Month: September 2020

​LGPS asset pools warn on risks of building in-house teams

​LGPS asset pools warn on risks of building in-house teams

first_imgUK local government pension schemes (LGPS) launching asset pools should be “wary” of the risks associated with establishing in-house management capacity, as some have even questioned the need for internal teams.Matthew Trebilcock, investment manager at the Cornwall Pension Fund, warned against the expectation that all of the emerging asset pools should have active management capacity on launch.Speaking at the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association’s local authority conference, he noted that the Brunel Pensions Partnership – the £23bn (€44.5bn) pool being launched by 10 LGPS, including Cornwall’s, largely based in the South West of England – only had passive management capacity in-house.He took pains to emphasise government expectations that the creation of the pools should not see a decline in the performance of its constituent funds. “Actually, doing that [maintaining performance] internally in terms of active management from day one from a pool that hasn’t had [active management] experience before will be very, very difficult and would be an inherent risk to that pool,” he said. Other pools supported by funds with active management capability also saw risks associated with establishing in-house teams for the pools.Fiona Miller, head of pensions at Cumbria County Council, said one of the challenges facing the £35bn Border to Coast Pensions Partnership (BCPP) – the pool backed by 13 LGPS, including Cumbria – was to ensure that none of the three funds transferring their internal investment teams to the pool suffered any detriment as a result of the process.Miller said the three funds, including the South Yorkshire Pensions Authority, had “really strong long-term track records” managing assets in-house.But the problem now facing the pool is bringing together the in-house teams into a single location, under the banner of BCPP.“We’ve got to do that, and not to the detriment of the three funds [with internal management],” she said. “That is no mean feat – we’ll be moving a lot of staff, probably 30 staff, into a [Financial Conduct Authority]-regulated entity.“The key priority for the first phase is to retain the performance for those three funds that have currently got internal management.”Miller said the pool was unlikely to see a noticeable increase in internally managed assets in the short term, as the other funds would require a track record before being able to award new mandates to BCPP’s team.But not all speakers believed the asset pools would be best served by building up in-house capacity.The London CIV, supported by 33 of London’s LGPS, signalled that it was unlikely to build an in-house team in the near term, citing the immediate cost reductions it would achieve by negotiating with asset managers. Julian Pendock, investment oversight director at the London pool, said it was “keeping an open mind” about in-house management, adding: “We just have to look very carefully against the start-up costs, fixed overheads and the running costs.”He said that, in light of the “structural change” occurring within the asset management industry, the London CIV had to consider whether it could “credibly hire a team and suddenly compete with some of the best fund managers”.The only other LGPS pool that has been launched, the Local Pensions Partnership – backed by the London Pensions Fund Authority and Lancashire Pension Fund – retained two offices for its already existing in-house management, based in London and Preston.last_img read more

