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OVH Energy Acquires New Bowsers for Its Aviation Business

Upgrades its fleet

OVH Energy Marketing Ltd, Nigeria’s leading provider of trusted petroleum products and services and licensee of the Oando retail brand, has announced its acquisition of brand new aircraft fueling bowsers as part of its expansion plans to deepen its service offerings in providing fueling solutions to players in the aviation industry.

Manufactured by Flightline UK, the bowsers are equipped with latest technological and safety standards certified by the Joint Inspection Group (JIG), the world’s leading organization for the development of aviation fuel supply standards. With a combined capacity of 88,000 litres, capable of dispensing up to 3,500 litres of aviation jet fuel per minute, these bowsers are designed to enhance safety and operational efficiency of partner companies.

Commenting on the acquisition, Chief Executive Officer, OVH Energy Marketing Ltd, Mr. Huub Stokman stated “this acquisition is one of the many investment initiatives we have for the downstream industry and we will continue to deepen our investments to consolidate OVH Energy’s leadership position in the aviation sub-sector and the downstream oil & gas industry as a whole. We are committed to exceptional service delivery to foreign and local airline operators in the Nigerian aviation industry so that Nigeria becomes the destination of choice for international airlines to refuel their aircrafts.”

The Chief Marketing Officer, Mr. Babafemi Olabiyi also stated that this acquisition positions the company to further improve its aviation customers’ experience amongst whom are leading international, local and specialized airline operators. He reiterated OVH Energy’s commitment to operational excellence whilst delivering exceptional customer service.

OVH Energy is the marketer of choice providing trusted petroleum products and services in Nigeria with expertise in jetty and terminaling services as well as the marketing and distribution of refined petroleum products for retail, commercial and industrial purposes. Its aviation business spans over 25 years and is present in the major airport hubs within Nigeria.




Renewable energy brings renewal to Indigenous communities

Energy is inextricably linked to a range of community issues, from health to housing. That was one message that emerged from a four-day gathering in Calgary of more than 200 young Indigenous leaders from every province and territory, organized by Disa Crow Chief of the Siksika Nation and Cory Beaver of the Stoney Nakoda Nation.

Participants came to the SevenGen gathering in January to learn about opportunities in Canada’s energy transition from an Indigenous youth perspective. Beaver and Crow Chief are keen to engage young people in Indigenous-led energy solutions and find them ongoing mentorship opportunities.

SevenGen’s website explains, “As youth of the seventh generation, we feel a renewed responsibility to protect our environment, as water protectors and guardians of all creation. Through SevenGen, we hope to strengthen relationships between Indigenous and non-Indigenous youth from diverse backgrounds, share knowledge across cultures, and ensure that the wellbeing of land, water, and all the life within it remains at the forefront of discussions about energy.”

For non-Indigenous participants, the notion that many issues we often consider separately are interconnected was striking. Ideas around energy were closely entwined with language, food self-sufficiency and improved housing, health and well-being. All were grounded in a perspective that emphasizes a deep connection to the land and a responsibility to it and the life it holds.

As Indigenous and non-Indigenous people alike grapple with the energy, climate and social challenges facing our communities, we must understand the importance of diversity. If we continue to elevate only voices of those who have traditionally held power, we won’t likely discover meaningful solutions to the problems we collectively face. Listening to people with different world views is essential to finding new ways forward.

Indigenous leaders aren’t waiting to be invited to the table. Judith Sayers of the Hupacasath Nation, Gordon Planes of T’Souke Nation and others talked about work their communities are already doing to shift to greater self-reliance through community renewable energy and efficiency projects. These provide clean energy, training, jobs and economic development opportunities.

Lumos Energy president Chris Henderson noted that 20 per cent of Canada’s renewable energy projects are Indigenous efforts. He says community-led renewable energy projects not only bolster energy democracy—allowing communities to produce energy rather than depending on large corporations or utilities—but are also seen by some as part of the way toward decolonization.

“We are the future leaders for our nations, and getting more Indigenous people involved in renewable energy projects will not only benefit our own communities but Canada as a country,” Crow Chief explained.

David Suzuki Foundation fellow Melina Laboucan-Massimo spoke about her community’s experience with toxic oilsands pollution that severely affected air and water quality. This experience fed her determination to see her community benefit from renewable energy.

In “Let them drown: the violence of othering in a warming world,” Naomi Klein points out that fossil fuel extraction has always required sacrifice zones, and that the poorest communities and people of colour have always been most likely to feel the brunt of industrial impacts.

