02 Abril de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL PERIODICO TITULAR Congress Fast-Tracks Work on Homeowner Relief WASHINGTON — Casting aside partisan differences, Senate Democratic and Republican leaders said on Tuesday that they would work urgently on a package of legislation to help millions of homeowners at risk of foreclosure, with the hope of bringing a bill to the floor as early as Wednesday afternoon. The new pledge of cooperation was the latest sign of fast-growing consensus among Congress, the Bush administration and financial regulators that broader government action was needed to prevent a torrent of new foreclosures and further collapse of the housing and residential mortgage markets. And it reflected the mounting pressure on Congressional Republicans and the White House to extend a helping hand to average Americans after the Federal Reserve‘s intervention in the near collapse and proposed sale of Bear Stearns, the New York investment bank, to JPMorgan Chase. As lawmakers worked Tuesday to refine details of the package, the new spirit of collaboration raised hopes of swift action on broader measures that some Stocks rise in spite of fresh bank woes Global stock markets rebounded sharply on Tuesday, stirring debate about whether investors were growing more confident or just retreating from trading strategies that profit from falling prices. The uncertainty about the markets‘ direction reflected the fact that stocks rose after another round of bank writedowns and capital-raisings – developments that might have been expected to send prices lower. However, UBS closed up 12 per cent at SFr32.40, after the Swiss bank said Marcel Ospel, its chairman, was standing down in the wake of $19bn of new writedowns and plans for a SFr15bn ($15bn) rights issue. In New York, Lehman Brothers, the US investment bank locked in a battle with short-sellers betting on its demise, surged 18 per cent after it said it was increasing Monday‘s $3bn capital-raising by $1bn. Broader stock measures followed banks higher, with the S&P 500 gaining 3.6 per cent, the FTSE 100 2.6 per cent and the FTSE Eurofirst 300 3.1 per cent. La recesión inmobiliaria elevará el paro hasta rozar el 10% en 2009 El Banco de España prevé la desaparición del superávit fiscal el próximo año Desaceleración es cuando tu vecino pierde su empleo; recesión cuando tú pierdes el tuyo. Según esa interpretación libre de una famosa frase del ex presidente norteamericano Ronald Reagan, la economía española en su conjunto está en franca desaceleración. Sigue creciendo, pero pierde fuelle a marchas forzadas. Tras más de una década de enorme crecimiento, la nueva coyuntura -crisis financiera internacional incluida- obliga a reducir su velocidad de crucero en torno al 2%, con una tasa de paro cercana al 10% a finales del año próximo. Y con un punto negro muy marcado: el sector de la construcción anticipa ya la 02 Abril de 2008 gravedad de los problemas y ha entrado ya en la temida recesión, a la luz de los datos del Banco de España. La institución que preside Miguel Ángel Fernández Ordóñez recortó ayer todas sus previsiones para los dos próximos años. Pronostica que la economía española crecerá el 2,4% este año -la última previsión era del 3,1%- y el 2,1% en 2009, como resultado de una desaceleración "más pronunciada" en los próximos trimestres. Stocks Surge as 2 Major Banks Advance Turnaround Plans UBS, Lehman Act To Bolster Capital; More Pain to Come? Stock markets shot higher after two financial firms at the center of investors' worries took steps to shore up their capital and put the credit crisis behind them. But bankers cautioned that the industry isn't out of the woods yet. Switzerland's largest bank, UBS AG, which had already written down $18 billion in troubled investments, said it expects to add a further $19 billion to that total. But UBS also said it would raise $15 billion in new capital from its shareholders. And, in another move that pleased some investors, UBS said it would replace its chairman. Meanwhile, Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., which has battled rumors that it was on the ropes, said that investors lined up to give it more capital. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose 391.47 points, or 3.2%, on the news, which also pushed other markets higher. (Read more10.) UBS's stock gained nearly 15%, while Lehman's jumped almost 18%. Still, the rally, which was also driven by investors looking to put money to work on the first day of the quarter, only brought the market back to where it was a month ago. Memo: Laws Didn't Apply to Interrogators Justice Dept. Official in 2003 Said President's Wartime Authority Trumped Many Statutes The Justice Department sent a legal memorandum to the Pentagon in 2003 asserting that federal laws prohibiting assault, maiming and other crimes did not apply to military interrogators who questioned al-Qaeda captives because the president's ultimate authority as commander in chief overrode such statutes. The 81-page memo, which was declassified and released publicly yesterday, argues that poking, slapping or shoving detainees would not give rise to criminal liability. The document also appears to defend the use of mind-altering drugs that do not produce "an extreme effect" calculated to "cause a profound disruption of the senses or personality." Although the existence of the memo has long been known, its contents had not been previously disclosed. Nine months after it was issued, Justice Department officials told the Defense Department to stop relying on it. But its reasoning provided the legal foundation for the Defense Department's use of aggressive interrogation practices at a crucial time, as captives poured into military jails from Afghanistan and U.S. forces prepared to invade Iraq. Sent to the Pentagon's general counsel on March 14, 2003, by John C. Yoo, then a deputy in the Justice Department's Office of Legal Counsel, the memo provides an expansive argument for nearly unfettered presidential power in a time of war. 02 Abril de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL / REVISTAS * REVISTA NOTA TITULAR The Clean Energy Scam From his Cessna a mile above the southern Amazon, John Carter looks down on the destruction of the world's greatest ecological jewel. He watches men converting rain forest into cattle pastures and soybean fields with bulldozers and chains. He sees fires wiping out such gigantic swaths of jungle that scientists now debate the "savannization" of the Amazon. Brazil just announced that deforestation is on track to double this year; Carter, a Texas cowboy with all the subtlety of a chainsaw, says it's going to get worse fast. "It gives me goose bumps," says Carter, who founded a nonprofit to promote