Friday, January 16, 2015

Pope Francis urges Philippine authorities to reject corruption

Pope Francis has called for authorities in the Philippines to reject corruption and urged them to work to end the country’s “scandalous” poverty. On his first full day in Asia’s largest Catholic nation, an unprecedented level of security prevented the pope from walking among the crowds as he typically likes to do, AP reported. In a speech to President Benigno Aquino III and other officials in the presidential palace, Francis said that more than ever, political leaders must be “outstanding for honesty, integrity and commitment to the common good.”

Warring factions agree on ‘agenda’ for Libyan unity govt

Libya’s warring factions have agreed on an “agenda" to form a unity government, AFP reported, citing UN officials. After two days of UN-brokered talks in Geneva, the participants agreed “on an agenda that includes reaching a political agreement to form a consensual national unity government and the necessary security arrangements to end the fighting,” a statement read.

China arrests 60,500 in drug sweep

Police in China have arrested 60,500 people for drug-related crimes and seized 11.14 metric tons of narcotics in a vast sweep, Reuters said. Authorities handled 52,800 drug crime cases from late September to December during a campaign dubbed “Ban drugs in hundreds of cities,” according to a report by Xinhua news agency. The campaign will last until April. Around 180,000 drug users had been punished by mid-December.

German police raid suspected Islamist cells in Berlin, 1 arrested

German police officers raided suspected Islamist cells in and around Berlin early Friday. An alleged leader of a group planning to carry out an attack in Syria was arrested, AFP reported. The man, 41, of Turkish origin, is suspected of “leading an Islamist extremist group made up of Turkish and Russian nationals from Chechnya and Dagestan,” police said. There is no indication that the group was preparing attacks inside Germany.

Ebola crisis has ‘passed the tipping point’ - UN envoy

The Ebola crisis has “passed the tipping point,” AFP quoted the UN special envoy as saying. UN Ebola coordinator David Nabarro cited fresh data from the World Health Organization showing that all three hardest-hit countries in West Africa had registered the lowest weekly tally of new cases in months. Liberia reported its lowest weekly number of new cases since early June. Guinea and Sierra Leone both saw the fewest new cases since August. There is now a reasonable chance the deadly outbreak could end quickly, Nabarro said.

2 Italian women abducted in Syria released, return to Rome

Two Italian aid workers abducted in northern Syria last summer arrived in Rome on Friday, a day after they were released, AFP reported. Greta Ramelli, 20, and Vanessa Marzullo, 21, were welcomed by Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni after their flight from Turkey landed at Ciampino military airport near the Italian capital at 0300 GMT. The women from Lombardy disappeared on July 31 near Aleppo in northern Syria three days after they arrived from Turkey
APGDC, GDF SUEZ, Shell and GAIL sign MOUs for the floating LNG terminal in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh

New Delhi, January 16, 2015 – Andhra Pradesh Gas Distribution Corporation (APGDC), GDF SUEZ, Shell and GAIL announced that they have signed two separate Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) for a floating LNG terminal in Kakinada Deep Water Seaport in Kakinada, Andhra Pradesh. Both MOUs were signed in the presence of Shri Nara Chandrababu Naidu, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh, Shri P Ashok Gajapathi Raju, Hon’ble Union Minister of Civil Aviation, Shri Dharmendra Pradhan, Hon’ble Union Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum and Natural Gas and Shri Y. S. Chowdary, Hon’ble Union Minister of State for Science & Technology and Earth Sciences.

The first MOU is between APGDC, GDF SUEZ and Shell and supports the development of the terminal. APGDC (a JV company between the Government of AP and GAIL), GDF SUEZ and Shell will have 48%, 26% and 26% equity in the project respectively.

The second MOU is between GAIL, GDF SUEZ and Shell and covers both the sourcing of LNG and the marketing of the regasified LNG from the terminal. GAIL, GDF SUEZ and Shell will have 48%, 26% and 26% equity in the project respectively.

The Kakinada LNG terminal will use a state-of-the-art Floating Storage and Regasification Unit (FSRU) with a peak capacity of 5 million tonnes per annum (mtpa) with the provision to double the capacity. The proposed terminal will use high-end technology and will be one of the first of its kind in India. The Kakinada port was found suitable for a project of this nature owing to its availability of a natural break-water in the Hope Island – a barrier that protects against the impact of high seas.

