Monday, March 24, 2014

Gautam introduces Shiv Shankar at The Growth Net

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GAIL executes MoU with Chubu Electric of Japan for joint LNG procurement

Seoul, March 24, 2014: During the Gastech Conference being held in Seoul, South Korea, GAIL announced having signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Japan (Chubu) on 21.03.2014. Under the MoU, GAIL and Chubu shall mainly explore possibilities for collaboration in the area of joint LNG procurement. Besides, the two companies will also seek to collaborate on shipping optimization.
Chubu and GAIL are large LNG importers having considerable synergy between their LNG business profiles. It is assessed that with GAIL joining hands with Chubu for jointly pursuing LNG procurement and other allied business opportunities, such a collaboration shall augment GAIL’s efforts to aggressively source LNG volumes on competitive terms and would be a win-win proposition for both companies.
GAIL’s latest move is also in sync with the company’s recent efforts in establishing and promoting Asia LNG Forum, a sort of Asian LNG buyers’ club. GAIL is also actively working towards establishing a regional gas trading hub for Asia as well as an Asian gas index.
This MoU with Chubu is yet another effort by GAIL towards bridging the gap in demand supply of natural gas in the Indian market. This is in addition to other initiatives of GAIL towards LNG sourcing, creating LNG regasification infrastructure, reserving liquefaction tolling capacity in overseas projects and augmenting transmission capacity significantly over the next few years. GAIL will continue to make efforts to tie-up affordable LNG in its portfolio to meet the rapidly growing energy demand of the Indian market.
Speaking during the inaugural Ministerial session of the Gastech on 23.03.2014.  Mr. B. C. Tripathi, CMD, GAIL, highlighted the enormous  potential for gas demand in Asia and said that despite being the largest importer of LNG, Asian market is paying premium for LNG. On way forward for Asia,  Mr Tripathi emphasized the need for developing synergies among Asian countries by promoting cross border pipelines to bring gas from central Asia, interlink Asian countries through gas pipelines and also promoting Asian Co-operation Forum to address Asian Gas Grid and Asian LNG forum and Asia Hub/index. Mr. Tripathi also said that in times to come, Asian market will prefer suppliers who have reliable/diverse source of supply and can offer transparent and competitive pricing methodologies. He reiterated that contract with destination flexibilities and innovative pricing including S-curve have become essential as it helps to tap the new demand in Asia by bringing a win-win proposition for both suppliers and  buyers.
About Chubu Electric Power Co., Inc., Japan
Chubu is one of the largest importers of LNG in Japan, and has significant presence across gas value chain including upstream assets, liquefaction capacity and regas capacity. The company procured ~10 MMTPA LNG in 2013. It operates 5 LNG terminals in Japan, and has contracted liquefaction capacity (based on equity participation) in Gorgon and Ichthys LNG projects in Australia, and has acquired 2.2 MMTPA liquefaction tolling capacity in the 1st train of Freeport LNG Liquefaction, LLC, US. Chubu has also made a foray in the LNG shipping industry, and presently has a fleet of 03 LNG carriers under construction which are likely to be delivered in 2014 / 2015.
About GAIL (India) Limited
GAIL (India) Limited is India’s principal Natural Gas company with activities ranging from Gas Transmission and Marketing to Processing, transmission of Liquefied Petroleum Gas and production and marketing of Petrochemicals. The Company has extended its presence in LNG sourcing and re-gasification, City Gas Distribution, Exploration & Production and Power & Renewable Energy through equity and joint venture participations.
In order to meet the growing appetite of Indian market, GAIL has been expanding its global presence to secure long term gas supplies. GAIL earlier signed a 20 year Sales and Purchase Agreement with Sabine Pass Liquefaction LLC, a unit of Cheniere Energy Partners, USA for supply of 3.5 million tonnes per year of LNG. In addition, the company has signed long-term LNG supply contract for 2.5 million tonnes with Gazprom Marketing and Trading Ltd., Singapore for 20 years. GAIL has also signed a Terminal Service agreement for 2.3 millions tonnes per year LNG liquefaction capacity with Dominion Cove Point LNG, USA.
GAIL has executed Gas Sales Purchase Agreement with Turkmengaz for 38 MMSCMD for 30 year supply through the Turkmenistan – Afghanistan – Pakistan – India pipeline.
GAIL is also poised to make its foray into LNG shipping business in the near future with long-term charter hiring of multiple LNG vessels, mainly to transport LNG volumes from GAIL’s US portfolio to India.
Disclaimer: This communication is confidential and privileged and is directed to and for the use of the addressee only. The recipient, if not the addressee, should not use this message if erroneously received as access and use of this e-mail in any manner by anyone other than the addressee is unauthorized. The recipient acknowledges that GAIL (India) Limited may be unable to exercise control or ensure or guarantee the integrity of the text of this email message and the text is not warranted as to completeness and accuracy. Though GAIL (India) Limited has taken reasonable precautions to ensure no viruses are present in this e-mail, however, it cannot accept responsibility for any loss or damage arising from the use of this email or attachments.