sustainable ranching on the Amazon frontier. "It's like witnessing a rape." The Amazon was the chic eco-cause of the 1990s, revered as an incomparable storehouse of biodiversity. It's been overshadowed lately by global warming, but the Amazon rain forest happens also to be an incomparable storehouse of carbon, the very carbon that heats up the planet when it's released into the atmosphere. Brazil now ranks fourth in the world in carbon emissions, and most of its emissions come from deforestation. The Curious Lives of Surrogates Thousands of largely invisible American women have given birth to other people's babies. Many are married to men in the military. Jennifer Cantor, a 34-year-old surgical nurse from Huntsville, Ala., loves being pregnant. Not having children, necessarily—she has one, an 8-year-old daughter named Dahlia, and has no plans for another—but just the experience of growing a human being beneath her heart. She was fascinated with the idea of it when she was a child, spending an entire two-week vacation, at the age of 11, with a pillow stuffed under her shirt. She's built perfectly for it: six feet tall, fit and slender but broad-hipped. Which is why she found herself two weeks ago in a birthing room in a hospital in Huntsville, swollen with two six-pound boys she had been carrying for eight months. Also in the room was Kerry Smith and his wife, Lisa, running her hands over the little lumps beneath the taut skin of Cantor's belly. "That's an elbow," said Cantor, who knew how the babies were lying in her womb. "Here's a foot." Lisa smiled proudly at her husband. She is, after all, the twins' mother. All change? Whether it is Clinton, McCain or Obama, the world will still quarrel with America's foreign policy TO JUDGE by the polls, millions of people in America and around the world are gasping to see the back of George Bush. With his going, America can extract itself from a catastrophic war in the Middle East, stop its preaching and bullying, win back lost friends and rediscover its founders' advice to show a decent respect for the opinions of mankind. Or so the millions hope. They had better prepare for a disappointment. There are several ways in which the next president can indeed act fast to restore America's world standing. But the list is short. The mere fact of not being Bush will bring a dividend of goodwill. On top of this, he or she should send out an early message that on some issues the change of guard will mean a change of heart. An America that closed Guantánamo, 02 Abril de 2008 imposed a clear ban on any sort of torture (by the CIA as well as the army) and shut the CIA's secret prisons could once again claim to lead the free world by example and not just by military power. No Thain, No Gain Can the man who saved the NYSE revive a badly mauled Merrill Lynch. Taking on a wounded bull was the last thing John Thain needed. He'd already played Mr. Fixit at the New York Stock Exchange, where he put back together a storied institution rocked by a front-running scandal and the ouster of a richly paid chief executive. Merrill Lynch had similar troubles but was in far worse shape: The maelstrom in the mortgage- backed securities market pushed out Stanley O‘Neal, the divisive former chairman, and forced the world‘s largest brokerage firm to take $22 billion in writedowns. The company ended with an $8 billion aftertax loss for 2007. Before becoming chief executive on Dec. 1, ―I wanted a full look at the books,‖ concedes Thain, 52. Today there are still roughly $90 billion of dicey loans and derivatives on the balance sheet, almost guaranteeing further writedowns unless the credit markets— miraculously—turn around tomorrow. Thain, who is thin, athletic and distinctly Clark Kentish, ticks through the remaining assets with sangfroid. There are $19 billion in loans, many associated with corporate buyouts. Target's inner circle They're brilliantly creative. They're enviably down-to-earth. They're universally imitated. And they're entering one of the most challenging periods the company has faced in 46 years. (Fortune Magazine) -- You'd think Robert Ulrich would be warming up for his victory lap right about now. The soon-to-retire CEO of Target Corp. should be easing into a lavish farewell tour filled with teary thank-yous, champagne-soaked sendoffs, and a book of leadership secrets. After all, in his 23 years at Target (almost 14 of them as CEO), Ulrich has transformed a Midwestern discounter into one of the most admired and imitated companies in the world. Target now ranks 33rd on the Fortune 500 - making it bigger than Microsoft, Pfizer, and PepsiCo, and more than double the size of Cisco Systems. There's just one thing: Though everyone knows Target (TGT, Fortune 500), hardly anyone's even heard of Ulrich. In fact, those who think his name rings a bell are most likely picturing Robert Urich, the deceased actor from television's Vega$ and Spencer for Hire. Even Ulrich's own employees often don't recognize him during his twice-monthly store walks, when he strolls the aisles dressed in Target's standard red shirt and khakis. Neither he nor his company has ever before graced the cover of a major magazine - highly unusual for a corporation its size. In fact, Ulrich has deliberately stayed so far under the radar that Bob Thacker, a former Target marketing executive now at OfficeMax, dubbed him the "silent Sam Walton." Says Thacker: "He has no public persona." The BusinessWeek 50, 2008 The BW 50 Management vision that spurns conventional wisdom is one trait many companies on our list share. This year's rankings are also our most international to date For many years pharmaceutical companies viewed the development of HIV treatments as a necessary—but unprofitable—public service. There was some logic to that view, given that the majority of HIV victims lived in developing nations and were unable to pay what drugmakers 02 Abril de 2008 could earn from selling other products. But Gilead Sciences had a different perspective. The Northern California biotech firm, which chose its name for the medicinal balsam used in Biblical times, sensed an opportunity for any company that could develop drugs that were simpler and cheaper than standard HIV treatments, which required patients to take dozens of different pills throughout the day. Gilead Chief Executive John Martin, a PhD chemist by training, challenged his researchers to simplify those cumbersome treatments. And they did, combining myriad compounds into a single pill, Atripla, that costs just $1,300 a month and is taken at bedtime. One of the keys: developing a manufacturing process that allowed Gilead to attach the compounds of several drugs yet have them released into the bloodstream at different times. "The first four times we