Hon’ble Chief Minister of Andhra Pradesh Shri N Chandrababu Naidu who was witness to the MOU signing said, “I am fully committed to the project and am sure that these domestic and international partners who have come together under this MOU will bring the best expertise, technology and speediness from all over the world to complete the project within 18 months.

About the Kakinada LNG Terminal, he described it as a great opportunity in the development of a project that shall ensure continuous availability of Natural gas. In many countries FSRU based LNG project is the fastest and most cost-effective way to secure energy supply while bolstering the fight against climate change and air pollution. He pointed out that gas is the way to go as it dovetails world’s concerns about climate change. Considering the state and country’s need for energy, Shri Naidu stated that opportunities for scaling up are huge. The Chief Minister also suggested that building such partnerships is important to develop projects with advanced technological capabilities.

Speaking on the occasion, the Hon’ble Minister of State (Independent Charge) for Petroleum & Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan said, “This project would be a significant boost to our economic churning and development. Such big infrastructure projects will become the beneficiary of two strong leaders both at the centre and state who are committed to support such large projects”.

Speaking on the development, Mr. B C Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL (India) Limited said that “This is first of its kind LNG Terminal in India and would prove to be an important infrastructure for import of LNG on the eastern coast. Natural Gas is emerging as a significant fuel for economic development of the country and this FSRU based LNG Terminal will surely play a far reaching role in making natural gas available to various consumers in industrial, commercial and domestic sectors.”

Speaking about the project, Dr. Yasmine Hilton, Chairman, Shell Companies in India, said, “Shell is pleased to contribute to this opportunity with our partners as a LNG terminal in Andhra Pradesh will help meet the energy demand in the region. Natural gas is uniquely positioned to help meet energy and environmental challenges and we are encouraged by the State’s commitment to the project. We are grateful to the Chief Minister for taking this initiative forward.”

Mr. Lucas Hautvast, CEO & President of GDF SUEZ Energy South Asia, Middle East & Africa, said, “GDF SUEZ, as one of the key stakeholders and strategic investors in Petronet LNG – the owner of India’s first LNG terminal – has a long history in the country. Soon after its acquisition of a majority stake in the 1,000 MW Meenakshi coal-fired power project near Krishnapatnam port, the participation in the Kakinada LNG project confirms GDF SUEZ’s confidence in the Indian energy growth potential. We are excited to be part of the energy infrastructure development story that is taking shape in Andhra Pradesh and are proud to bring our experience in floating LNG to India for this first East coast terminal. We look forward to working with such prestigious partners as APGDC, GAIL and Shell to bring this project to fruition.”


APGDC has been established as a Joint Venture Company by GoAP (Government of Andhra Pradesh) and GAIL Gas Ltd., with 50% equity each.

The objective of the APGDC is to establish the regional gas pipeline distribution network and to develop city gas distribution in various major cities within the State of Andhra Pradesh and to develop infrastructure for import of Natural Gas in the eastern coast, to make the State of Andhra Pradesh a gas driven economy.

APGDC has been authorized by the regulator M/s PNGRB to lay, build, operate and expand  cross country natural gas pipeline from Kakinada to Srikakulam having length of 301 Km for the mainline. The pipeline will cover 4 districts of Andhra Pradesh namely East Godavari, Vishakhapatnam, Vizianagaram and Srikakulam. APGDC is also in the process of obtaining authorisation to lay further pipelines within the state of AP and confident of further expansion in their activities.

About GAIL (India) Limited
GAIL (India) Limited is India’s largest natural gas company having a market share of over 75% in natural gas transmission. Apart from natural gas transmission, distribution and processing, the Company has diversified business interests in LPG transmission, petrochemicals, city gas projects and Exploration and Production activities. The Company has presence in Egypt and China through city gas projects and in Myanmar in E & P. GAIL has recently acquired its first shale gas assets in the USA through its wholly owned US subsidiary GAIL Global (USA) Inc. The subsidiary company has executed definitive agreements with Carrizo Oil & Gas Inc. based in Houston, Texas, to enter into an unincorporated joint venture, under which GAIL Global (USA) Inc. will acquire a 20% interest in Carrizo's Eagle Ford Shale acreage position. GAIL has set up a wholly- owned subsidiary company viz. GAIL Global (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. in Singapore.

