Koch Supply & Trading Launches Global LNG Trading Business
Koch Supply & Trading Sárl said that it has launched a global gas trading business.
Stephen Cornish has joined Koch Supply & Trading Sárl to build the global trading and marketing business for liquefied natural gas, natural gas and related commodities.
“Koch companies have a long track record of excellence in the natural gas markets,” Cornish said. “This venture into the international gas markets is a way to link its global portfolio to benefit its suppliers and customers. We believe this step into the international gas markets provides a strong counterparty for producers and customers alike.
“We will build out our operations in Asia, Europe and the Americas to the high standard that Koch Supply & Trading has set and look forward to working with our counterparts. This is a very exciting venture for us.”
Koch Supply & Trading also said that it plans to build a Europe-wide natural gas business from Geneva and an LNG trading business from offices in Houston, London, and Singapore. Origination and marketing support locations are also planned for the near future in East Asia, the Middle East and Latin America.
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Washington’s Clumsy China Containment Policy
Although U.S. officials have insisted for years that they do not regard China’s rise to great-power status as a threatening development, Washington’s statements and actions increasingly belie those assurances. Any doubt on that point disappeared following President Obama’s November 17 speech in Canberra, Australia. In his address to the Australian parliament, Obama boldly asserted that “the United States is a Pacific power, and we are here to stay.” Observers in Australia and throughout the region interpreted that comment as sending a message to China that the United States was not about to quietly relinquish its hegemony in East Asia and let the PRC become the leading power.
The Canberra speech was not the only measure that suggested that Washington was adopting a harder line toward Beijing on security issues. Just hours before his address to parliament, Obama announced that the United States would send military aircraft and as many as 2,500 Marines to northern Australia over the next few years to develop a training hub to assist allies and protect American interests throughout the region.
The next day, while attending an East Asian economic summit in Bali, the president went out of his way to emphasize the importance of the U.S. defense alliance with the Philippines and pledged to strengthen that relationship. His comment followed a blunt statement from Secretary of State Hillary Clinton regarding the ongoing dispute between China and several of its neighbors (including the Philippines) over territorial claims in the South China Sea. “Any nation with a claim has a right to exert it,” Clinton stated during a visit to Manila on November 16, “but they do not have a right to pursue it through intimidation or coercion.” She added that “the United States will always be in the corner of the Philippines and we will stand and fight with you.” Although the latter remark could be interpreted merely as a restatement of the rationale for the six-decade-old mutual-defense treaty, given the secretary’s comments about the South China Sea dispute Beijing could certainly view her statement as a specific warning regarding that issue.
Those moves, along with previous efforts to strengthen cooperative military ties with other traditional allies such as South Korea and Japan and one-time U.S. adversaries such as Vietnam, have all the earmarks of a rather unsubtle containment policy directed against China. It is a foolish strategy that will complicate and perhaps permanently damage the crucial U.S.-China relationship. Perhaps even worse, it is a containment strategy that is long on symbolism and short on substance, thereby managing to be simultaneously provocative and ineffectual.
Take the U.S. decision to send 2,500 Marines to Australia. It is hard to imagine a scenario in which such a small deployment would be militarily useful. If there is a security contingency somewhere in East Asia, it is likely to be decided by air and naval power, not a meager force of Marines. Yet, while militarily useless, such a deployment conveys a hostile message to Beijing, thereby managing to antagonize the Chinese.
A similar conclusion is warranted with regard to the Obama administration’s transparent effort to revitalize the nearly moribund alliance with the Philippines. That chronically misgoverned, third-rate military power would hardly make a good security partner in any crisis. Yet by siding with a country that is deeply embroiled with China over territorial claims in the South China Sea, the United States once again appears to be going out of its way to antagonize Beijing.
That would be an ill-advised approach under the best of circumstances. But to embrace a containment policy—especially one that is primarily bluster and symbolism—when Washington badly needs China to continue funding the seemingly endless flow of U.S. Treasury debt verges on being dim-witted. It’s never a good idea to anger one’s banker. And one can assume that Beijing is watching U.S. actions, not just the pro-forma assurances that the United States wants good relations and does not regard China as a threat. Those assurances ring increasingly hollow, and one can assume that Chinese leaders will react accordingly. That does not bode well for the future of the U.S.-China relationship.
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Taiwan: Gas-Fueled Power Generation Capacity to Grow by 2030
Taiwan’s gas-fueled power generation capacity will increase 67% by 2030, Minister of Economic Affairs Shih Yen-shiang said last Saturday, according to Taiwan’s Central News Agency.
Shih Yen-shiang, speaking at a ceremony in Taichung Harbor to mark the 100th shipment of LNG delivered to the port, said gas-fueled power generation would reach 15 GW this year, or 35% of total power generation capacity, the news agency said.
“By 2030, the installed natural gas generating capacity will grow to 25,000 megawatts [25 GW],” he added.
Shih said the government has developed plans to build more natural gas storage tanks and transport pipelines on the island as part of its 30-year energy development plan, the report said.
Shih’s ministry has made sourcing, transporting, and storing natural gas top priorities in its energy policy, to support the increased usage of natural gas to reduce carbon emissions and global warming.
Taiwan’s Council of Economic Planning and Development approved a plan in September by state-owned CPC Corp. to add three 160,000-cubic meter LNG storage tanks at its Taichung LNG receiving terminal in central Taiwan.
The additional storage tanks would boost the capacity of the Taichung receiving terminal to 5 million mt/year from the present 3 million mt/year.
The project now has one final hurdle to clear — the environmental impact assessment. The expansion is due to start in July 2012 and slated for completion by end-2018.
CPC owns another 7.44 million mt/year LNG terminal at Yung An, in Kaohsiung city in southern Taiwan.
CPC imports all the LNG Taiwan consumes, with 70% of the cargoes going to state power generators such as Taiwan Power Company. Consumption by seven independent power producers, domestic and industrial users account evenly for the outstanding 30%.
Taiwan imported a total 8.01 million mt of LNG through to August this year, an 8.64% increase from the 7.37 million mt it imported in the first eight months of 2010. Taiwan imported a total 11.14 million mt of LNG in 2010, according to data from Taiwan’s Directorate General of Customs.
By Max Gostelow ( platts )
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South Korea: Songa Offshore Orders Two Rigs from DSME
South Korea’s Daewoo Shibuilding & Marine Engineering said on Wednesday that it had won an $1.1 billion deal to build two submersible drilling rigs from Norway’s Songa Offshore .
The rigs would be chartered to Norwegian state-run oil company Statoil from Songa for eight years after the delivery planned in the second half of 2014, Daewoo said.
Daewoo added in a statement that the firm agreed to an option for additional two vessels of the same type.
South Korea: Samsung Heavy Receives Order to Build Drillship for Ocean Rig
Samsung Heavy Industries , the world’s second-largest shipbuilder, said on Thursday that it had received an order worth 659.8 billion won ($612.3 million) to build a drillship for Ocean Rig .
The shipper exercised the option for an additional ship under a deal with Samsung on April 19, Samsung said in a statement.
The Korean shipyard added that it would deliver the vessel by end-October, 2013.
By Ju-min Park(Reuters)