tried to manufacture the drug, we failed," says Martin. "It was a matter of perseverance." INDICE GENERAL 02 Abril de 2008 TEMA Is your data centre up to speed? FT IT turning green: The phantom that gives CIOs nightmares FT Protesters disrupt work at Welsh coal mine FT HG Capital in €185m Sweden wind farm deal FT Mexico's CFE Defends Repsol LNG Contract WSJ ELECTRICIDAD Where's the beef? FT Gas Producers Rush to Pennsylvania WSJ TransCanada to Buy New York Plant WSJ Spain's Endesa To Invest $10B In Latin America 2008-2012-Exec WSJ El Gobierno central acepta soterrar hasta 25 kilómetros de la MAT El Pais Beacon or Boondoggle? New Lights For the Capitol WPost 02 Abril de 2008 PRENSA INTERNACIONAL ELECTRICIDAD Is your data centre up to speed? By Alan Cane Published: April 2 2008 02:23 | Last updated: April 2 2008 02:23 Data centres are set to come under unprecedented scrutiny, as governmental and non-governmental bodies seek to contain and reduce the IT industry‘s prodigious appetite for electrical power. A strong catalyst has been last year‘s report to US Congress by the US Environmental Protection Agency. This revealed that in 2006, North American data centres consumed about 60bn kilowatt- hours, roughly 1.5 per cent of the country‘s total consumption of electricity. The report went on to say that existing technologies and strategies could cut typical server energy use by 25 per cent and that new technologies could reduce the burden even further. Meanwhile, in Europe, the Joint Research Centre of the European Commission is at work on a voluntary code of practice for data centres aimed at reducing ―electrical consumption in a cost-effective manner without hampering the mission-critical function of data centres‖. All of this is turning a harsh spotlight on the data centre, traditionally the less-than-visible powerhouse behind corporate and government computing and, in particular, on those older data centres hampered by design weaknesses and technology failings. Liam Newcombe of the British Computer Society‘s Data Centre Specialist Group noted recently: ―As more pressure is applied to data centres to become more efficient, their operators will soon be targeted, measured, grouped or labelled by the efficiency of their facility.‖ Osca St Marthe, of the Morse consultancy, points out that while there are no statutory guidelines or codes of best practice for constructing data centres, a number of organisations are building up a body of knowledge to assist centre operators make the best of their existing facilities or create new ones. He advises: ―Before spending a significant amount of money on a new data centre, there are housekeeping activities which will ensure you maximise the assets in your existing centre.‖ The US-based Uptime Institute, which provides consulting services to more than 100 data centre operators, specialises in tracking centre energy costs to provide industry benchmarks, while the Green Grid, a global consortium of hardware and software vendors is developing methods of measuring data centre performance. The heart of the matter, according to Steven Salmon, a principal adviser specialising in data centre management at the consultancy KPMG, is that data centres commissioned in the late 1990s or early 2000s followed different design rules from those which would be applied today, now that power efficiency and resilience are at a premium. In those days, single-server technology was king. Today‘s high density computing environments – 02 Abril de 2008 racks of blade servers – are hungry for power which the design of the centre cannot sustain. ―To change the design would require significant investment,‖ he says. ―I know of data centres with plenty of space but which have run out of power.‖ It means that centres only a few years old are already past their prime; indeed, some experts would argue that a centre that is more than four years old represents a threat to the health of the organisation. A survey in the US carried out by the market intelligence group Aperture Research Institute (ARI) suggests that more than a third of the companies it canvassed are in this position. It argues that these older data centres are ill-equipped to cope with the intense power and cooling demands of modern hardware: ―This problem can only get worse, as the enterprise continues to adopt high-density hardware. For example, a recent ARI survey showed that one in five of new servers are blades. Blade servers, in particular, cause problems for data centre managers, as they are forced to contend with significant power consumption and intense heat generation.‖ The ARI found that only one-third of the organisations it surveyed was beginning to plan and build new centres; leaving two-thirds fated to be more than two years away from operating a new facility even if it was already in the planning stage. Not everybody would agree with the ARI‘s more pessimistic conclusions. According to Dr Albert Esser, vice-president, data centre infrastructure for Dell Global, there are two things operators of ageing data centres should not do: ―One is to rip and replace the entire infrastructure and the second is to build new facilities. ―With the current uncertain economic climate, combined with the need to be energy-efficient, the best approach is for customers to consider ways to prolong the life of their data centres – not replace them. ―By making the right decisions with regards to their IT infrastructure, customers can ‗reveal a hidden data centre‘ within their existing facility. By taking a comprehensive approach and evaluating everything from the component level to the facility, customers can increase synergy between equipment, power utilisation rates, cooling and software solutions such as virtualisation.‖ Virtualisation – running more than one application or operating system on each server – remains the technology of choice for reducing power, space and cooling requirements. Sandor Chandon of Interoute, the networking group, argues that virtualisation is the key to ―greening‖ the data centre. ―Virtual server technology will be the most effective way to run services within the data centre. A data centre using physical machines rather than virtual servers would require 10 times more rack space and significantly more power.‖ The difficulty of updating existing data centres leads to some ad hoc practices, he says. ―It is hard to move and change equipment in a room that requires a constant temperature and still meet service-level agreements,‖ he explains. ―This can lead to haphazard, short-term solutions: portable air- coolers and back doors left open to aid cooling are not unheard of. Racks are placed under general 02 Abril de 2008 office desks because of lack of space in the data centre.