The Company recorded a Turnover of Rs. 57,245 crore (US $ 9.5 billion approx.) and Profit After Tax of Rs. 4,375 crore (US $ 730 million approx.) in the year 2013-14.

GAIL owns and operates around 11,000 Km of high pressure cross country natural gas pipeline network and can handle 210 MMSCMD and is in the process of significantly increasing its pipeline network to reach every part of India. Within the next two to three years, GAIL will have a pan-India natural pipeline infrastructure spanning over 14,500 km and can handle volumes over 300 MMSCMD GAIL is the owners’ Operator of the 5 MMTPA LNG Terminal of RGPPL at Dabhol in Western Coast of India and spread a huge network of pipeline network to take natural gas to customers across the country.

About Royal Dutch Shell

Shell is the leading international oil company (IOC) for integrated gas, which comprises LNG and GTL. We hold the largest equity share of LNG capacity among IOCs. Floating LNG is the latest in a line of Shell achievements in developing new technologies for the oil and gas industry, reinforcing our leadership in technology and innovation that adds value. We have been developing GTL technology since the 1970s, and built the world’s first commercial GTL plant in Bintulu, Malaysia in 1993. Since then, we have continued to build on our expertise. In 2011, we started production at the world’s largest GTL plant, Pearl, in Qatar.

Shell is one of the largest and most diversified international investors in India's energy sector. It is the only global major to have a fuel retail license in India. Besides being a major private sector supplier of crude, products, chemicals and technology to public/private sector oil companies, Shell also has key interests in lubricants, bitumen and aviation and marine products while operating an LNG receiving and re-gasification terminal, as well as a significant technology centre and a financial business services centre. India has been a focus country for investments from the global Shell Foundation, which has already invested over USD 10 million to date impacting more than 2 million people.


GDF SUEZ develops its businesses (power, natural gas, energy services) around a model based on responsible growth to take up today’s major energy and environmental challenges: meeting energy needs, ensuring the security of supply, fighting against climate change and maximizing the use of resources. The Group provides highly efficient and innovative solutions to individuals, cities and businesses by relying on diversified gas-supply sources, flexible and low-emission power generation as well as unique expertise in four key sectors: independent power production, liquefied natural gas, renewable energy and energy efficiency services.

In India, GDF SUEZ is present in the electricity and gas value chains, with existing investments in LNG, Power generation, and Infrastructure/Engineering services, and has recently opened its South Asia development office in the National Capital Region of New Delhi.

GDF SUEZ employs 147,400 people worldwide and achieved revenues of €81.3 billion in 2013. The Group is listed on the Paris and Brussels stock exchanges and is represented in the main international indices: CAC 40, BEL 20, DJ Euro Stoxx 50, Euronext 100, FTSE Eurotop 100, MSCI Europe and Euronext Vigeo (World 120, Eurozone 120, Europe 120 and France 20).

For media enquiries, please contact:
GAIL (India) Limited –Vandana Chanana, Executive Director (Corporate Communications) on
H.S. Bramha assumes charge as Chief Election Commissioner
Jan 16,
H.S. Bramha today assumed charge as the Chief Election Commissioner of India at New Delhi. He took over from V S Sampath who demitted office yesterday. After taking charge, Mr Brahma said the Election Commission's target is to conduct the upcoming Delhi assembly elections in a perfect manner. Mr Brahma is a 1975 batch IAS officer of Andhra Pradesh cadre and is a former Union Power Secretary.
GAIL Information on fire incident in Delhi

New Delhi, January 16, 2015. There was an incident of fire on the DESU – Maruti pipeline of GAIL (India) Limited near Venkateswara College, Dhaulakuan, New Delhi around 9.45 a.m. today. The incident occurred due to a third party drilling activity without prior permission taken by the agency from GAIL,  in spite of the pipeline warning markers located in close proximity to the site .