People moves: UK railways scheme completes internal property team

People moves: UK railways scheme completes internal property team

first_imgRPMI Railpen – The investment manager for the UK’s £27bn (€30bn) railways industry pension scheme has completed its internal property investment team with the appointments of Alastair Dawson and Richard van Lente. Dawson joins as senior property asset manager from CBRE, where he was responsible for management of Harbert Management Corporation’s industrial assets. At Railpen he will be responsible for the day to day asset management of office and industrial assets. Van Lente joins as senior property asset and development manager from Market Tech, and will be responsible for the day-to-day asset management of a number of Railpen’s retail property assets. Rabobank Pensioenfonds – Theo Camps has been appointed independent chairman of the €24.9bn pension fund of Rabobank, which has recently switched from a paritarian board to a one-tier board. Camps takes over from deputy chairman Antoon de Hoon, who had chaired the pension fund since 1 May 2016, when Bert Bruggink, the former chief finance and risk officer of Rabobank, stepped down.Camps – a professor of organisational science and governance at the TIAS School for Business and Society at Tilburg University – had been executive chairman of consultancy Berenschot. He has also been supervisory chair of one of Rabobank’s regional branches and has co-chaired Rabobank’s governance committee, which unified Rabobank into a single Co-operative. AFM – Femke de Vries is to leave Dutch communication watchdog Autoriteit Financiële Markten (AFM) and join consultancy &samhoud as a senior partner as of 1 January. She said she wanted to broaden her experience to a more entrepreneurial role. De Vries, who joined the AFM in 2015, has been active in financial supervision for the past 15 years. Prior to her role at the AFM, she was secretary-director at supervisor De Nederlandsche Bank. De Vries is to stay on as extraordinary professor of supervision at Rijksuniversiteit Groningen.TOBAM – The “anti-benchmark” asset manager has appointed Frédéric Jamet as head of trading and co-head of research. Jamet is based in Paris, managing TOBAM’s teams across Paris and Dublin. He is a renowned academic in the field of factor and smart beta investment, with 28 years of asset management industry experience. He joins TOBAM from State Street Global Advisors France, where he had served as head of investments for eleven years. Before that he was head of the index equity unit for State Street.P-Solve – The fiduciary manager and investment consultant has poached Damon Hopkins from Willis Towers Watson, appointing him as associate director in its defined contribution investment consulting practice. Before Willis Towers Watson, Hopkins worked for companies including Mercer and JLT Benefits Solutions.Lazard Asset Management London – Lisa O’Connor has joined the firm as head of consultant relations for the UK. She was previously at AXA Investment Managers for around six years, as both European head and global head of consultant relations. AXA has appointed Manisha Patel to replace O’Connor as head of global consultant relations. She was previously head of UK consultant relations. She joined AXA IM in 2004, having  previously worked at the Government of Singapore Investment Corporation as an equity researcher.Legal & General Investment Management – Volker Kurr has been appointed head of Europe, institutional for LGIM. He has worked at the asset manager for the past four years as head of Germany, Austria and Switzerland. Sarah Aitken, head of distribution EMEA at LGIM, said his appointment would help drive the next phase of growth in institutional Europe, which includes establishing a small office in Frankfurt.Capzanine – The French private debt manager is opening an office in Munich in an effort to capture the momentum in the European direct lending market. Bertram Schütz has been appointed to lead its business in Germany. After 20 years at HVB/UniCredit Schütz switched to Avenue Capital Group in 2007, where he set up a direct lending strategy. Old Mutual Global Investors – Benjamin Hügli joined the asset manager this month as sales director for the DACH region (Germany, Austria and Switzerland). He is based in OMGI’s Zurich office, having previously been head of Switzerland at Foord Asset Management.ALFI Partners – Patrick Kern joined third party asset manager marketer ALFI Partners in late August. He will cover Austria, German-speaking Switzerland and Liechtenstein. He has previously held positions at Lazard Asset Management, REYL Asset Management, Bank Sarasin and ING Investment Management.Penfida – The corporate finance advice firm has appointed Deborah Gudgeon as a senior adviser. She joins Penfida from Gazelle Corporate Finance, where she was a managing director and provided independent advice to some of the largest UK and multinational defined benefit schemes. Gudgeon will advise pension fund trustees on all aspects of the employer covenant, corporate transactions, scheme funding negotiations and integrated risk management. She was the founding director of the special situations advisory team at BDO and a director in the corporate finance advisory business at Deloitte.Harvest Global Investments – The $114bn Asian specialist asset manager has made three senior appointments for its Hong Kong office. Winnie Wong is a fixed income portfolio manager at Harvest, having previously held roles at Royal Bank of Canada, Warburg Pincus, and Credit Suisse. Kathy Zhang was previously at Credit Suisse, and joins Harvest as China equity strategist. Kenn An will oversee product development at Harvest in his role as head of product. Kenn was previously head of product and marketing at UBS Asset Management in Hong Kong. FCA, RPMI Railpen, Rabobank Pensioenfonds, Autoriteit Financiële Markten, TOBAM, P-Solve, Penfida, Harvest, Lazard, AXA, Legal & General, Capzanine, OMGI, ALFI PartnersFinancial Conduct Authority – The UK regulator has unveiled the full membership of its new working group on institutional costs disclosure, led by Chris Sier.It comprises asset manager, institutional investor and consumer representatives, including: Stewart Bevan, cost transparency specialist at KAS Bank; Richard Butcher, managing director at professional trustee firm PTL and incoming chair of the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association; Iain Clacher, associate professor in accounting and finance at Leeds University Business School, and Ralph Frank, head of DC at consultancy Cardano and leader of campaign group the Transparency Task Force’s costs and charges section. Former shadow minister of state for pensions Gregg McClymont was unveiled as deputy co-chairman of the group last week, as was Jeff Houston, head of pensions at the Local Government Association. The group has been charged with developing a new framework for standardised asset manager disclosure of costs and charges to institutional investors. The full list of members can be found here.last_img read more

