• World Industry News

    Date posted:

    • Post Author

  • Russian Parliament – The State Duma – Ratifies Kyoto Protocol

Russia’s lower house of parliament has ratified the Kyoto Protocol – the international treaty on climate change. The United Nations treaty, already backed by 126 countries, needed Russia’s support before it could come into force. The State Duma voted 334-73 to approve the treaty, which calls on all signatories to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Washington said that it had not changed its position on the pact – and did not intend to sign or ratify the protocol. EC president Romano Prodi said: “We are happy that the Russian Duma has decided to ratify. I would also like to thank President Putin for his personal support…” Many analysis have noted that for Russia, backing to the pact is more a political move than an environmentally friendly one. President Putin agreed to fast-track the ratification of Kyoto last May, when the EU promised to support Russia in its bid to join the World Trade Organisation. Within 90 days of Russia’s ratification, Kyoto signatories must start making cuts that will reduce emissions of six key greenhouse gases to an average of 5.2% below 1990 levels by 2012 (Source: BBC World News).

  • EC passes 8 NAPs with modest trim

The European Commission has granted approval for eight NAPs this week on the basis that some 40mt of allowances are withdrawn (from France and Finland). This is a minor adjustment, in the context of the over 6,000 million to be issued, and confirms that the initial phase of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme will be comparatively undemanding. Traded prices of EU Allowances have hardly moved at a shade under Euro 9/t CO2. Meanwhile, the EC has told Slovakia, Estonia and Latvia to reduce their allowance volumes by a combined 15% (c 29mt over the three years). (Source: Energy-Directory.com) 

  • Steel groups reject ThyssenKrupp plan

Anglo-Dutch Corus, Riva of Italy, Germany’s Salzgitter and Austria’s Voestalpine all say they see no merit in considering ideas sketched out two weeks ago by ThyssenKrupp concerning a potential combination with one or more of the four.  Ulrich Middelmann, head of ThyssenKrupp’s steel division, named the four as potential partners, although he made it clear no talks had started with any of them. He also said that he feels, however, that the good times for the industry may not last for long, and he sees that in the next downturn, European steelmakers may be too small to compete globally. Some steel analysts think Mr Middelmann may be on the right track. James King, an independent UK-based steel consultant, said the European steel industry had excess capacity of about 60 million tonnes that would become more apparent in a downturn. Among the potential merger candidates, Corus appears to be the best fit since it is of a similar size to the German steelmaker. Merging the two would create the world’s third-largest steelmaker. But Corus said it was committed to continuing to restore profitability through a go-it-alone stance. While Riva declined to provide a formal statement and has privately decided not to pursue the plan. (Source: Financial Times)

  • E.On seeks Yukos gas assets

According to Russian newspaper Gazeta, DVV Member  E.On is interested in Yuganskneftegaz, the main upstream assets of Yukos, the troubled Russion oil and gas concern. Yukos is being put on sale by the Russian Treasury through an auction on 22nd November. (Energy-Directory.com)

  • Germano-Russian co-operation in the power and gas sectors move ahead

Chief executives from E.On, Ruhrgas and Gazprom met in Moscow to discuss details of their cooperation in the power and gas sector, which was outlined in an accord signed on 7th July 2004. The main areas where they are focusing on are strategic projects dealing with gas production in Russia, gas transportation to Europe, electricity generation in Russia and the expansion of the necessary infrastructure to market natural gas and electricity in Europe. (Source: Energy-Directory.com)

  • New German energy law could be in place by year end

German Economy minister Wolfgang Clements says that the new energy law could to go through parliament by year end. Clements reaffirmed that Bonn is keen to monitor network prices and is also committed to ensuring there are adequate mechanisms to guarantee security of supply. (Energy-Directory.com)

  • British Government establishes biomass task force

The British government has created a task force to promote the use of biomass. The task force will be chaired by Sir Ben Gill, the former head of the National Farmers’ Union. The task force is part of a £3.5 m Bio-Energy Infrastructure Scheme that will provide grants to harvest, store, process and supply biomass for energy production. Since 2002, the government has provided £66 million in capital grants for biomass projects. Most of this has been paid to developers of projects using biomass, with much less going to setting up the supply chain. Farmers have been paid £1 m since 2001 under its Energy Crops Scheme. (Energy-Directory.com)

  • The times are changing for Electrabel

A study commissioned by CREG, the Belgian regulator, has concluded that the best way to encourage competition in the Belgian wholesale electricity market would be to split Electrabel into four different companies, according to a report in De Standaard. Meanwhile, the De Tijd has reported Electrabel as saying that shares in Elia, the Benelux system operator, would be offered for sale in March 2005.  IFRF Member Laborelec is part of the Electrabel Group. (Energy-Directory.com)