Unlike renewable energy, which can be distributed, fossil fuel extraction occurs in specific places. It’s no accident that people who have lived on these territories for millennia have been viewed as “others” by those who wish to profit from extraction.

Crow Chief said that, at 21, she’s been to more funerals than graduation ceremonies or weddings. Many in the audience nodded in agreement. “I refuse to do nothing and dwell in hopelessness,” she said.

“Our elders always tell us to do things in a good way—to think in a good way, to act in a good way,” said Steven Crowchild, from the Tsuut’ina Nation. It’s easy to lose sight of the value of being a good person, of being a good ancestor. He, like many other young leaders, draws strength from his culture and community.

We should all think more about how to be good. As Crow Chief said, “I want to remind you all to be honest and brave when going about your days, wherever it is you come from. I want you to know that you are always supported and a part of something bigger when using your voices to spread kindness and strength.”

David Suzuki is a scientist, broadcaster, author and co-founder of the David Suzuki Foundation. Written with contributions from David Suzuki Foundation Community Renewable Energy Manager Sherry Yano.




Air India, Vistara not to carry grounded Jet Airways passengers

Accommodating passengers from its cancelled flights has become harder for Jet Airways as at least two airlines have cancelled their ‘flight interruption manifest (FIM) agreement’ with the airline.

This comes at a time when the cash-strapped airline is cancelling more than 100 flights daily due to grounding of its planes.

An FIM is a document issued by an airline as a substitute ticket which allows a passenger to fly by another airline in case the original travel is disrupted by a schedule change, overbooking or cancellation.

In return, the airline reimburses the amount to other carriers on a fortnightly basis at a pre-agreed rate.

Sources aware of the development said Air India and Vistara have cancelled the agreement on Friday. “With immediate effect and till further notice, Jet Airways and JetLite Limited documents, including FIMs, are not to be accepted for travel on Air India flights,” said a notice issued by the airline’s commercial department.

ALSO READ: Debt-laden Jet Airways removes two more planes, 21 on ground so far

Industry sources said Vistara has cancelled a basic interline agreement since Thursday as the airline felt that the agreement was being misused by Jet, causing commercial loss to Vistara.

“Basically, an interline agreement has this loophole where the airlines only pays a pre-determined value to its partner airline. Vistara felt that its last remaining seats, which sell at high fare, was being booked by Jet Airways at the pre-agreed value which is much lower than current price of its tickets. For instance, a Delhi-Mumbai flight, which is selling at Rs 12,000 at the last moment, may be sold for Rs 4,000 by Jet Airways. That’s a commercial loss for Vistara,” said a source in the travel industry.

ALSO READ: Banks ask Naresh Goyal, Etihad to contribute to Jet Airways bailout

Analysts justified Vistara’s decision saying that last minute fares have firmed up between metros and there is no point selling them at a pre fixed lower rate.

More than 25 aircraft of Jet Airways has been grounded by lessors due to non-payment of lease rentals. The airline, which started the winter schedule with 103 planes, is now down to 83.




In Jujuy, China is building Latin America’s largest solar plant: Cauchari


In the northern Argentine province of Jujuy, at a dizzying 4,000 metres above sea level, redand-blue banners inscr ibed w ith Chinese characters flap outside a temporary office perched on a barren desert.

This is Cauchari, the site of Latin America’s largest solar plant. Chinese technology and finance have enabled the project, which is part of Argentina’s plan to boost renewable energy generation. With Argentina struggling to attract foreign investment for infrastructure over the past decade, it has increasingly turned to China, and Cauchari reflects the two countries’ close cooperation.

Chinese banks and companies have developed coal-fired power plants worldwide. Now they are making the foray into cross-border solar energy development. But are projects such as Cauchari exceptional or a sign of a broader shift towards China developing clean energ y overseas?

HARNESSING THE DESERT SUN

Cauchari is a remote site 300 kilometres from San Salvador, Jujuy’s capital. When finished, it will consist of 1.2 million solar panels and provide the grid with 300 megawatts of power, eventually expanding to produce 500 megawatts, making it one of the largest solar plants in the world.

“Cauchari is in the area with the best solar radiation of the world. We also have good weather conditions and low smog, both good for the project,” said Guillermo Giralt, technical director of Cauchari Solar, one of the companies involved in the project.

