Pension funds call for corporate action on Amazon forest fires

first_imgNearly 70 asset owners have backed a statement calling on companies to reinforce their efforts to make sure their operations and supply chains do not contribute to deforestation.The statement is a response to the forest fires in Brazil and Bolivia and has been signed by 230 institutional investors with $12.6trn (€11.3trn) in assets under management.Asset owners accounted for 30% of the signatories, and included Norway’s KLP, Swedish pension buffer funds, UK local authority pension investors and Swiss pension funds – via proxy voting group Ethos.“It is with deep concern that we follow the escalating crisis of deforestation and forest fires in Brazil and Bolivia,” the statement said. “As investors, who have a fiduciary duty to act in the best long-term interests of our beneficiaries, we recognise the crucial role that tropical forests play in tackling climate change, protecting biodiversity and ensuring ecosystem services.”In a press release, the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) and Ceres, the organisations that co-ordinated the statement, explained that the investor statement called on companies to tackle financially material deforestation risks, including market and reputational risks, within their operations and global supply chains.It specifically asked companies to:publicly disclose and implement a commodity-specific ‘no deforestation’ policy with quantifiable, time-bound commitments covering the entire supply chain and sourcing geographies;establish a transparent monitoring and verification system for supplier compliance with the ‘no deforestation’ policy; andreport annually on deforestation risk exposure and management, including progress towards the company’s ‘no deforestation’ policySome of the investors signing the statement had already turned their attention to relevant investee companies in the wake of media coverage last month of fires in the Amazon rainforest. According to a press release from KLP late last month, the Norwegian public sector pension provider had contacted firms trading significantly in agricultural commodities from Brazil to ask for “rapid dialogue and concrete action in light of the very serious situation”.last_img read more

Private debt activity slowed sharply in 2019, but 2020 starts crowded

first_imgFundraising and deal-making in the private debt market declined sharply last year although fund managers have kept launching new vehicles, according to data provider Preqin.In 2019, 152 funds reached a final close, securing a combined $107bn (€96bn) from investors, the lowest annual total since 2015 and an 11% decrease compared with 2018.Last year marked the first time since 2014 that the industry did not cross the 200 and $100bn thresholds for fund closes and fundraising volumes, according to Preqin.There were 830 private debt-backed deals with an aggregate value of $48bn in 2019, marking the end of a steady rise in the number of deals and aggregate deal value since 2009. At the beginning of this month there are 436 funds in the market targeting a combined $192bn, compared with 399 and $168bn in January 2019, respectively, and 354 and $169bn at the start of 2018.“Suggestions that the [private debt] market has reached saturation are not fully substantiated, but many investors do seem to be holding off on making commitments, and fundraising has seen its largest ever year-on-year decline,” said Tom Carr, head of private debt at Preqin.“But long-term appetite among investors remains robust, and fund managers certainly believe that there is significant potential yet to be tapped. They will point to declining dry powder as an indication that they are still able to put capital to work, and this may prompt investors to start making commitments again and boosting 2020 fundraising activity.”BNPP AM partners with German SME loan originatorIn other news, BNP Paribas Asset Management (BNPP AM) has added a Germany prong to its small and medium-sized (SME) alternative financing platform, partnering with German digital SME finance provider platform creditshelf.Creditshelf will originate unsecured SME loans between €500,000 and €5m with a term of five to eight year for BNPP AM’s institutional investor clients. The asset manager will make the final credit decision on the loans.Stéphane Blanchoz, head of BNPP AM’s SME alternative financing business, said: “Our partnership with creditshelf will allow us to bring our unique SME loan product to the German market, alongside our existing offering in the UK and the Netherlands.”Banks in Germany do not typically offer terms of five to eight years for unsecured growth financing, noted Daniel Bartsch, founding partner and board member of creditshelf.BNPP AM’s SME alternative financing platform is part of the asset manager’s private debt and real assets investment group. It already has strategic partnerships with origination platforms CODE Investing and Caple; it has a 10% stake in the latter. In 2018 there were nearly 1,400 deals with a total deal value of more than $75bn.center_img Dry powder fell from a peak of $292bn at the end of 2018 to $261bn as of December 2019. This marks the first time the cash pile shrank since 2014 as fund managers deployed capital at a faster pace than they raised it during the year.However, new funds continue to be launched and the marketplace is more crowded than it has been since 2017, according to Preqin’s data.last_img read more

