a subsidiary of Shandong Yuhuang Chemical Co. Ltd., represents the first major foreign direct investment by a Chinese company in the state.

Announcement of the investment was made this week by Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal and Yuhuang Chemical CEO Charlie Yao.

More than 400 new direct jobs, with an average annual salary of $85,000 plus benefits, and an additional 2,365 new indirect will be created, according to the Louisiana Economic Development (LED).

Construction will begin in 2016, with the first phase of the methanol project beginning operations by 2018.

After the first methanol plant is completed, the company will build a second methanol plant and reach an annual capacity of 3 million metric tons of methanol per annum. A third phase will include a methanol derivatives plant that will produce intermediate chemicals.

Most of the project’s methanol will be exported by oceangoing vessels for use in the parent company’s production of downstream chemicals in China, with approximately 20 percent to 30 percent of the methanol to be shipped by barge and rail and sold to North American customers.

“Following such historic foreign direct investment projects as Sasol in Southwest Louisiana and Benteler Steel/Tube in Northwest Louisiana, our state continues to raise the bar for attracting high-quality, world-class foreign direct investment projects,” said Jindal.

Discussions on the project between the LED and Yuhuang Chemical began in February 2014.

To secure the project, Louisiana offered the company a competitive incentive package that includes two performance-based grants: $9.5 million to be paid over five years beginning in 2017 to offset infrastructure costs of the project and $1.75 million to be paid over 10 years to partially defray the costs of necessary riverfront access and development.

In addition, the company will receive the comprehensive workforce solutions of LED FastStart, ranked the No. 1 state workforce training program in the country, and Yuhuang Chemical also is expected to utilize the state’s Quality Jobs and Industrial Tax Exemption programs.

One of China’s largest chemical companies, Shandong Yuhuang Chemical generated more than $4 billion in 2013 sales and employs more than 5,600 people worldwide.

Its newly formed Yuhuang Chemical subsidiary will make its first major US investment in St. James Parish, where it has secured an option to purchase more than 1,100 acres for a three-phase project next to the Plains All-American

Yuhuang Chemical has selected China Huanqiu Contracting & Engineering Corp., known as HQC, to complete engineering work for the project.

The company has licensed methanol technology from Air Liquide Global E&C Solutions. Hiring will begin in 2015, with employment reaching 200 by 2017 and 400 six years later.

Foreign direct investment projects, said Jindal, “add great value to our state by creating high-paying jobs, increased levels of international trade and extraordinary career opportunities for the families of Louisiana. Our efforts reforming government, lowering taxes, and improving our state’s business climate are paying off.”

07/18/2014

GE Acquires UK-Based Waste Treatment Company

Trevose, PA – GE has agreed to acquire Monsal, a private UK-based water, waste, advanced anaerobic digestion and integrated biogas-to-energy business.

“With Monsal’s advanced anaerobic digestion technology and industry knowledge, GE will be able to help municipalities and industrial manufacturers shift from disposing wastewater treatment byproducts to generating renewable energy and other value from their streams,” said GE. “The acquisition of Monsal will enhance GE’s wastewater treatment product offerings and further GE’s commitment to energy reduction in wastewater treatment.”

Monsal, based in Mansfield, UK, provides advanced technology to treat biosolids and biowaste and convert it into renewable energy and saleable byproducts.

Anaerobic digestion is a biological process in which microorganisms break down biodegradable material in the absence of oxygen. One of the end products is biogas, which can be combusted to generate electricity and heat.

Monsal has over 200 installed anaerobic digestion systems with particular expertise in optimizing anaerobic digestion assets to create strategic renewable energy centers for the water and waste markets.

07/11/2014

Bechtel Completes Australian LNG Production Project

Gladstone, Australia – Bechtel has successfully delivered and installed all of the modules for the first liquefied natural gas production train at the GLNG facility on Curtis Island in Queensland, Australia.

The successful installation marks a major milestone in the construction of the plant, which will consist of two production trains, designated Trains 1 and 2.

Train 1 is made up of 82 modules that were built at a Bechtel-managed module yard facility in the Philippines and transported to Curtis Island over a 19-month period.

The modules for Train 2 are being constructed at the same facility and shipped to the island. The final modules for the second train are scheduled to be delivered and installed later this year.

US-based Bechtel is acting as the engineering, procurement, and construction contractor for three LNG facilities on Curtis Island.

GLNG, Queensland Curtis LNG, and Australia Pacific LNG are all being built simultaneously, side-by-side, making these projects the largest concentration of Bechtel work anywhere in the world.

In addition, the company is the principal contractor for the Chevron Wheatstone LNG project in Western Australia and constructed Australia’s first LNG facility, at Darwin, in 2005.

Global engineering giant Bechtel operates through five global business units that specialize in civil infrastructure; power generation, communications, and transmission; mining and metals; oil, gas, and chemicals; and government services.

Since its founding in 1898, Bechtel has worked on more than 25,000 projects in 160 countries on all seven continents. The company is currently involved in diverse projects in nearly 40 countries.

07/10/2014

Reports Call for End to US Petroleum Export Ban

Washington, DC – US consumers could see their energy bills shrink and more than one million jobs would be created if the government in Washington, DC ended its nearly four decades-old ban on crude oil exports, according to two reports published by the American Petroleum Institute (API) and the industry research firm IHS.

The API report forecasts “broad-based economic gains” if the oil ban were lifted, repeating its assertion that exporting oil would economically benefit not only oil-producing states but other states as well.

Eighteen US states could gain over 5,000 jobs each in 2020 from exports of US crude oil, said Kyle Isakower, the API’s vice president for regulatory and economic policy.

Most states, he added, “could see economic activity grow by hundreds of millions of dollars due to growing energy production and downward pressure on the prices at the pump, while the US is poised to become the world’s largest oil producer, and access to foreign customers will create economic opportunities across the country.” .

“When it comes to crude oil, the rewards of free trade are not limited to energy-producing states. New jobs, higher investment, and greater energy security from exports could benefit workers and consumers from Illinois to New York, especially in areas where consumer spending and manufacturing drive growth,” said Isakower.

In its own study released the same time as the API report, Colorado-headquartered IHS predicts an end to the export restrictions “could inject $746 billion in additional investment into the economy between 2016 and 2030, while increasing domestic oil production by an average of 1.2 million barrels more per day.”

The additional crude oil supply, the report said, “would lower gasoline prices by an annual average of 8 cents per gallon with the combined savings for US motorists during the 2016-2030 period translating into $265 billion compared to a situation where the restrictive trade policy remains in place.”

A boost to the US economy would be “rapid” and “accompanied by a surge of capital that could help depress gas prices in the longer term and lower the country’s own petroleum imports by nearly 1 million b/d in 2016 for a savings of more than $43 billion, it said.

The current US oil and gas boom “is a huge win for us, but it takes a little education” for drivers to appreciate the economic benefits of flooding global markets with American crude,” the API’s Isakower said. “The public will get behind crude exports when they see a benefit for themselves.”

Last year, the Council on Foreign Relations released its own report, which concluded that, “Removing all proscriptions on crude oil exports, except in extraordinary circumstances, will strengthen the US economy and promote the efficient development of the country’s energy sector.”

06/06/2014