Ex-PPF chief Rubenstein to lead DB consolidator ‘superfund’

Ex-PPF chief Rubenstein to lead DB consolidator ‘superfund’

first_imgIn a statement, The Pension SuperFund said it expected to grow to £20bn “and beyond” over time.Alan Rubenstein, who left PPF at the start of this year after early nine years in charge, is to lead the consolidator fund as CEO. He told IPE there was an estimated £250bn market for the fund’s services today, and that this would probably double over the next five years as schemes continued to close to future accrual.“In that context £20bn seems well achievable,” he said.Rubenstein is joined at the superfund by Marc Hommel, the former global head of pensions advisory at PwC, and Luke Webster, chief investment officer at the Greater London Authority and former chief financial risk officer at the London Pension Fund Authority. Webster is also partner and chief financial officer at Disruptive Capital.Rubenstein said The Pension SuperFund was already in discussions with several pension funds, sponsors and advisers. As to when it would absorb a first scheme, he told IPE that time would tell.”These things clearly do take time,” he said. “We’ll have to wait and see, but we have been really cheered by the reception that we’ve received so it does look like we have good wind behind us.” Alan RubensteinBlazing a trailThe launch of the consolidating fund is a direct response to challenges from both the UK government and the pensions industry to find ways to ensure the sustainability of DB schemes and many of their sponsors by improving governance and efficiency.Last year, a taskforce set up by the Pensions and Lifetime Savings Association (PLSA) advocated “superfunds” as an alternative funding option for DB schemes with weak sponsors.In a wide-ranging white paper published on Monday, the UK government supported the PLSA’s work and promised to consult on changes to legislation to allow commercial consolidators to operate.“Some employers find that they are constrained from focusing effectively on their core business because of the need to support a closed legacy pension scheme, the liabilities of which may be volatile and unpredictable,” the government said. The first commercial consolidator of UK defined benefit (DB) occupational pension schemes has launched, with the former chief executive of the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) at its helm. The Pension SuperFund has been set up to absorb bulk transfers of UK DB pension assets and liabilities and consolidate them into one occupational pension scheme.It has lined up £500m (€571m) of capital to underpin these commitments and establish the vehicle, largely coming from private equity firms Warburg Pincus and Disruptive Capital as initial investors. Investors will share in any surplus achieved by the superfund after benefits are paid.The latter is the family office of Edi Truell, a long-term supporter of scheme consolidation through previous roles as co-founder of Pension Insurance Corporation and chair of the London Pension Fund Authority.   What the government says on consolidationcenter_img “If an employer can afford entry they could exchange their covenant support through transfer to a consolidator and know exactly how much they had to pay, making planning for their future business easier. If at the same time members’ benefits were likely to be more secure, then this would create a more beneficial situation for all parties.”The white paper indicated the consultation on a legislative framework and authorisation regime was likely to take place towards the end of this year.However, Rubenstein said the superfund saw no reason to wait until the consultation took place and legislation was passed. ”We want to make a start now because we think there is a real demand for it and a real need,” he said.He said The Pension SuperFund welcomed the encouragement given to consolidation in the government’s white paper and that it was right that The Pensions Regulator (TPR) made sure there was sufficient protection for members. Rubenstein has a long history of working closely with the regulator during his tenure at the PPF.“We would hope to work with them and help in defining those rules, but we believe that fundamentally it is possible to do consolidation under the existing framework,” he said.The superfund would seek approval – known as “voluntary clearance” – from TPR every time it absorbed a scheme, according to Rubenstein. No benefit changes A scheme’s transfer to the superfund would not trigger changes to benefits, according to Rubenstein. He said that The Pensions SuperFund did not think it necessary to have legislation to simplify or standardise benefits. This was in contrast to the PLSA’s findings.“We think it is possible to offer all existing scheme members the same benefits as they’re currently getting but to deliver those with greater certainty,” he said. “We don’t need to do actuarial equivalence, we don’t need to do bulk reductions.”In the statement announcing its launch, The Pension SuperFund said the scale provided by consolidation would enable it to achieve higher investment returns, stronger risk management and lower costs.“This, underpinned by the capital provided by its investors, will enable The Pension SuperFund to offer higher levels of security for meeting future pension promises and better outcomes for pension scheme members, trustees and sponsoring employers,” it said.Rubenstein declined to comment further on the criteria the consolidator fund would use when assessing schemes for transferral, beyond that they had been decided and would relate to size, covenant “before and after”, and funding levels. The keenly anticipated government report was published on MondayOffering industry the opportunity to innovate and create a number of different models with a variety of target markets could, in future, offer a more affordable way of risk transfer. However, it is important that this is done in a safe way, with clear parameters for vehicles to operate within and to provide members with reassurance that funds are meeting a set of clearly defined standards.Despite the work already done within the industry on commercial consolidation vehicles, there is much more to do to develop this policy to a point where it could be successfully delivered. When the current DB legislative framework was designed, it was always intended that an employer would stand behind the scheme, or that the scheme would buy out with an insurance company subject to strict funding and capital requirements.We therefore need to ensure that exchanging sponsor covenant and moving into a commercial consolidator improves the expected outcomes for members in order to realise the benefits that consolidation could bring.We are therefore developing proposals for a legislative framework and authorisation regime to enable consolidation in which an employer no longer sponsors their DB pension scheme.There is a delicate balance to be struck. If the legislative framework is too restrictive, then the consolidator vehicles may not be commercially viable but if the vehicle is under-protective of members, then the risks to members’ benefits will be unacceptable. We have therefore identified a number of areas that will need to be considered, which will be subject to further consultation this year.last_img read more