​AP1 saves resources by adding eVestment to monitoring kit

first_imgAP1 has been making a series of changes to its asset management set up over the last year as it tries to lay the groundwork for better returns.One element of the restructuring process has been to merge all units dealing with external asset managers into the new external partnership and innovation unit.The fund said in its annual report that this change was “to achieve synergies and new ways of integrating innovation in the fund”.Meanwhile, a spokesman for eVestment told IPE the firm is currently making a concerted push into the Nordic region.“We’re finding reception to the data and tools we offer to be positive among investors and asset managers in the region,” he said.Jean-Philippe Quittot, the firm’s managing director for EMEA, said eVestment provided a holistic view of the managers and strategies available.“This power to find the best managers in the world and effectively hold those managers accountable through regular monitoring is important as pensions, the pensioners they serve, regulatory bodies and other stakeholders look for more transparency in the management of pension money,” he said.Looking for IPE’s latest magazine? Read the digital edition here. Swedish state pension buffer fund AP1 has started using data services from US provider eVestment to monitor the performance of its external managers – a move the SEK366bn (€35bn) fund said will help it direct its resources more efficiently.The high-profile business win for the Nasdaq-owned data firm comes during a drive to boost sales in the Nordic region.Majdi Chammas, portfolio manager in AP1’s new external partnerships and innovation department, told IPE: “AP1 has decided to add eVestment to the existing toolkit. The eVestment database will help us in the monitoring process of existing and shortlisted managers and allow us to focus our resources.”But Chammas also said AP1 continued to emphasise the importance of qualitative assessment beside the quantitative evaluation when monitoring managers.last_img read more

People moves: Essex scheme seeks investment adviser

first_imgATP — Christine Schmitz has been appointed as the leader of the new administrative body set to manage the Denmark’s senior pension – the new early-retirement disability pension introduced in January this year. Seniorpension, as the new organisation is to be called, will be a subsidiary of statutory pensions giant ATP, and will begin operating in January 2021, when ATP takes over responsibility for running the state benefit scheme nationally.Since its initiation at the beginning of this year, the scheme has so far been managed by local authorities around the country. The senior pension reform stems from a cross-party agreement in May 2019 and in its current form, the benefit allows those with 20-25 years of full-time employment, who cannot work more than 15 hours a week, to receive a pension up to six years before normal retirement age.Schmitz, who has been appointed as a deputy director of ATP, joins from Deloitte, where she was a partner responsible for tasks for the state and municipalities, especially in the area of employment. ATP said she would start work in the new role on 15 August.The Pension SuperFund (PSF) – The PSF, one of the two commercial defined benefit consolidation vehicles actively operating in the UK, has announced the composition of its asset and liability management (ALM) committee, which provides strategic and operational recommendations to the PSF’s joint investment committee.Joining managing partners Edmund Truell and Luke Webster on the ALM committee are some high-profile names:Chris Hitchen – chair of the PSF and of the Border to Coast local authority pension pool, non-executive director of NEST and former CEO of Railpen;Kari Stadigh – former president and CEO of Nordic insurance group Sampo and vice chair at Nokia. The PSF has reportedly received equity backing from Sampo;Wolf Becke – former CEO of Hannover Life Re and board member of Hannover Re Group. Current board mandates include chair Aegon Blue Square Re N.V, vice chair of FWU AG and senior independent director of Vitality Life. He is also a member of the PSF’s ‘committments’ committee;William Maltby – former vice chair of investment banking at Deutsche Bank and currently chair of NB Private Equity and Ekins Guinness;Martin Gilbert – chair of Aberdeen Standard Investments, co-founder and formerly CEO of Aberdeen Asset Management. Former chair of the Practitioner Panel at the Prudential Regulatory Authority; andIan Edward – former investment banker and serial entrepreneur and private equity investor across a variety of sectors including financial services, food & leisure. Currently non-executive director of Pizza Pilgrims and co-founder of Hippo Inns. Essex Pension Fund, ATP, The Pensions SuperFund, Lothian Pension Fund, Falkirk Council Pension Fund, Fife Council Pension FundEssex Pension Fund – The scheme is seeking to appoint an independent investment adviser to advise its investment steering committee (ISC). It is intended that the appointment should be effective from November 2020. The appointment will be for an initial period of three years – with an option for the fund to extend it for a further period on the same terms and conditions.The fund is growing towards a value of £7.5bn (€8.2bn). Details of the strategic asset allocation and investment structure, including details of all current mandates, are set out in the scheme’s investment strategy statement (ISS). The draft ISS is currently out for stakeholder consultation and can be found here.Candidates wishing to express interest in this position should contact Samantha Andrews, the scheme’s investment manager by Friday 18 September 2020 at 5pm UK time via email. Lothian, Falkirk and Fife pension funds – The three Scottish local government pension scheme (LGPS) funds’ joint investment strategy panel (JISP) has appointed three independent advisers. Scott Jamieson has been reappointed and Kirstie MacGillivray and Stan Pearson will take up the position for the first time. The panel used to have two independent advisers – Jamieson and Gordon Bagott.The JISP comprises senior officers as well as the independent external investment advisers, who rotate after an initial term of three years. It advises the three pension fund administering authorities on implementation of their respective investment strategies, although these are agreed by the pensions committee of each pension fund and the assets of Lothian Pension Fund, Falkirk Council Pension Fund and Fife Council Pension Fund remain separate. Between them they have some £14bn (€15.3bn) in assets under management.Elaine Muir, head of finance for Fife Council and chair of the JISP, said: “We were impressed by the caliber of candidates we met during the selection process and in Kirstie, Stan and Scott we have an ideal blend of skills and experience to cover our needs for macro, equities and governance fields.”last_img read more