‖ Alastair McAulay, IT systems specialist with PA Consulting, has witnessed similar horror stories, where IT infrastructure has been exploited ―until it is squeezed dry‖. ―With this type of mindset, data centres – if they can be called that – end up relegated to basements in head office or slotted into a few spare disconnected rooms scattered around an existing building,‖ he says. ―And somehow or other, the IT department makes this work. ―It is not unusual to find facilities where electric fans bought from a nearby shop are positioned around the floor to maintain an adequate airflow. If the thermometer rises to a certain point, servers are switched off.‖ He says such arrangements can never meet the demands of modern business flexibility and that alternatives such as outsourcing have to be considered: ―Whether outsourced or implemented internally, data centres are big cost-items with long lead times. ―Understanding the options for moving data centres and deciding if it is the right thing to do and how best to do it requires a combination of clear strategy and excellent execution.‖ But that presupposes an understanding of the existing situation and the evidence is that too few companies can list their IT assets or assess their efficiency. An international survey carried out by Quocirca, the consultancy, on behalf of Global Data Centre Management (GDCM), the London-based software group, shows that just under a third of data centre managers do not know how many servers they own or what devices are attached to the network. Some 55 per cent of centre managers do not know how much power they are using or how much it costs, and less than half measure server utilisation: the rest guess their utilisation is about 75 per cent, while the industry average is known to be below 25 per cent. Peter Armstrong, corporate strategist with BMC Software, thinks that skills such as capacity planning and impact analysis, neglected during the years of free spending on IT, will have to be relearned. New technologies such as virtualisation promise huge savings but present great risks. ―The question is: how do I manage this implementation in a controlled fashion, so that somebody cannot simply throw up a virtual image of the system, log on and do irreparable harm to the company,‖ he says. His colleague, Leah Anathan, European business manager, believes that finding extra physical space and getting more power into centres has a new and welcome cultural dimension: ―The line between facilities and IT is breaking down. At one time, there was no common language, as if the two functions were totally unrelated.‖ Now, she contends, both have to be represented at discussions on the future of the data centre. IT turning green: The phantom that gives CIOs nightmares By Stephen Pritchard 02 Abril de 2008 Published: April 2 2008 02:23 | Last updated: April 2 2008 02:23 Phantom load, or vampire power, is one of the chief spooks that are – or should be – keeping CIOs awake at night. Phantom loads are not as other worldy as they sound. They occur when a device, such as a computer, a router or a mobile phone charger, draws electricity from the grid when it is not in use. Energy companies have been monitoring the impact of phantom loads for several years, spurred by the growth of consumer-electronics devices, especially those with a ―standby‖ mode. These include TVs, DVD players, set-top boxes and internet access hardware such as routers and wireless access points, but also white goods such as microwave ovens and dishwashers. Calculations carried out by environmental groups suggest that anywhere between 30 and 50 per cent of electricity used in the home could be due to phantom loads. Research into the impact of vampire power on businesses is harder to come by. But Pacific Gas and Electric , the utility covering the San Francisco area, has targeted savings of 50 per cent in the phantom or ―plug load‖ power used by equipment in both home and office through a programme known as ―Flex Your Power‖. Much of the saving is expected to come from manufacturers fitting more efficient transformers or adapters to their equipment, and especially, from reducing the power used in standby mode. For CIOs, however, the advantages of more energy-efficient equipment have to be set against the growth in devices used in the business, especially personal electronics and portable equipment. Much of this equipment – whether a BlackBerry, an iPod or a laptop – draws its power from plug-in chargers. These chargers continue to draw power even when the device they are attached to is fully charged, and even when the device is not attached to the charger at all. Electricity companies have identified these plug-in chargers as one of the causes of growing phantom loads. As well as the sheer number of devices in use, portable chargers are typically low-cost items and so relatively inefficient converters of mains power. Then there are behavioural factors. For business users of a mobile phone or PDA, a second charger is one of the most popular accessories. All too often, employees leave those chargers connected to the mains, when the associated device is elsewhere. Tackling such behaviour should be high on any green CIO‘s list of priorities, says Markus Terho, director of environmental affairs at Nokia. ―If you keep your phone charger plugged in 24 hours a day, seven days a week, the energy used is far greater than in the other lifecycle phases of the phone, manufacturing and disposal,‖ he says. ―Simply unplugging the charger from its socket will minimise at least 35 per cent of its environmental impact.‖ 02 Abril de 2008 Of course, changing behaviour is not easy, especially in large organisations and Mr Terho remains realistic. Nokia aims to provide the ―most efficient‖ chargers, with models shipped this year drawing a phantom load of less than 50 milliwatts. ―That is two thousand times less than a single lightbulb when the device is not charging, but our aim is to get that as close to zero as possible,‖ says Mr Terho. Nokia, along with other manufacturers of high- volume electronics goods, has also looked at adding LED status lights to chargers as a visual prompt to unplug, or where possible, switch off the device. Within a few years, more radical options could be available. Siemens Home and Office Communications (SHC) of Germany has developed ECO DECT for its cordless phones. The manufacturer says that ECO DECT handsets use between 20 and 30 milliwatts, or 60 per cent less power than a conventional DECT phone, due to a more efficient power supply. Further savings come from technology that reduces the transmission power between base station and handset to as low a level as possible. The logical next step is solar power, says Jochen Eickholt, CEO of SHC. ―Our prototypes suggest we can reduce power by 16 to 25 per cent, although that depends on the performance parameters of [miniature] solar cells, and they are still in their infancy,‖ he explains. ―At the moment, the concept is to use solar to supplement existing power sources.