A pro-Erdogan rally held in Istanbul



Election date nearer draws hundreds of thousands of supporters of Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan rallied at the Justice and Development Party (AKP) electoral meeting in Istanbul on Sunday. The rally preceded the country’s elections, which are due to take place on March 30. Erdogan is facing mounting pressure at home and abroad and being criticized for his crackdown on dissent. On Thursday, Turkey blocked Twitter after the embattled prime minister vowed to “wipe it out” over content alleging him and his circle of corruption. 
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World News at Glance


20 Yemeni soldiers killed in attack on checkpoint

Twenty Yemeni soldiers were killed in an attack on a military checkpoint in the eastern province of Hadramout, state news agency Saba said on Monday. The country has been in turmoil since mass protests forced President Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down in 2012.

S. Korea to boost air defenses with $6.8bn budget for F-35s – reports

South Korea expects to pay around 7.34 trillion won (US$6.79 billion) for 40 Lockheed Martin F-35 fighter jets, Reuters said, citing its sources. The budget to buy the radar-evading F-35s plus support systems was reportedly announced to a committee overseeing military purchases on Monday. As Seoul boosts its air defenses amid simmering tensions in the region, it also confirmed plans to buy four Northrop Grumman Global Hawk unmanned aircraft to monitor neighboring North Korea. The deals come as ties between Japan, China and South Korea have chilled over the past year.

Street protests resumed in Thailand

Anti-government demonstrators in Thailand resumed street protests on Monday after lying low for weeks, Reuters reported. Opponents of Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra were emboldened by a Constitutional Court decision on Friday to nullify last month’s election. The formation of a new administration is delayed, as Yingluck is left in charge of a caretaker government with limited powers. Yingluck has until March 31 to defend herself before the National Anti-Corruption Commission for dereliction of duty over a ruinous rice-buying scheme that has run up huge losses. She could be removed from office by the upper house Senate if the commission recommends her impeachment.

Russia’s Soyuz space rocket carrying Glonass-M navsat launched from Plesetsk

Russia has launched the Soyuz-2.1b rocket with a Glonass-M navigation satellite from Plesetsk spaceport on Monday, ITAR-TASS reported. The rocket was successfully launched at 2:54am Moscow time (Sunday 22:54GMT), said Colonel Alexey Zolotukhin, a spokesman for the Air and Space Defense Forces (VKO) in the Defense Ministry’s press service. The satellite, whose supposed time of work is seven years, is expected to reach 20,000km altitude orbit. The orbital Glonass group of satellites now has 28 spacecraft.

​Gunmen steal $600,000 from bank vehicle in eastern Libya

As much as $600,000 was stolen from a van transporting money to a Libyan bank when gunmen forced the vehicle to stop and robbed it, according to local media. Five men were reportedly involved in the incident. The van was transporting money from a telecommunications company in the port city of Derna. The city is a stronghold for hardline Islamists and is largely out of government control.

​4 dead in Kenya church attack

Four people were killed and others wounded in an attack on a church in the Kenyan coastal city of Mombasa, Reuters reported. The attack occurred when two gunmen began shooting at worshippers. “Both carried big guns and began shooting all over the place. I fell to the ground and could hear screams,” said witness Lilian Omondi. Another witness described one of the gunmen shouting in a different language before starting to shoot.

​Observers pull out of Afghanistan ahead of election due to security concerns

The staff of two election observer and support missions have been evacuated from Afghanistan following a Taliban attack on a Kabul hotel. Afghanistan’s upcoming elections, scheduled for April 5, will be the country’s first democratic elections. “It’s really bad news,” Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan director Jandad Spingar told Reuters. “Having international observers in the election is really, really important…[to] give legitimacy to the process.” Nine individuals, including four foreigners, died after a shooting and subsequent firefight inside the luxurious Serena Hotel on Thursday. Taliban insurgents claimed responsibility for the attack.

Spain’s first democratically elected PM dies at 81

Former Spanish Prime Minister Adolfo Suarez, known for introducing Spain to democracy and becoming the first elected premier after the death of General Francisco Franco, passed away on Sunday at the age of 81. Suarez died in a Madrid hospital after being admitted with pneumonia on Monday, AFP quoted family spokesman Fermin Urbiola as saying. Suarez suffered from Alzheimer’s disease which was diagnosed 11 years ago. 