EIOPA flags PEPP viability thumbs-down in letter to Commission

first_imgThe EU occupational pensions supervisor has highlighted to the European Commission industry representatives’ verdict about the implications for the pan-European personal pension product (PEPP) of including the initial cost of advice in the charge cap.On Friday EIOPA delivered to the EU executive its proposed legal instruments and advice on delegated acts to implement the framework for the PEPP.In a letter to Commission vice-president Valdis Dombrovksis, EIOPA chair Gabriel Bernardino said the supervisory authority’s proposals had found support from a wide range of stakeholders, but that he wanted to highlight that “industry representatives stressed their negative assessment of the PEPP business proposition’s viability in light of the Basic PEPP’s cap on costs and fees namely due to the initial cost of advice”.“Factually, the level of maximum costs per annum of the Basic PEPP can be observed in current, well-established markets and cannot necessarily – over the long-term – be regarded as excessively low,” Bernardino continued. “However, it is important for us to bring to your attention that the cost cap’s reference to the accumulated capital may lead to a situation where the providers’ expenses cannot be matched in the initial phase of a contract and in the advanced stages of the contract, the costs to the consumer can be relatively high.”Bernardino also said EIOPA believed that the provision of advice to consumers “may deserve further consideration and guidance to allow for an advice process that is fitted to the specificities of the PEPP and to the opportunities of digitalisation and online distribution”.The challenges involved in gathering all the relevant information to understand a consumer’s sources of future retirement income underlined the need for a European pension tracking system, he added. Gabriel Bernardino, EIOPA’s chairAll-inclusiveThe final PEPP regulation stipulated a cost cap for the so-called Basic PEPP, the default option, of 1% of accumulated capital per annum, and a requirement for PEPP providers or distributors to provide advice, including a personalised recommendation, to customers.Part of EIOPA’s job was to draft rules specifying the types of costs and fees that should be included under the cost cap for the Basic PEPP.It has proposed an “all-inclusive” approach, with as narrow as possible a list of exemptions from this approach. The cost of providing a capital guarantee is excluded, although it must be expressly disclosed.A spokesperson for EIOPA said: ”As there are two types of Basic PEPPs (one with the ambition to recoup the capital and one with a guarantee to receive the capital), the costs for the additional layer of protection for the capital guarantee is taken out of the cost cap. Otherwise we would not have a level playing field between the two types of Basic PEPPs and the corresponding PEPP providers.” According to EIOPA’s proposal, costs incurred by providers for the initial advice could be amortised in the cost cap.In addition to covering the cost cap of the basic PEPP, the draft regulatory technical standards cover two mandatory consumer information documents, and risk-mitigation techniques.The draft implementing technical standards set out the procedures, processes and templates for annual supervisory reporting requirements for PEPP providers and cooperation and exchange of information between national competent authorities and EIOPA.Bernardino said: ”With the delivery of EIOPA’s proposed implementing measures specifying the PEPP Regulation, EIOPA has fulfilled its objective to design the PEPP as a simple, safe and reliable retirement savings option for the European citizens and to provide a powerful tool to close the pension savings gap.”To read the digital edition of IPE’s latest magazine click here.last_img read more

