EU’s Just Transition Fund stops natural gas project funding
The European Union’s flagship fund to wean regions off fossil fuels will not finance natural gas projects, bringin an end to a debate over whether to make the fuel eligible for support, according to a Reuters report.
Although natural gas emits roughly 50 percent less CO2 than coal when burned in power plants, it is associated with leaks of methane, a potent greenhouse gas.
Envoys from the EU’s 27 member countries endorsed the deal on December 16, 2020, which was struck between EU governments and the European Parliament last week. Under the terms of the deal the fund cannot be used to support any investments linked to fossil fuels, including natural gas.
The Just Transition Fund will not back investments in nuclear energy either, the report adds.
Some EU countries and lawmakers have pushed to secure support for gas, with some stating that the final deal is a trade-off, which has secured a gas-free Just Transition Fund in exchange for letting gas projects receive a smaller amount of funding under certain conditions from a separate European Regional Development Fund.
The Just Transition Fund will have £15.7 billion from both a coronavirus recovery fund and the EU’s budget for 2021-27. The money is meant to attract further private sector cash to support green industries and retrain workers from polluting sectors.
The Just Transition Fund will target regions dependent on most-polluting fuels, such as coal and peat, with Poland, Germany and Romania expected to be the biggest beneficiaries.
The fund is the first pillar in the Just Transition Mechanism, which is equipped with £36 million – an amount that corresponds to fresh money made available to support EU countries in their transition, out of which £9 billion should come from budget appropriations, while the remaining additional resources of £36 billion, covering the period from 2021 to 2024, will constitute external assigned revenue stemming from the European Recovery Instrument.
Global Offshore rebrands Enelift and invests in global hubs
Global Offshore has rebranded Enelift and will invest "a seven-figure sum" in establishing new support hubs in Houston, Dubai, Singapore, Perth and the Caspian during the next six months.
The investment will cover oil, gas and renewables, mainly concentrating on manufacturing capability with associated R&D, as well as in stock held in the hubs.
The company’s flagship Hinge Lok technology provides aluminium, non-welded light weight transportation cradle for casing and tubing. Enelift now plans to enhance its offering by augmenting its existing solutions with robotics and remote operational and training technology, which will reduce manpower for handling offshore equipment that is transported and stored using the Hinge Lok system.
Enelift is partnering with "a Japanese robotics company" and the technology will be trialed with "a Norwegian operator on a Norwegian drilling rig", according to a statement.
Operating from its bases in Aberdeen, UK and Esbjerg, Enelift was founded by 35-year industry veteran and Managing Director Paul Brebner 10 years ago to offer the offshore energy industries safe, reliable and efficient storage and transportation of equipment.
The expansion plans are bolstered by the appointment of Jim Clark of the Craigendarroch Group to Chairman, and Adam Maitland to Non-Executive Director. Maitland is the Managing Director of Hutcheon Mearns IF, and brings his wealth of expertise in the field of corporate finance.
Brebner said Enelift may be a new name in the market, but the experience it brings is "industry renowned".
"Our solutions are underpinned by safety that enables inefficiencies and their associated costs to be eradicated – meaning operational personnel can focus doing what they do best, safely. We remain committed to providing the safest storage and transportation solutions for equipment in the sector as we grow our global operations," he said.
Clark said the market is changing and its solutions fully support customers’ economic and safety aspirations.
"We are very well placed to take full advantage of increasing opportunities in the Middle East, Africa, Far East and Americas. Safety is our absolute commitment to our customers and our support hubs will facilitate this. Aligning our identity to our entire offering ensures that we will drive our expansion through new products and global support sites across the rest of this year."