Venezuelan prosecutor admits police ‘excesses’ in protest crackdown

Venezuela’s top state prosecutor, Luisa Ortega, said in an interview broadcast on Sunday that security forces have used excessive violence in breaking up two-month-old opposition protests against the government of Nicolas Maduro, which have led to at least 34 deaths. Since the start of the demonstrations, prosecutors have opened 60 investigations into alleged human rights abuses and 15 officials have already been imprisoned, she said.

At least 13 injured in protests over Taiwan trade deal with China

At least 13 people were injured as hundreds of protesters occupied Taiwan’s government headquarters on Sunday over a controversial trade pact with mainland China. Taiwanese President Ma Ying-jeou says the pact is necessary to the island’s prosperity, as China is its main trading partner. But the main opposition party says the pact could hurt small businesses and service companies. Many others are also wary about Chinese influence over Taiwan, which considers itself an independent country. China believes Taiwan is part of its territory.

Saudi Arabia arrests suspects over attack on German diplomats

Saudi Arabia announced Sunday that it has arrested two suspects in connection with a January attack on two German diplomats. Both envoys escaped unharmed when their car was shot at on January 13 in Eastern Province, where most of the kingdom’s Shiite minority live. A third suspect was arrested at the beginning of February and has admitted taking part in the attack, according to Saudi Interior Ministry spokesman Ahmed bin Hussein al-Aradi.

Turkish government reshuffles over 200 judges and prosecutors

A key government controlled judicial body reshuffled 271 judges and prosecutors Sunday in the latest purge of the Turkish judiciary amid the ongoing graft and corruption probe which has engulfed many top officials. A decree on the reappointment of the prosecutors and judges was issued by the first chamber of the Supreme Council of Judges and Prosecutors. The government recently amended the law to give it full control of the Council.

UK citizens skeptical of Cameron’s chances of EU renegotiation – poll

Polling data released on Sunday shows that nearly three quarters of respondents doubt that UK Prime Minister David Cameron will be able to reshape Britain’s relationship with the EU. The poll, which was gathered from 20,000 people, also showed large-scale discontent about how the UK benefits from EU membership. Cameron, faced both with Eurosceptic factions in his own Conservative Party as well as voters switching to the openly anti-EU Independence Party, has promised to try to negotiate sweeping reforms to the EU and, if he is re-elected, hold an in-out referendum by 2017. So far, Cameron has received a lukewarm, and in some cases negative, response to his renegotiation bid from European leaders.

Landslide kills three in Washington State

Three people died and at least eight were injured in a landslide, which took place on Saturday in northwest Washington State, according to officials. The natural disaster, which destroyed at least 6 houses, have likely been caused by recent heavy rains. Mud slid across part of State Route 530 near Oso, Washington, which is now closed. The death toll was confirmed by the Snohomish County Sheriff’s Office, which added that three among those injured, including a 6-month-old boy, were in critical condition.

Syria-related clashes in Beirut leave one dead

Gun battles between armed men loyal to embattled Syrian President Bashar Assad and rivals have left one dead and 13 people wounded in the Lebanese capital, say local security forces. As a result of the clashes, the Lebanese authorities have deployed troops to bring the situation under control. The unrest began when Sunni gunmen opened fire with rocket-propelled grenades in the neighborhood of Tariq Jadideh, early on Sunday morning.


Venezuela protest death toll rises to 34

Three more people have died in Venezuela amid clashes between protesters and police, bringing the death toll to 34. Saturday’s clashes erupted as protesters tried to block a highway in Caracas following a march, demanding the release of students detained during the unrest. Venezuela has been hit by a wave of violent protests. The demonstration movement is angry at President Nicolas Maduro’s government over inflation and the lack of basic products in the country such as paper, sugar, and oil.

N. Korea fires 16 additional short-range rockets

North Korea launched 16 short-range rockets from the country’s east coast on Sunday, after firing 30 short-range missiles into the sea a day earlier, Yonhap News quoted South Korea’s Joint Chiefs of Staff (JCS) as saying. The same test site in the city of Wonsan was used for the launch. North Korea reportedly uses short-range tests as an armed protest against annual joint US-South Korea military exercises. The plan was not announced ahead of time to civilian flights. Rockets were fired in two sets between 00:52 a.m. and 2:31 a.m. on Sunday. “The military has maintained vigilance against additional launches,” the JCS said. The two launches come just days after South Korea said the North fired 25 short-range missiles 40 miles into the Sea of Japan. 
Media agencies

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