These are QLD’s top 10 suburbs for consistent capital growth

first_imgA bedroom in one of the units in The Jefferson at Palm Beach.First home buyers Scott Johnstone and Sarah Major have been renting in Palm Beach since 2015, but recently bought a unit off-the-plan in a new development called The Jefferson.“When Sarah and I decided to purchase our own home we had two pre-requisites — it needed to be in Palmy and it had to be by the beach,” Mr Johnstone said.“We thought we wouldn’t be able to afford a brand new apartment so close to the beach for at least 15 years but we were able to secure a two bedroom, two bathroom apartment in The Jefferson and we are absolutely thrilled.” This four-bedoom house at 15 Wienholt St, Auchenflower, is for sale for $1.1 million. A two-bedroom unit in this complex is available for offers over $399,000. This two-bedroom unit at 5/20 Mawarra St, Palm Beach, is for sale.Noosa Heads was the only suburb where double digit capital growth has been consistent for both units and houses over 12 months, three years and five years. HOUSE PRICES BOUNCE BACK STRONGER Main beach at Noosa, which has seen consistent capital growth in houses and units.IF YOU like to live beside the seaside, you’ll be happy to know it also pays handsomely.Three quarters of the top 10 suburbs for consistent capital growth in Queensland are by the beach, according to a new CoreLogic report.Houses in Tewantin and Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast all recorded double digit house price growth in the past year and around 40 per cent growth over the past five years. GET THE LATEST REAL ESTATE NEWS DIRECT TO YOUR INBOX HERE Interstate migrants are flocking to the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.The working class suburb of Underwood took out the top spot for Queensland in the report on Australia’s best-performing suburbs, with the Logan suburb’s median house price climbing nearly 25 per cent in the past 12 months and more than 57 per cent in the past five years to sit at $601,345. More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours ago MEGA MANSION SELLS FOR $11M This three-bedroom house at 26 Wantima St, Noosa Heads, is on the market.CoreLogic senior research analyst Cameron Kusher said people who had bought in one of those coastal suburbs in the past 12 to 24 months would be sitting pretty.Mr Kusher said the latest statistics revealed interstate migrants were not just moving to Brisbane, they were also flocking to the Gold and Sunshine coasts.“I think some people in Brisbane are tending to move to the coast as well,” Mr Kusher said. “Suburbs there are highly desirable and until recently haven’t shown a lot of growth in values in the past decade. “People are now starting to see value in them.” A house on the water at 6 Yidney St, Maroochydore, is available for $649,000.Units in Palm Beach, Sunrise Beach and Noosaville have outperformed in the past year and longer term, with Palm Beach apartments increasing in price by more than 20 per cent in just the past 12 months and more than 50 per cent in five years. WINTER FEAST FOR PROPERTY BUYERS This four-bedroom house at 12 Mowie Close, Underwood, is on the market for offers over $539,000.Mr Kusher admitted it was a bit surprising given the suburb’s location, 17km from Brisbane’s CBD, but it’s affordability and access to the highway and Gold Coast made it attractive.“But its median (house) price is now up over $600,000, so it’s not really that cheap anymore,” he said.The suburb of Auchenflower also recorded strong capital growth of nearly 23 per cent in just the past 12 months to reach a median house price of more than $1 million. This brand new three-bedroom house at 6 Yidney St, Maroochydore, is available for $649,000. Inside the house at 15 Wienholt St, Auchenflower.Mr Kusher said Ashgrove, Toowong and Hawthorne had also performed strongly, reflecting demand for Brisbane’s inner city suburbs. The national report identified suburbs where the median value growth across 12 months, three years and five years had been higher than 18 per cent. Across the state, eight suburbs were identified as having capital growth of more than 15 per cent in the past year, 44 suburbs achieved that growth over the past three years and 48 suburbs recorded value growth of more than 15 per cent in the past five years.The question is whether these suburbs will continue to record consistent capital growth.“With Sydney and Melbourne slowing, you might see more people looking to cash out of those markets and look to southeast Queensland,” Mr Kusher said. This three-bedroom house at 26 Wantima St, Noosa Heads, is on the market for offers over $799,000. Scott Johnson and Sarah Major at Palm Beach, where they have bought a unit in The Jefferson at60 Jefferson Lane.Tony Holland of McGrath Estate Agents said half of the apartments in the Lacey Group development had sold to buyers under the age of 45, reflecting a new wave of residents now calling Palm Beach home.RiskWise Property Research chief executive Doron Peleg said lifestyle suburbs in coastal locations were outperforming other housing markets across the country, which explained the growing attraction of property on the Gold Coast and Sunshine Coast.“That’s part of a national trend we’re seeing of beachside suburbs enjoying increasingly stronger demand,” Mr Peleg said.TOP PERFORMING SUBURBS IN QLD Suburb Property type Median price 12 mth change 3 yr change 5 yr change 1. Underwood House $601,345 24.4% 30.9% 57.7% 2. Auchenflower House $1.1m 22.9% 18% 29.7%3. Noosa Heads House $1.03m 21.3% 36.9% 57.2% 4. Palm Beach Unit $471,758 20.2% 34.6% 52.2% 5. Sunrise Beach Unit $507,521 19.4% 38% 46.1%6. Noosa Heads Unit $789,150 18.3% 37% 44.7% 7. Tewantin House $577,942 16.2% 27.9% 39.4%8. Ashgrove House $1.02m 15% 20% 49.4% 9. Maroochydore House $610,635 14.9% 31.3% 41.2%10. Noosaville Unit $486,468 14.4% 22.4% 36.9%11. Loganlea House $391,469 14.3% 23.8% 43.8%12. Buddina House $768,715 14.2% 24.9% 43.1% 13. Reedy Creek House $774,948 14% 22.7% 47.7%14. Toowong House $901,431 13.6% 15.5% 28.8%15. Mudgeeraba Unit $399,637 13% 27.5% 37.8%16. Tallai House $868,162 12.6% 24.5% 33.7%17. Moggill House $573,618 12.6% 12.8% 32% 18. Varsity Lakes House $615,972 12.3% 23% 41.2%19. Logan Village House $608,096 12.1% 18.9% 39%20. Tugun House $659,733 12% 35.4% 50.2%(Source: CoreLogic)last_img read more