The Export-Import Bank of China (China Exim) is financing 85 percent of the project’s US$390-million total cost. The local government will provide the remainder through a green bond.

Provincial energy company JEMSE owns and manages the plant, which is being built by Shanghai Electric Power Construction (SEPC), a subsidiary of the construction group Powerchina. A Chinese firm, Talesun, is also supplying the solar panels.

The government has agreed to provide indigenous communities, who own the land where Cauchari is located, with two percent of its annual profits. This share could equate to up to US$1 million. Community members have also received training and a range of job opportunities at the site, ranging from catering to transportation.

“Our initial condition for the project was for it to have local workers. In order to achieve that, we trained 600 people from nearby towns and then hired them,” said Mario Pizarro, Jujuy’s energy secretary.

The project will likely be finished by May and have a lifespan of 25 years.

ARGENTINA’S CLEAN ENERGY DRIVE

The Cauchari solar plant is expected to cut both energy costs and carbon dioxide emissions, the latter by some 325,000 tonnes.

It is one of the largest projects awarded through the RenovAR energy auction, which approved 147 projects with a combined installed capacity of 4,466 megawatts.

“Cauchari represents the success of the RenovAR scheme and shows the potential of renewables in Argentina. We have great green resources with a lot of potential that are starting to come to light,” said congressman Juan Carlos Villalonga, who is head of the Los Verdes green party.

The government has set a target for renewables to account for 20 percent of the entire energy matrix by 2025. They now account for about four percent. However, the renewables push runs in parallel to the promotion of hydrocarbon extraction through dozens of shale gas and oil projects in the southern region of Patagonia.

Argentina has a huge potential to generate wind power in Patagonia and solar in the north. Resources exist for biogas and biomass in provinces with sizeable agricultural industries. Despite this potential, Argentina lags behind its Latin American neighbours.

Chilean energy watchdog the National Electric Coordinator (CEN) estimates that solar will account for nearly 10 percent of the energy mix this year, while wind could hit just over six percent. Meanwhile, Uruguay has been consistently growing its share of wind and solar, which accounted for over 44 percent of its electricity generation in some months last year.

CHINA’S GROWING PRESENCE IN ARGENTINA

Argentina enjoys a “strategic integral alliance” with China, a high diplomatic status that the latter confers on only a handful of countries.

Former president Cristina Fernández de Kirchner elevated the level of cooperation by signing dozens of treaties with China, many of them controversial.

In the last decade, Chinese products went from accounting for 5 percent to 20 percent of Argentina’s imports. Argentina’s exports to China did not grow at the same rate, increasing from just 8 percent to around 12 percent today. This has led to a record trade deficit of more than US$5 billion between the two countries.

Alongside investing in several infrastructure projects such as dams and railways, China has played a key role in the RenovAR scheme. In the first round of bidding, half the winning wind energy projects and three-quarters of solar were linked to Chinese capital and technology, according to Carlos Saint James, former head of Argentina’s Renewable Energies Chamber (CADER).

The use of Chinese technology in Argentine energy projects has generated concerns among national industry associations, who fear the incentives offered to foreign companies through programmes such as RenovAr inhibit the use of their own technology.

According to wholesale power administrator Cammesa, Argentine technology accounted for scarcely 10 percent of the total used in wind energy projects auctioned through RenovAr’s first two rounds.

In the nuclear sector, President Mauricio Macri met with Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping in December amid expectations the two would approve plants with Chinese finance and reactors. This despite Argentina’s advanced nuclear industry. The project stalled after a group of former environment ministers wrote to the government questioning its economic wisdom.

CHINESE BANKS AND COMPANIES EYE SOLAR

The Cauchari plant is part of a nascent but growing trend of Chinese financiers and companies striking out in the cross-border solar market. Since 2010, China Exim and China Development Bank (CDB), along with a handful of companies, have pursued solar projects globally. CDB and Exim are state owned policy banks tasked with supporting the government’s domestic and overseas development agenda. This includes promoting industrial upgrading and building an overseas market for Chinese companies.

To date, the banks have financed a number of large-scale solar projects in developed countries and countries closely integrated with the Belt and Road infrastructure initiative, including Pakistan in 2015.

A World Resources Institute (WRI) and Boston University study found that solar lending made up only 5.6 percent of China’s major commercial and policy banks’ power generation and transmission portfolio from 2014 to 2017. However, for the two policy banks, that is up from practically zero investment prior to 2010.