Immediately on receiving the information, GAIL’s pipeline sectionizing valves were closed by remote operation from the regional control room. With the support of Delhi Fire services and IGL Fire Tenders, the fire was extinguished by 11.10 a.m. The Army Supply Corps located in the vicinity also rendered support.  There have been no casualties. However, the fire damaged a couple of vehicles parked nearby.

Mr. B C Tripathi, Chairman & Managing Director, GAIL and Dr. Ashutosh Karnatak, Director (Projects), GAIL immediately rushed to the spot and took immediate control of the situation.  Site engineers,  safety personnel of GAIL and IGL and GAIL Emergency Response Vehicle also reached the site.

Because of the incident, some CNG stations of IGL may get affected temporarily and efforts are being made to restore gas supply at the earliest. Restoration work of the pipeline has already started.

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.
“Mini India Show in Nepal”- A Multi Sector Exposition and Buyer Seller Meet on 29th April – 1st May, 2015 at KathmanduNepal.

We are looking forward for your kind participation as our ‘Valued Exhibitor’.

Please find attached the Participation benefits and Registration form. Kindly find below the detailed benefits and facilities we will be providing with:

  • Free stall of 6 SQM (3X2 SQM) equipped with fascia, 1 table, 2 chairs and 1 electric point.

  • Exhibitors confirmed would get free stay in KathmanduNepal (Twin Share Basis) in a decent hotel for 3 Nights during the exposition on 29th April – 1st May, 2015.

  • Free participation in the Buyer-Seller Meet, prior seat will be reserved for you.

  • It is on the first cum first serve basis and hence should book early to avoid disappointment.

  • The Administrative cost is INR 25,000 per head / INR 30,000 for two people from same organisation.

  • Booking is complete when you confirm with payment of administration charges.

  • Travel Cost and Visa Cost has to be borne by the exhibitors themselves. 
For registration and further details, Please contact:

Firdous Afrin
Indian Chamber of Commerce
4, India Exchange Place,
Kolkata - 700001
Ph: +91 33 22534200/ 22534298 (D)
M:  09903710071
F: +91 33 2231 3377/ 3380
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Gladys keen to do better, win women’s title

Gladys keen to do better, win women’s title
Mumbai: Kenya’s Gladys Kipsoi is determined to put behind her second place finish last year and run away with the top honours in the women’s race of the 2015 Standard Chartered Mumbai Marathon, which will be flagged off on Sunday, January 18.
“As every year, this year too we have a very competitive group for this edition of Mumbai Marathon. As the sole bread winner of the family, it has been a long and challenging journey for me. Last year I come second in Mumbai Marathon and come Sunday, I would give my best to see myself emerge clear winner, said Kipsoi, who also ended runner-up Toulouse and Lodz Marathons in 2014.
Meanwhile, Kipsoi’s compatriot and the men’s defending champion, Evand Ruto is cautious about his chances. “As a defending champion I’m aware of the fact that all eyes are set on me. And hence have trained to give my all out on Sunday. Mumbai Marathon has always been my best destination to compete and excel. Though last time I missed setting up a new marathon record by a whisker, as half marathon joggers came in between. But this year I’m hopeful that the organisers are doing their best to avoid such a thing,” said the 30-year-old Ruto, a ardent football lover.
Ruto will have to contend with countrymen Henry Sugut, who is making his debut and Luke Kibet if he hopes to retain his title.
Sugut pointed out that he is excited and would give it his best shot to win the gold medal. “For me it’s a first time in India. And I’m really very excited to make my Indian marathon debut with the Mumbai Marathon. As a first timer here, I have taken into account few factors like the route and climatic conditions. And I don’t think there should be any problem. In the past during a race I had to withdraw mid-way due to unknown ailment then.  After withdrawing from a marathon after running almost 25 kms and later going for diagnosis it was revealed that my sugar levels were low. But now all that is a past and I’m raring to go here at Mumbai Marathon.”
Kibet said, “It’s been six-long-years I last ran in Mumbai Marathon. Post-injury in 2007, I have trained myself really hard to perform at the highest level on Sunday. Anything can happen at the finish line, it all matters on how well you are prepared. Though its widely spoken about the battle between Uthopians and Keniyans, but honestly it feels nice to see our countrymen win.”

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