QLD leads nation as expert urges more people to get rich slow

first_img 1. Sunshine Coast QLD He said most people did not shop, work or school in the Queensland capital’s CBD and outliers were increasingly important.“This is a very good time for people to be getting into the market compared to 12 months ago when things were flat. Twelve months later, we start the year with a whole new ballgame, people are a lot more confident, there’s evidence of markets rising, tax cuts are being put into the system, it’s easier to get loans, the whole atmosphere has changed.”The report found that over $20 billion in major infrastructure projects and private investment were recently completed, under construction or in the planning pipeline in the Sunshine Coast area, while work on the new 53ha Maroochydore CBD was underway.It said the Moreton Bay region was one of the highest-growth LGAs in Australia, because of high levels of infrastructure spending and attractive housing affordability.“This is attracting interstate migrants, first-home buyers and investors to the area, driving strong demand for housing.” National Top 10 Best Buys 2020: How to push through Brisbane’s goat’s cheese curtain 2. Badgerys Creek Precinct NSW3. City of Marion SA4. Bendigo VIC 5. Moreton Bay Region QLD More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus10 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market10 hours ago“The Sunshine Coast came out on top. Property markets arise out of what’s happening in the local economy. There are extraordinary things happening on the ground,” he said.Prices ranged from up-market Noosa and Sunshine Beach to cheaper areas like Nambour, which were also on the train line.” Mr “The other option for younger buyers starting out in their 20-somethings was apartments at Mooloolaba, Maroochydore, and Caloundra. It’s very much gentrified in recent years.”Mr Ryder said Moreton Bay LGA was a very affordable lifestyle precinct, with a rail link and “good basic infrastructure”.“The game changer for that is the university campus, the Brisbane campus being in Petrie and it’s pretty much finished stage 1 for the 2020 university year. So when you’ve got a university campus coming into your area, it creates so much demand for rentals from students. It’s that extra element coming in to the market. It’s got what we call good real estate bones.” Stunning waterways in the top end of the Sunshine Coast region at Noosa North Shore.It beat the likes of Badgerys Creek Creek in western Sydney, where the NSW’s capital’s second international airport was planned, and was also ahead of Marion in South Australia, a place which has emerged as Australia’s tech capital.Brisbane’s Moreton Bay council region also made the top 10 cut, listed in fifth place nationally as one of the best places to buy this year for future capital growth.Report author Terry Ryder of Hotspotting said the locations were the “top places for good buying in 2020 for future growth, taking a medium (three to five years) to long term view (10 years plus)”.Mr Ryder said buys like those were good for “sensible investors” who accumulate rather than buy and sell all the time. MORE: Coast units high on investor demand listcenter_img 20-75 Noosa River Drive, Noosa North Shore, is 24.69ha of residential Land that’s on the market for $2.95m.“They buy good properties and just hold on to them. That’s the secret to creating wealth. The most successful investors are those who just build their portfolio and keep adding to it, that’s the way to create substantial wealth in property investment.”Mr Ryder said “if you’re 95 years old perhaps that’s too late”, but those in their 20s would be able to retire at 50 with such a portfolio. It’s never too late. We’re living longer than before.” The stunning Mooloolaba Beach attracts holiday makers and new residents alike. Picture: John McCutcheon/Sunshine Coast Daily.A Queensland location has been named the best place in Australia to buy property to get rich slow, a strategy more investors are considering now that money is cheap.The National Top 10 Best Buys 2020 report named the Sunshine Coast as the best place in the country for capital gains wins for medium to long term investors. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON TWITTER Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:58Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:58 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels720p720pHD432p432p216p216p180p180pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenHow much do I need to retire?00:58 6. Darebin LGA VIC7. Gungahlin District ACT8. City of Stirling WA9. City of Port Adelaide Enfield SA10. Orange NSW (Source: Hotspotting) Rise of downsizer market challenges first home buyerslast_img read more

Every day’s a holiday in this home