‖ Dr Eickholt says manufacturers have also made progress in reducing the power consumption of devices such as broadband routers, gateways and internet telephony adapters that, by their nature, need to be left switched on all the time. Much of this has been done by using better power management software algorithms. A self-sufficient device using only solar power is possible, he suggests, but obtaining sufficient light to power it remains the crux. Nonetheless, Dr Eickholt says that customers, especially business buyers, are demanding better environmental performance. This trend has also been observed by Barry Carroll, master technologist for mobile power Subsystems in Hewlett-Packard‘s Personal Systems Group. ―Corporate customers are extremely interested [in more energy-efficient hardware] and countries, such as Australia and China, are accepting US Environmental Protection Agency standards.‖ The Environmental Protection Agency requires laptop computer makers to follow a code of conduct for ―no load‖ power use when a charger is plugged in but the laptop is disconnected, or shut down, limiting it to 0.5 watts. HP says its notebooks already draw less than that. For CIOs, buying greener equipment is only part of the solution. They also need to manage how staff use existing equipment, including personal devices. Portable devices lack the sophisticated energy monitoring technology built in to servers and other data 02 Abril de 2008 centre hardware, and CIOs might not even know exactly how much equipment their business owns. ―IT folks are focused on the data centre, which is seen as the energy hog,‖ says Chris Mines, lead analyst for environmental issues at Forrester Research. ―The next tier is fixed devices such as PCs and peripherals. Few IT people even think of the tier after that, mobile devices such as PDAs. They have no corporate asset tag, and no visibility.‖ What is visible, though, is the moving dial on the electricity meter. If CIOs cannot monitor portable devices from their data centres, walking the office floor and unplugging unused chargers should go some way to keeping vampire power from troubling their dreams. Protesters disrupt work at Welsh coal mine By Fiona Harvey, Published: April 2 2008 02:59 | Last updated: April 2 2008 02:59 Environment Correspondent Environmental protesters disrupted work at an open-cast coal mine in Wales on Tuesday, chaining themselves to machinery and blockading the entrance to the site. Miller Argent, which operates the Ffos-y-Fran mine near Merthyr Tydfil, said production was not halted but two protesters were arrested. Others tried to unveil a banner reading ―Coal: the black hole in UK climate policy‖ but were hampered by strong winds. The protest highlighted growing controversy over the future of using coal for electricity generation. Eon‘s plans for a new coal-fired power station at Kingsnorth have been condemned by Greenpeace and other campaigning groups, and the proposed site will be targeted this summer by the Camp for Climate Action. Supporters of coal-fired generation say technology to capture and store carbon dioxide will allow coal to be used in a more environmentally sound fashion in the future, but green groups say this is years away. Stephen Tillman, director of Miller Argent, criticised Tuesday‘s protest on safety grounds. ―The protesters have once again potentially put lives at risk, and not just their own. Because this is a site of former quarries and coal workings we are uncovering former deep shafts and trespass, potentially encouraging others including local young people to do the same, is not just irresponsible behaviour but a criminal offence.‖ Coal from the Ffos-y-fran site is sent by train to Aberthaw power station, planned as a pilot site for carbon capture and storage technology. HG Capital in €185m Sweden wind farm deal By Martin Arnold, Private Published: April 2 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 2 2008 03:00 Equity Correspondent HG Capital, the listed private equity company, has announced that it is investing in a €185m (£147m) Swedish onshore wind farm project, one of the largest in the Nordic region. 02 Abril de 2008 The investment will be the biggest commitment made by its €300m HG Renewable Power Partners fund since it was founded at the end of 2006. The Havsnäs wind farm in central Sweden will be built and operated by Renewable Energy Systems (RES), the subsidiary of the Sir Robert McAlpine group that specialises in wind farm construction. The farm will use 48 Vestas V-90 turbines and start generating electricity in 2010. It is expected to produce 95.4MW, enough to power 45,000 homes and replace 216,000 tonnes of carbon from burning fossil fuels. HG Capital will invest €43m of equity for a 75 per cent stake in the project, which is also being financed by €127m of 17-year loans from Commerzbank, ING Bank and NordLB. Jens Thomassen, partner at HG Capital, said the investment would be treated like an infrastructure asset, so could be held for much longer than the average three-to-five year time frame of a traditional buy-out. "The investors in our renewable fund are principally looking for recurring dividend income, so the fund could hold on to its assets for a very long time," he said. The electricity produced will be traded on the NordPool power market, rather than benefiting from any state-subsidised prices. The farm is the ninth investment by HG Renewable Power Partners. It now has investments in 10 European wind farms under construction, totalling 220MW, as well as 20 wind projects under development, totalling 400MW. The fund - the largest renewable investment fund in Europe - has also invested in German biogas projects, four of which are under construction while 11 more are being developed. Mexico's CFE Defends Repsol LNG Contract DOW JONES April 1, 2008 4:02 p.m. NEWSWIRES MEXICO CITY (Dow Jones)--Mexico's largest state power company defended on Tuesday a natural gas supply contract with Repsol (REP) in the face of criticism from a leading opposition figure. Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador, who ran and lost in a 2006 presidential bid against Felipe Calderon, claims the Commission Federal de Electricidad, or CFE, hand-picked Repsol for a contract that overcharges Mexico for liquefied natural gas, or LNG. Lopez Obrador has been attacking Calderon's attempts to open the energy industry to private investment this year, organizing a series of street protests. In a statement, the CFE said it carried out the supply tender in a transparent fashion, and no 02 Abril de 2008 companies involved in the process filed any complaints. Repsol was the only final bidder in the tender because competing firms were unable to guarantee supplies for the 15-year contract period, said the CFE. The CFE also said Mexico will save $1.5 billion over the 15-year contract buying gas from Repsol compared with reference LNG prices in South Texas. The contract is for up to 500 million cubic feet a day of LNG. Mexico imports around 15% of its natural gas supplies, as current production by state-owned Petroleos Mexicanos doesn't meet demand. Where's the beef? Published: April 2 2008 03:00 | Last updated: April 2 2008 03:00 During her election campaign last autumn, Cristina Fernández de Kirchner, Argentina's new president, promised a change of style and improved institutions. But her administration has been even more confused and high-handed than that of her predecessor and husband, Néstor Kirchner. A change in tone and substance is now imperative. True, the economy has been growing strongly and Argentina has an unusually healthy cushion of foreign exchange. But problems are piling up. For the past three weeks farmers have been blocking roads and refusing to sell their produce in protest at increases in export taxes. Chicken is scarce and supermarket shelves are empty of beef, a political disaster for this most carnivorous of nations - as are the knock-on effects. Workers in the booming soya industry are being laid off. Food shortages have come in the wake of energy cuts for business users, pushing up prices. The private sector has no confidence in this meddling government's inflation statistics. Independent economists say prices rose by about 20 per cent in 2007 and may have increased by as much as 3 per cent last month. Ms Fernández has failed to advance negotiations either with the Paris Club of bilateral creditors or with those private lenders who refused to accept the debt restructuring deal completed in 2005. Argentina has only limited access to capital markets. Multinationals are cold-shouldering Argentina in preference for Brazil or Chile. It is high time Ms Fernández realised that the interventionist policies introduced after the 2001-02 crisis are no longer appropriate. In the short term, she should negotiate with farmers and be prepared to offer concessions. Windfall taxes are warranted when commodity prices soar but the scale of those imposed on the farm economy makes little sense, especially when the proceeds are in effect financing subsidies. The government must start producing credible inflation figures and give electricity companies and other industries affected by price controls the chance to adjust their tariffs to reflect costs. Argentina also needs to start preparing for a potential downturn in commodity prices. Unlike its better-managed neighbour, Chile, it has made no progress in building up a stabilisation fund. None of this will be easy. But the longer Argentina's problems are allowed to fester the more difficult 02 Abril de 2008 they will become to resolve. Argentina is still a long way from the meltdowns of the 1980s and early part of this decade. But it is just as far from seizing yet another golden opportunity to turn itself into the prosperous nation it should be. Gas Producers Rush to Pennsylvania By RUSSELL GOLD Promising Results For Wells There Spur Investment April 2, 2008; Page A2 PITTSBURGH -- Natural-gas producers are swarming into Pennsylvania to chase what many are betting could be the next big thing: a thick wedge of gas-bearing rock called the Marcellus Shale. The recent surge in interest was triggered by disclosures in the fall from producer Range Resources Corp. of Fort Worth, Texas, that it had drilled a well there producing more than three million cubic feet of natural gas a day, proving that Marcellus Shale wells can be profitable. Since then, Range has reported wells that produce even more gas. The result is a land rush unmatched anywhere else in North America as companies try to snap up drilling acreage on a giant swath of rock stretching from West Virginia across Pennsylvania to the northeast corner of the state, 90 miles from New York City. Range Resources plans to spend $426 million in Appalachia this year. Other out-of-state companies, such as EOG Resources Inc., Chesapeake Energy Corp. and Anadarko Petroleum Corp., have either begun drilling or are planning to drill wells targeting the Marcellus Shale. Wall Street has recently awakened to the potential earnings power of these Pennsylvania wells, but analysts contend they still could be undervalued. "Even though these stocks have done well, to say the market has fully captured the potential is laughable," says Subash Chandra, an energy analyst with Jefferies & Co. Range Resources' shares were at $64.31 apiece as of 4 p.m. New York Stock Exchange composite trading, up from $34.01 a year earlier. A relatively clean-burning fuel, natural gas is in growing demand. About half of U.S. homes use natural gas, and it generates about a fifth of the nation's electricity. Meanwhile, natural-gas prices have gone above $6 per million British thermal units for the past three years, triple their historical average. Prices recently topped $10 per million BTUs before falling back and ended Tuesday at $9.72 on the New York Mercantile Exchange. Estimates of the Marcellus Shale's supplies vary widely. In 2002, the U.S. Geological Survey estimated there may be 1.9 trillion cubic feet. Earlier this year, Terry Engelder, a Pennsylvania State University geosciences professor, made what he called a conservative estimate of 168 trillion cubic feet. His estimate has yet to be confirmed. By comparison, the U.S. consumed 23.05 trillion cubic feet last year, according to the Energy Information Administration, or about 63.2 billion cubic feet a day. Still, there have been relatively few completed Marcellus Shale wells, and it isn't clear whether the rock will produce prolific wells across the state or only in certain pockets. Companies could be spending a lot of money leasing acres and drilling wells in counties where there won't be enough gas for the wells to offer a reasonable return. 