Chinese companies have also started to invest in solar projects abroad, both in greenfield development and through mergers and acquisitions. Similar to the banks, solar only constituted four percent of companies’ overseas investments from 2000 to 2017 according to a Princeton and Boston University study.

However, they started to pick up as of 2012. Some of these renewable energy companies have been supported by the same large banks, which have given them significant lines of credit.

POLICIES PAVE THE WAY

A longside Argentina’s strong relationship with China, Cauchari likely appealed to China Exim due to the RenovAr scheme.

According to the Princeton and Boston University study, investment in renewable energy projects by Chinese companies is concentrated in mature markets with strong renewable energy policies, such as the UK, Australia, Brazil and India. Building on China’s domestic solar boom, Chinese banks and companies are well equipped to serve these markets.

For banks, the policy environment can also have a strong influence on a project’s feasibility. Last year, the China-led Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank made its first solar energy investment in a large solar park in Egypt.

María del Carmen de Castro Ovejero, a senior investment operations specialist and the bank’s team leader for the Egypt project, said that the country’s policy support for renewable energy enabled the project and the bank’s participation.

“From my point of view as an engineer, technically everything is possible […] but if you don’t have the support of the government, nothing will happen,” she said.

Like Argentina, Egypt has established a feed-in-tariff, guaranteeing developers a minimum price for the solar power they sell back to the grid. Bloomberg New Energy Finance found that building wind and solar photovoltaic plants is already less expensive than building large-scale gas and coal plants. However, policies like Egypt’s and Argentina’s help the new energy industries break into the market and secure financing.

BARRIERS REMAIN

As renewable energy continues to become cheaper, will projects such as Cauchari replace China’s conventional energy investments overseas?

In developing countries, technical issues continue to pose challenges for large-scale solar development. According to de Castro Ovejero, solar plants are technically simple and quick to develop but integrating plants into the grid can be difficult.

“Solar is normally developed in very remote locations, so it is important that the grid connection is available in order to finance these projects. Grid stability is another issue, especially in developing countries,” she said.

Clearer renewable energy policies are also needed to drive Chinese investment. The WRI and Boston University study found that only 31 out of 56 countries analysed had concrete renewable energy targets in their Paris Agreement national climate plans.

Even with targets, developing countries can lack the capacity to design and implement specific policies. Laurel Ostfield, head of communications and development for the AIIB, said that the bank has a special fund that can help countries fill that gap.

FOSSIL FUEL INERTIA

While Chinese banks and companies are making inroads in solar development globally, their overall energy investment portfolios remain heavily skewed toward fossil fuels. The WRI and Boston University study found that between 2014 and 2017, fossil fuel investments accounted for 91% of the energy loan portfolios of the six major banks studied.

Lihuan Zhou, a research analyst at WRI who co-authored the study, said that the Chinese government could send clearer signals on renewables:

“Currently there are several high-level Chinese documents, for example issued by the State Council and the Ministry of Ecology and Environment. They have very high-level language on a vision for the green BRI, but on the more operational level there is a lack of policy or incentives for banks to provide green finance overseas.”

Meanwhile, the Chinese government, just like the Argentine, is offering incentives for fossil fuel investment. Yuan Jiahai, a professor at the North China Electricity and Power University, said China’s use of policy loans equates to invisible subsidies for overseas coal projects.

“These projects do not help these countries realise their climate goals and hurt China’s interests in terms of international image and investment risk,” he said, adding; “To be more constructive, China should trade the invisible subsidies for clear development aid to help Belt and Road countries launch renewable energy business development and drive the global energy investment transformation.”

Perhaps a product of the state’s investment priorities, it is privately-owned enterprises that are leading China’s overseas solar investment while state-owned enterprises remain focused on fossil fuel investment.

SOLAR FORECAST

When workers lay the final Chinese panels at Cauchari, Argentina will take a leap closer to the renewable energy leaders in the region. Equipped with Chinese technology, developed by a Chinese contractor, and financed by one of China’s largest banks, Cauchari also displays China Inc.’s potential to dominate a new industry.

Whether China will fully embrace foreign solar markets in the near-term remains unclear, but Xiao Wang, an economist at the AIIB, sees the future reflected in the Chinese solar arrays now helping power nations from Egypt to Argentina:

“The timeline might be slightly different, but in roughly 10 years, the cost of renewable generation plus storage per kilowatt hour will be on a par with fossil fuel or even lower. So this is a clear direction to move in.”