first_img Huge interest in termite-infested house Expressions of interest: Closing June 2, 2020 Video Player is loading.Play VideoPlayNext playlist itemMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:36Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:36 Playback Rate1xChaptersChaptersDescriptionsdescriptions off, selectedCaptionscaptions settings, opens captions settings dialogcaptions off, selectedQuality Levels540p540p360p360p270p270pAutoA, selectedAudio Tracken (Main), selectedFullscreenThis is a modal window.Beginning of dialog window. Escape will cancel and close the window.TextColorWhiteBlackRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyOpaqueSemi-TransparentTransparentWindowColorBlackWhiteRedGreenBlueYellowMagentaCyanTransparencyTransparentSemi-TransparentOpaqueFont Size50%75%100%125%150%175%200%300%400%Text Edge StyleNoneRaisedDepressedUniformDropshadowFont FamilyProportional Sans-SerifMonospace Sans-SerifProportional SerifMonospace SerifCasualScriptSmall CapsReset restore all settings to the default valuesDoneClose Modal DialogEnd of dialog window.This is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.Close Modal DialogThis is a modal window. This modal can be closed by pressing the Escape key or activating the close button.PlayMuteCurrent Time 0:00/Duration 0:00Loaded: 0%Stream Type LIVESeek to live, currently playing liveLIVERemaining Time -0:00 Playback Rate1xFullscreenA mansion you’d to be isolated in!00:37It’s one of the most jaw-dropping mansions to hit the market this year. Welcome to Riverpoint, a six-bedroom residence described as the “pinnacle of luxury waterfront living and entertaining”. Built on a massive 2,623sq m point position with 90m of main river frontage, the 1,651sq m residence at 1-3 La Scala court, Isle of Capri is surrounded with lush tropical gardens and is reminiscent of a Thai resort.Marketing agent Michael Kollosche, managing director of agency Kollosche, said there were only a few properties on the Gold Coast that were truly unique and Riverpoint was one of them. It feels like a tropical holiday here. Love at first inspection.“This is one of the Gold Coast’s most iconic homes,” Mr Kollosche said. “There’s very few homes that you can walk in and feel like you’re permanently on holidays and that is what this home is like.”A riverfront block of this size and with a house of this calibre was a rare combination on the Gold Coast market.“The home originally took the builder about four and a half years to build,” Mr Kollosche said. “A lot of detail went into the build.” That could be any five-star exclusive resort in Fiji or Tahiti. Your own private beach.From the moment you step inside the gates you feel a million miles away from Surfers Paradise. “Broadly speaking, when you walk through the front doors it’s very private and opens up to the river where you get the skyline views of Broadbeach and up to the Hinterland,” he said.As you wind your way through the gardens and inside, the spectacular water views are on show from every room. There are six stunning bedrooms. It’s almost like you don’t know where to look, it’s all so stunning.There are several areas for relaxation and entertainment, from a cinema, kitchen with scullery and cold room, an executive office, six bedrooms, seven bathrooms and three powder rooms.There are formal and informal living rooms, a wellness retreat and even a man cave.Taking centre stage outside is the alfresco pavilion, which sits at the heart of the property. It has a state-of-the-art outdoor kitchen and offers effortless entertaining overlooking the manicured gardens, pool and riverfront. Water enthusiasts will also relish the private beach, pontoon and boat ramp with direct access into the 10 car basement garage, as well as the tennis court and gymnasium.More from news02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa8 hours ago02:37Gold Coast property: Sovereign Islands mega mansion hits market with $16m price tag1 day ago Just a real luscious feel inside and out. Perfect entertainer.Mr Kollosche said he was confident the property would sell.“It’s a very unique home and sometimes for the buyer, it’s the opportunity of being able to acquire a home of this calibre,” Mr Kollosche said.“You can’t put a figure on the time, effort and details that go into building a home like this. “From acquiring the land through to the construction of the home, it can be a long process. So for someone to purchase something like this that’s already done, it is pretty special.”Mr Kollosche said he had four private inspections lined up for today. Agent: Michael Kollosche and Eddie Wardale, Kollosche and Amir Mian, Amir Prestige Auction restrictions relax next weekend Inspections: By appointment MORE: Why I live on the Gold Coastlast_img read more