02 Abril de 2008 Information about the potential of the Marcellus gas field has emerged slowly because of Pennsylvania rules that allow companies to keep well-production data and drilling logs confidential for five years, compared with about 60 days in Texas. While Range has told Wall Street analysts about its wells, it hasn't disclosed where the wells are. "Why would we educate anybody else?" says Ray Walker, Range's head of Appalachian shale production. The best way to protect shareholders, he says, "is to keep information close at hand." In the fall, after Range personnel caught someone snooping around their wellhead reading the production meter, Mr. Walker padlocked covers on well-production meters. The technique for drilling into shale rock to harvest natural gas was pioneered outside Fort Worth about six years ago. Since then, the Texas Barnett Shale has gone from obscurity to the most prolific domestic gas field in the continental U.S. That one field produces about 3.5 billion cubic feet a day, or about eight times more than all of Pennsylvania in 2006, which is the latest data available. Gas producers hope they can do the same for the Marcellus, but development in Pennsylvania has been slowed by a lack of equipment. Drilling rigs capable of penetrating deep into the complex rock formations needed to be imported from Texas, Wyoming and other active energy regions. Experienced crews capable of fracturing the dense shale in order to coax out the gas also had to be brought in. Now, oil-field services firms are slowly expanding operations in the region, raising another obstacle. Jefferies analyst Mr. Chandra says development of the shale could be slowed by a culture clash generated by hard-charging Texas and Oklahoma energy companies "doing business in a way that hasn't been done before" in Pennsylvania. Pennsylvania has had an oil and gas industry for more than a century, but it's been dominated by small companies that tend to drill low-cost, low-risk wells that produce a fraction of the gas that companies believe they can coax from a Marcellus Shale well. But these small, local companies long ago locked up most of the drillable acreage. To gain access, out-of-state companies are opening up their checkbooks to sign deals with local companies sitting on large swathes of acreage. "We've never seen this kind of money around here," says Terry Jacobs, president of family-owned Penneco Oil Co. He cut a deal last year to allow Range to drill wells on leases he holds. It isn't uncommon to find drilling crews filled with Texans and Oklahomans. On a recent morning, Jared Griffith, a third-generation Texas oil hand, sat with his crew inside an oil-field office trailer. Almost all were Texans. "I never thought I'd be north of the Mason-Dixon line," says Mr. Griffith, an operations manager for Frac Tech Services Ltd., a drilling-services firm based in Cisco, Texas. Leasing prices for land still available for drilling has skyrocketed along with the out-of-state influx. Near Williamsport, Pa., a drilling lease that fetched $5 an acre in 2003 now can fetch $2,000 an acre, local residents say. Those kind of prices are "unheard of in our part of the world," says Rich Weber, president of Atlas Energy Resources LLC, based in Moon Township, Pa. Range's Mr. Walker has worked to smooth over relations with local landowners. The company contributed $35,000 so Hickory, Pa., could buy a bronze statue of a farmer to commemorate the 02 Abril de 2008 region's agricultural history. At last year's local Washington County Youth Livestock Show, Range bought the champion steer for $12,285. "I thought it was cheap," Mr. Walker says. TransCanada to Buy New York Plant By ALEX MACDONALD April 2, 2008; Page B5 and JENNIFER TERSHAK TransCanada Corp. agreed to buy a 2,480-megawatt gas-fired power station in New York for $2.9 billion from National Grid PLC of Britain, which needed to divest itself of the property to comply with New York state regulation. National Grid had acquired the Ravenswood power station as part of its $7.3 billion takeover of KeySpan, a New York utility, in August 2007. Divestiture of Ravenswood was a condition of the New York Public Service Commission. The Ravenswood plant accounts for more than 20% of New York City's supply of electricity. Analysts said the price paid for Ravenswood is at the upper end of the range expected. The sale is subject to regulatory approvals and is expected to be completed by summer. TransCanada said it expects Ravenswood to modestly hurt its earnings in the first two full years of ownership based on the near-term effects of an order by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Subsequently, TransCanada expects the plant to add to earnings. Based in Calgary, Alberta, TransCanada is one of North America's largest natural-gas-grid operators and one of the largest gas-storage providers, with approximately 355 billion cubic feet of storage capacity. TransCanada owns or has interests in the producers of approximately 7,700 megawatts of power generation. Spain's Endesa To Invest $10B In Latin America 2008-2012-Exec DOW JONES April 1, 2008 4:36 p.m. NEWSWIRES SANTIAGO (Dow Jones)--Spanish electricity utility Endesa SA (ELEZF) plans to invest $10 billion in Latin America between 2008 and 2012, a senior company official said Tuesday. Pablo Yrarrazabal, president of Endesa investment unit Enersis (ENI), said the investment breaks down into $5.6 billion for electric power generation and $4.4 billion for distribution. Irarrazabal was speaking at a meeting of Enersis shareholders. Enersis manages Endesa's Latin American assets, including power and distribution assets in Chile, Argentina, Brazil, Peru and Colombia. El Gobierno central acepta soterrar hasta 25 kilómetros de la MAT S. DEL ARCO / LL. El mediador europeo Monti dice que el suministro eléctrico en Girona es "crítico" PELLICER - Barcelona 02 Abril de 2008 02/04/2008 El Gobierno central acepta soterrar 25 kilómetros correspondientes al tramo fronterizo con Francia de la línea de muy alta tensión (MAT). El secretario de Energía del Ministerio de Industria, Comercio y Turismo, Ignasi Nieto, afirmó que espera que con esta concesión se desencalle el proyecto. No obstante, rechazó soterrar el resto de la infraestructura, entre Sentmenat y Santa Llogaia d'Àlguema. "Las arcas públicas no lo pueden pagar y tampoco se puede abrir la puerta a soterrar en otros puntos del Estado", justificó Nieto, informa Natalia Iglesias. El ex comisario y mediador europeo Mario Ponti presentó ayer su informe sobre la interconexión eléctrica entre España y Francia. En él, Monti sopesa, entre otras, la posibilidad de soterrar la MAT. En el trabajo, entregado al Departamento de Economía de la Generalitat y presentado en Girona, no se determina cuál es el mejor trazado para la interconexión ni si ésta debe llevarse a cabo de forma aérea o soterrada. La propuesta sobre estos extremos se comunicará antes del verano, en otro informe. Sí se destaca la "necesidad de reforzar la interconexión". "El suministro de la región de Girona está en una situación crítica actualmente y se agravará aún más en el futuro, con la evolución del consumo, si no se realizan los refuerzos adecuados en la red"; es decir, la línea de alta tensión. Asimismo se advierte de que el sistema es "insuficiente", teniendo en cuenta