Can renewable energy save Uganda’s Rwenzori glacier?

Project goal: 100 percent green energy in Uganda’s Kasese district by 2020.

Project implementation: Encouraging households, hospitals and schools to switch to renewable energy. The focus will be on solar but hydropower will also be expanded. In addition, the local authorities hope to establish energy efficient stoves and to plant new trees.

Project scope: Almost 700,000 people live in Kasese district in southwestern Uganda in nearly 400,000 households. The project aims to include everyone.

Reduction of greenhouse gas emissions: Once implemented, the project will save 58,786 tons of CO2 a year.

“People of the snow” – that’s what those living at the foot of the Rwenzori mountains call themselves. The mountain and its glacier aren’t merely the source of their name, but their water. The snowmelt allows them to farm year round but climate change is causing their snow-caps to shrink.

Rather than look on helplessly, the district has decided to shift to renewable energy by 2020. That might save the snow but will it ensure the local communities reach their goal?

A film by Lea Albrecht




The Cruel Irony: While One Pilot Gets a Hero’s Welcome, the other pilot is not even named!

On the day Pakistan handed back IAF fighter pilot Abhinandan Varthaman to India at Wagah, news has emerged that the Pakistan F-16 pilot Wing Commander Shahaz-ud-Din, whom Abhinandan had downed earlier ended up being lynched by a mob in Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK) after being mistaken for an Indian.

According to journalist Aditya Raj Kaul, the pilot of the crashed PAF F-16 was Wing Commander Shahzaz-ud-Din of the No 19 Squadron (sherdils). He was the son of a senior officer of the Pakistan Air Force. Russian TV channel RT news also quoted another journalist Ajay Jandyal confirming that the pilot was Shahzaz.

After the Air Strike, carried out by the IAF on Jaish’s bases, the use of the F-16 aircraft by Pakistan to attack Indian borders can be a huge embarrassment. According to media reports, the US, which has given F-16 aircraft to Pakistan on certain conditions, has now begun investigations on its use against India, the US would like to determine whether Pakistan has used its F 16 planes and missiles to deal with Indian military bases.

The F-16s were supposed to destroy terrorism emanating from Pakistan. That job was finally done by IAF’s Mirage 2000s on Feb 26, 2019. Needless to say, the U.S. has its own ways of investigating such incidents; the FBI, satellite inputs, human intelligence, etc.

Pakistan denies, India gives evidence

After the pressure from the U.S., Pakistan is in denial mode that it used F-16 to attack Indian defense establishments. However, senior officials of the Indian Army have presented evidences of the use of F-16 in this attack. According to media reports, US officials are studying those reports. it has sought answers from Pakistan on the use of F-16 aircraft against India. The unhappy U.S. has considered it a violation of the terms.

This indeed is a cruel irony.

Pakistan has, thus, effectively disowned its own pilot. This act will surely not go very well with the rest of the pilots, soldiers and officers in the Pakistan Military. They, too, are seeing hero’s welcome of Abhinandan in India along with ridicule of Wing Commander Shahaz-ud-Din by none other than its own government. This will surely not do any good to their morale.

Home Coming

Indian Air Force Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman has finally returned home. The whole country is overjoyed on his return.

He returned to India after about 60 hours in Pak. At about 9:10 pm Friday, the Pakistani officials handed over Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman to India at the Attari border in Amritsar.

However, under the pressure of Pakistani Army and ISI, the Wing Commander’s release was deliberately delayed till night in the guise of the procedures.

As soon as Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman stepped on India’s soil, the cries of ‘Bharat Mata ki jai’ resonated from the Attari border to Kanyakumari. The parents of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman along with the Air Force officers welcomed him. Thousands of people, too, had gathered on the border to welcome him with patriotic songs and beats of drums.

return-of-captured-pilot

The whole country salutes the zeal of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman’s, bravery and fondness. Today, every Indian’s chest has swelled with pride, and the country is full of praise for brave soldier.

The country is seeing an atmosphere of celebrations as never seen before.

Following the return of the Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman, many veterans including Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Defense Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, Lok Sabha Speaker Sumitra Mahajan, Union Minister VK Singh and Congress President Rahul Gandhi have expressed their happiness.

Many veterans of the sporting world saluted the zeal, bravery and enthusiasm of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman .

These include the BCCI, Team India captain Virat Kohli, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble who greeted the valor of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman :

Several other celebrities on social media are tweeting the bravery of Wing Commander Abhinandan Varthaman .


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