Uptake of LNG as Fuel Slower than Expected. Will It Finally Pick Up?

first_imgBoxship breakthroughThe concept is increasingly appealing to container lines, with several now giving serious consideration to LNG for their newbuild fleets. Maersk Line raised many eyebrows when it publicly stated it views ‘alternative fuels’ as a better long-term solution to meet tougher environmental regulation than exhaust gas scrubbers in combination with conventional engines running on heavy fuel oil (HFO).In addition, CMA CGM said that it will equip nine 22,000 TEU vessels with engines burning LNG, thereby improving their EEDI by some 20% over comparable HFO fuelled tonnage.Endorsements for LNG by such major operators could serve as the catalyst that triggers a stampede, according to DNV GL.“While speculation about orders for large LNG fuelled container ships on the Far East-Europe route had been mounting, few had expected a breakthrough contract to arrive this year. It marks a significant turning point for LNG as a fuel and the shipping business more generally,” Wold said.SEALNG’s Esau believes there is considerable scope for refinements and improvements to be made.“Advances in dual fuel technology and propulsion, enhanced control systems and future use of gas turbines present further opportunities for greater GHG reductions.”Engine manufacturers have invested huge sums in R&D to improve the efficiency and environmental performance of conventional HFO burning engines, spurred by a combination of regulatory push and demand from end users for better fuel consumption. With a similar level of focus and engineering ingenuity, there is little reason to doubt they could achieve major advancements for engines operating on LNG.In the longer term, the possible addition of renewable natural gas – or biomethane – into the energy mix could offer further benefits. Today, biomethane is only produced in small quantities. However, as the incentives and momentum for reducing GHGs grow, production is likely to grow as well. Notably, the Port of Rotterdam is already exploring its potential. It is too early to say whether enough can be produced to fuel more than a handful of vessels, nonetheless Esau believes this is an opportunity that must be “vigorously pursued”.While conventional LNG alone cannot cut CO2 to the extent required by the COP21 agreement, it remains the best commercially available and proven technology to reduce CO2 emissions for most ship types and trades, says Wold. In 2012, DNV GL predicted that by 2020, the LNG-fuelled fleet would comprise around 1,000 vessels. Three years later, this figure was revised downwards to between 400 and 600 vessels, with low oil price and slower than expected development of bunkering infrastructure cited as key reasons.Today, there are 117 vessels burning LNG, of which more than two-thirds are operating in Europe. A confirmed order book of 111 vessels will see that figure double. In addition, there are 114 vessels that are classified as LNG-ready.This sets the stage for the long-awaited quicker uptake of LNG as a fuel for shipping, according to DNV GL’s Senior Consultant for Environmental Advisory Martin Christian Wold.In particular, bunkering options are expanding on a global scale. Today, there are 60 supply locations worldwide, including Singapore, the Middle East, the Caribbean as well as Europe, according to the latest data in DNV GL’s LNGi business intelligence portal. A further 28 facilities have been decided and at least 36 are under discussion.By the beginning of 2018, six LNG bunker vessels will be in operation globally, and four more projects are confirmed. Major players including Total, Shell, Gas Natural Fenosa, ENN and Statoil have announced plans for new LNG bunker vessels, which, according to Wold, are likely to materialize in the near future at key locations in northern Europe, the Middle East, the Gulf of Mexico, Singapore, and the Mediterranean.