el "muy fuerte crecimiento de la demanda de las dos últimas décadas, que ha llegado a dupicarse en algunas regiones fronterizas", y se pone de manifiesto que la interconexión potenciaría el fuerte desarrollo que están experimentando las energías renovables en España, puesto que daría más "seguridad" al sistema eléctrico y no se requeriría la construcción de tantas centrales de reserva. Y entre otras "ventajas", se señala: "La capacidad de transporte entre Francia y España permitiría un acercamiento de los precios hacia un valor global más bajo". Un apartado del informe se dedica a la situación del suministro eléctrico en Girona. Es demoledor: el aumento del consumo obliga a importar el 75% de su gasto, casi la mitad de su suministro depende de una sola línea (Vic-Juià) y la desconexión de dicha línea por un posible incidente provocaría el corte del suministro a 350.000 clientes. El consejero de Economía, Antoni Castells, destacó, tras la entrevista con Monti, la "complementariedad" de la interconexción con los trabajos de la línea de alta tensión y pidió "consenso político" entre los gobiernos español y francés sobre el trazado. Beacon or Boondoggle? New Lights For the Capitol By Christopher Lee Update Would Conserve Energy, Democrats Say Washington Post Staff Wednesday, April 2, 2008; A01 Writer The warm white glow of the Capitol dome may soon go green, part of an effort by Democratic congressional leaders to save energy and modernize the District's nocturnal landscape. But like so many issues on Capitol Hill, the plan to update the building's 18-year-old exterior lighting has ignited partisan bickering. Republicans and other critics consider the project's early phase 02 Abril de 2008 wasteful, and they question whether a $671,900 contract to design the lighting system was steered by Rep. Robert A. Brady (D-Pa.), chairman of the House Administration Committee, to a company in his home district. "Everyone supports making the Capitol more energy efficient, but we don't have to waste taxpayer dollars to do it," said House Minority Leader John A. Boehner (R-Ohio). "This is a ridiculous boondoggle." The project is part of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's environmentally friendly "Green the Capitol" initiative, which includes using more recycled paper, distributing more documents electronically, purchasing carbon offsets for the House's greenhouse-gas emissions, and developing a plan to use wind power and other renewable energy sources. Updating the lights would bring the Capitol up to par with makeovers at the Jefferson and Lincoln memorials and the Washington Monument, proponents say. The Lincoln Memorial's relighting was completed in 2007, as some fixtures dating to the 1920s were replaced. The Washington Monument got new lights in 2006 to replace a 1970s system. Lighting manufacturer Osram Sylvania picked up the $900,000 tab in 2001 to overhaul a lighting system at the Jefferson Memorial that dated to the 1960s, using the donation to celebrate the company's 100th year in business. The Capitol, which last got new lights in 1990, is next in line. Its system consists of 38 1,000-watt metal halide lamps mounted on rooftops over the House and Senate wings. The lamps burn for about eight hours a night and consume more than 122,000 kilowatt-hours of power each year. The annual electric bill is nearly $15,000. Daniel P. Beard, the House's chief administrative officer, said that if House and Senate leaders give final approval, new lighting could be installed by year's end. Officials do not yet have an estimate for the cost of the project. "You have the most recognized building in America, and lighting it with new energy-efficient lighting has tremendous symbolic value," Beard said. "We're not going to drastically cut our energy consumption, but it will have a modest impact, and I think it will help promote the energy-efficient- lighting industry, which is in all of our best interests." But converting to a more eco-friendly system has turned out to be expensive -- and the work has just begun. Beard's office rejected two lower bids to recommend awarding the design contract to the Lighting Practice of Philadelphia, located in Brady's district. The contract covers no installation costs. In a Feb. 19 memo to Brady, whose committee approved the award, Beard said that of the seven bidders for the contract, the Philadelphia company offered "the best value and greatest opportunity for success." In an interview, he said the two lowest bidders were eliminated because they did not provide enough information for his office to assess their financial health. A Brady spokesman said there was nothing improper about the selection process. The committee "has a procedure, and the procedure was adhered to," said Kyle Anderson, a spokesman for the House 02 Abril de 2008 Administration Committee. Helen K. Diemer, vice president of the Lighting Practice, said: "We believe we won on the strength of our proposal." She added that newer lights will be "more powerful and have better control capabilities than what was available in the late '80s." Lighting experts say newer technology also offers sharper color and better light distribution across the dome, whose north and south faces now have better illumination than its east and west sides. Newer technology also can improve the lighting of the 19-foot Statue of Freedom that sits atop the building, 288 feet above the east front plaza. Still, there are concerns. Even if a new configuration were to miraculously reduce electricity consumption to zero, at current electricity rates it would take more than 45 years to recoup money spent on the system's design, critics note. "You've got to balance the costs" and the energy savings, said Steve Ellis, a spokesman for Taxpayers for Common Sense, a nonprofit government watchdog group. "This is going to be an expensive ego trip if it doesn't actually bear out the savings from efficiency gains." Pelosi spokesman Drew Hammill said the project is not just about money. New lights "will not only bring our 'beacon of democracy' in line with other landmarks on the National Mall but allow the dome to be a beacon to all reminding us of the need to address the global climate crisis," he said. Tom Martin, executive vice president of the National Parks Conservation Association, said the Capitol is not just another building. "It's a place where we can project America's values and our history and our heritage," Martin said. "In that context, having the Capitol reflect and teach us all the values of energy efficiency, thoughtful investments in our future, makes an enormous amount of sense. We wouldn't expect the Capitol to use the same kind of accounting that we'd use in our home of whether something makes sense or not."