Aus PM Promises $1bln for New Navy Ships
The Prime Minister of Australia and leader of the Liberal Party Scott Morrison is promising $1 billion to build three naval ships in Western Australia to create 1000 jobs if the coalition wins the election."We will build two mine warfare support vessels and a hydrographic vessel in Perth," he said in an announcement.On the WA shipbuilding funding Morrison said it would ensure jobs created in the sector would continue to the 2030s."This commitment in West Australia adds to the 31 minor war vessels already being built in the state - built in Australia…
Danish Government Says Wind Power Became Too Expensive
The Danish government said on Friday it wanted to scrap plans to build five offshore wind farms as their output would become too expensive for consumers. The government estimates it would cost consumers 70 billion Danish crowns ($10.63 billion) to buy electricity from the plants with a total combined capacity of 350-megawatts. "Since 2012 when we reached the political agreement, the cost of our renewable policy has increased dramatically," said Lars Christian Lilleholt, energy minister in Denmark's Liberal party government. "We can't accept this, as the private sector and households are paying far too much. Denmark's renewable policy has turned out to be too expensive," he said.
French PM: Aussie Subs to be built in Australia
French Prime Minister Manuel Valls said on Monday he was committed to building all of a new Australian submarine fleet in Australia, apparently contradicting the French contractor who said last week the deal would create jobs in France. Valls stopped off in Australia while headed to New Zealand for a scheduled visit, just days after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said France had beaten out Japan and Germany for the A$50 billion ($38 billion) contract. Valls said he would personally oversee the drafting of the contract, one of the world's biggest defence deals, between France's state-owned naval contractor DCNS Group and Australia over the next few months. "We would like to conclude as soon as possible this contract," Valls told reporters through an interpreter after meeting Turnbull.
Australia Accelerates Naval Shipbuilding Efforts
Australia will speed up plans to build more naval vessels in domestic shipyards, Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said on Monday, making an announcement that could find favour with voters just weeks ahead of a likely federal election. Naval shipbuilding is a key part of a plan unveiled in February to boost defence spending by nearly A$30 billion ($23.02 billion) over the next 10 years. To speed up the plan, the construction of 12 offshore patrol vessels, worth A$3 billion ($2.30 billion) would now start in 2018, Turnbull said, though the government has still to award the contract. "Putting our navy in the right situation to keep us safe and putting our naval ship building industry in the right place to build the ships we need for the future is a great national endeavour…
Australian Leader Swap Weakens Japanese Sub Bid
The ouster of Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott has further weakened a Japanese bid for one of the world's most lucrative defence contracts, a A$50 billion ($36 billion) programme to build stealth submarines for Australia, sources say. Australia got its fifth prime minister in as many years on Monday after the ruling Liberal Party voted to replace Abbott with former investment banker Malcolm Turnbull, following months of infighting and crumbling voter support. Abbott and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who ended a decades-old ban on weapons exports last year, enjoyed a close relationship that saw Japan emerge as the early front runner to replace Australia's aging Collins class subs.
Pressure for Australia Sub Deal Grows
Australia to spend A$65 bln on ships and subs over 20 years; PM pledges A$40 bln for domestic shipbuilders. Australia will spend A$89 billion ($65 billion) on ships and submarines for its navy over the next 20 years but pressure grew on Prime Minister Tony Abbott on Tuesday to spend more than half that total building a new submarine fleet domestically. Two naval shipbuilding programmes, the A$20 billion SEA5000 Future Frigate project and the SEA1180 Offshore Patrol Vessels, would be brought forward to guarantee the continuous domestic construction of surface warships, Abbott said. Despite that new component, Abbott is facing intense pressure from within his conservative Liberal Party…
Australia Senator Pushes Aussie Sub Parts on Japan
An influential Australian senator has asked Japan to buy components for its Soryu submarines from Australian companies to boost its chances of winning a major contract to supply Canberra with a fleet of submarines. Independent South Australian Senator Nick Xenophon made the request to submarine builders Kawasaki Heavy Industries Ltd and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd as well as government officials in a series of meetings in Japan this week. "What could be a game changer in their bid and in the relationship between the two countries in terms of defence cooperation is for components to be built in Australia," Xenophon said during an interview in Tokyo on Thursday.
Stopping Cruise Ship Pollution in Asia
While many Asian ports restrict ships’ sulfur emissions, the level is far higher than limits in the U.S. and Europe, says a report in the WSJ. Many popular destinations, including Singapore, Australia and several of the Pacific Islands, apply international maritime guidelines restricting ships’ emissions of sulfur—a pollutant associated with acid rain—to 3.5% of fuel volume. But that is 35 times the U.S. and European limit. Activists have been urging regulators to mandate stricter standards, but they say that in the meantime multinational cruise companies such as Carnival Corp.
Scepticism, Confusion over Australia Submarine Tender
Officials in Australia and Japan on Monday expressed scepticism and confusion over a pledge by Prime Minister Tony Abbott to give an Australian state-owned shipbuilder the option to tender for a major submarine contract, heightening the uncertainty around the project. Sources have said Australia is strongly considering buying a version of the 4,000-tonne Soryu-class submarine built by Japan's Mitsubishi Heavy Industries and Kawasaki Heavy Industries to replace its ageing Collins-class fleet. But Abbott on Sunday promised shipbuilder ASC Ltd the option to bid for the next-generation submarines, worth as much as A$40 billion ($31 billion), in an attempt to shore up support ahead of a challenge to his leadership from within the ruling Liberal Party.
Fracking Inquiry Puts Aussie Energy at Risk
The South Australian Liberal Party risks damaging investor and public confidence in the natural gas industry by moving to establish a Parliamentary inquiry into hydraulic fracturing – an industry practice that has been used safely in the State for many decades. APPEA’s Chief Operating Officer Western Region, Stedman Ellis, said the inquiry proposed by the Member for Mt Gambier had little basis in science. Mr Ellis said the South Australian Parliament needed to be wary that it did not provide a megaphone for people who want to undermine the industry and the investment and jobs it provided.
Australian LNG investment is at risk, but not as much as feared
The Australian oil and gas industry is telling everybody that a second wave of investment in liquefied natural gas (LNG) plants is at risk unless labour and regulatory costs are cut. The companies are unlikely to get all that they want. In fact they may not get very much at all out of the labour unions and the federal and state governments. But it may not matter that much, because even with its high costs Australia remains one of the best places to invest the billions of dollars needed to develop a large-scale LNG project. Australia currently has seven LNG plants under construction. When all are completed by 2018 the nation will be the largest exporter of the super-cooled fuel, overtaking Qatar.
B.C. Seeks End to Offshore Drilling Ban
British Columbia's government is pushing to end a nearly four-decades-old ban on offshore oil and natural gas drilling to encourage exploration, Bloomberg reported. Fields off Canada's westernmost province's shores hold as much as 10 billion barrels of oil and 40 trillion cubic feet of natural gas, according to government estimates. It could be the biggest offshore reserves for any province based on these estimates, topping Newfoundland on the east coast. British Columbia is working to get a federal and provincial ban lifted. Talks with the former Liberal Party government started four years ago with limited progress. The province will now negotiate with the new Conservative Party government of Stephen Harper, a native of the oil-rich province of Alberta.