“For suppliers, it’s very much a question of timing. They won’t bring these facilities online until they see sufficient confirmed orders for LNG-fuelled tonnage to justify the investment. Yet, they are also jostling to secure an anchor customer and gain first-mover advantage to deter their rivals from setting up nearby,” Wold explains.Shell, for example, has just signed a long-term charter agreement for a 4,000m3 bunker barge to supply LNG bunkers along the U.S. east coast. Meeting growing demand for LNG from cruise lines was cited as the major impetus behind the decision.The regulatory outlook too is now much more certain, thanks to IMO setting 2020 as a fixed date for the introduction of its global cap on fuel sulphur content.“Evaluating whether LNG as a fuel will provide a competitive edge is difficult enough for ship owners. Having to anticipate various regulatory scenarios on top of that complicated matters further. IMO’s decision brings much-needed clarity to owners considering switching to LNG and other alternative fuels,” says Wold.Inflection pointBoth SEALNG, a multi-sector industry coalition working to facilitate and accelerate the widespread adoption of LNG as a marine fuel, and the Society for Gas as a Marine Fuel (SGMF), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to promoting the safe handling of LNG as a fuel, believe that an inflection point for LNG uptake is closer than ever.SEALNG General Manager Steve Esau says that the pivot will hinge on global availability of bunkering infrastructure close to traditional bunkering ports. “Nine of the top ten oil bunkering ports already offer LNG or have firm plans to do so by 2020,” he says.Slicing the statistics another way, there are already large scale terminals nearby 24 of the world’s top 25 ports ranked by trade volume. With a little more investment in the ‘last mile’ to bring LNG from the bulk infrastructure to ships, he believes the foundations are in place for a wider switch to LNG from 2020.“Right now just 0.2% of the addressable global fleet is running on LNG. But with regulatory clarity and established standards for safe handling of gas as a marine fuel, I believe we will see LNG fuel for ships become a mainstream option within the next five to seven years,” SGMF’s General Manager Mark Bell said.last_img read more

Total awards another extension to Energy Scout PSV

first_imgNorway-based shipowner Golden Energy Offshore Services has been awarded a contract extension for one of its platform supply vessels with Total in Nigeria. As a reminder, Golden Energy at the end of June entered into a contract with Total E&P Nigeria for the platform supply vessel (PSV) Energy Scout for a firm period of three months plus optional periods of three months each.In September, the vessel was awarded a three-month extension for work until January 1, 2018.According to the vessel owner’s statement on Friday, the Energy Scout’s contract has now been further extended in direct continuation of the present firm contract.The vessel is now firm until April 1, 2018, plus optional periods of three months each thereafter.The vessel has been working for Total in Africa for quite some time now, with the last four charters coming from Total E&P Nigeria, Total E&P Angola, and Total E&P Congo for general supply duties.Energy Scout is of a UT 755-L design and is a mechanically driven supply ship built by Brevik Construction and delivered in 2005. The vessel is designed for field supply & ROV duties, equipped with four thrusters and DP 2 class dynamic positioning system and is meant for all kind of offshore services.The vessel was built with an integrated system of two passive stabilizing tanks below the main deck to minimize roll. This allows it to remain along the platforms in heavier weather.Offshore Energy Today Stafflast_img read more