Sainsbury’s-Asda deal to come under regulatory scrutiny

Sainsbury’s-Asda deal to come under regulatory scrutiny

first_imgSainsbury’s Coupe replied on Wednesday, assuring Field that the deal would strengthen the pension covenant and protect “the long-term interest of around 90,000 Sainsbury’s defined benefit pension scheme members”. The UK’s Pensions Regulator has waded into the proposed Sainsbury’s-Asda merger deal following an appeal from politicians for clarity over the impact on members of Sainsbury’s defined benefit (DB) scheme.Frank Field, chair of the influential Work and Pensions Select Committee, wrote to Mike Coupe yesterday with a list of questions for the CEO of J Sainsbury, the UK supermarket chain.In his letter, Field asked for details of considerations taken over Sainsbury’s £9.9bn (€11.3bn) DB pension scheme and whether a risk analysis had been undertaken to establish the impact of the deal on the covenant underpinning the plan.Most pertinently, Field also asked whether Sainsbury’s would “apply for clearance from the Pension Regulator in respect of the deal”. The regulator’s ability to influence corporate activity when it affects pension funds has been the subject of much recent debate. Sainsbury’s will not take on Asda’s £2.5bn scheme if the merger goes through“This is good news for our members,” Coupe added. “We brought a member of our pensions team onto the transaction team at an early stage, and we undertook, with the support of our advisers, a review of the impact on the covenants.”With respect to Field’s specific questions, the Sainsbury’s CEO said that plans had been in place to inform the Pensions Regulator before the official announcement. However, as news of the deal leaked, “we notified the [regulator] at the weekend”, Coupe wrote.Field also raised the issue of Sainsbury’s £974m pension deficit, which had increased from £408m two years previously, in part due to the 2016 acquisition of Home Retail Group.Coupe responded that the group’s retirement benefit obligation stood at £261m – with a reduction in the IAS19 deficit of almost £600m since 11 March last year. “We have a recovery agreement in place with both sections of the scheme [including Argos members], paying in over £124m a year,” he added.Walmart, which currently owns Asda, said on Monday that it would retain responsibility for Asda’s £2.5bn DB scheme if the merger goes through.A spokesperson for the regulator confirmed it was in “active discussions” with all parties involved in the merger.“We are supporting the pension scheme trustees as they seek to secure the best possible outcome for members,” the spokesperson said.“We expect any business planning a major corporate transaction to identify if there is potential material detriment to a pension scheme and explain how they will mitigate against that detriment.“They can then come to us for clearance to gain assurance that we will not use our anti-avoidance powers.”last_img read more

UK roundup: Retailer faces political pressure over pension funding [updated]

UK roundup: Retailer faces political pressure over pension funding [updated]

first_img“Do you remain confident that the current recovery plan will be sufficient to clear the deficit?” the MP asked.The pension deficit for the company’s defined benefit scheme fell from £646m (€739m) in October 2016 to £492m the same time last year thanks in part, Dixons Carphone said at the time, to a £46m contribution and “changes in discount and inflation rate assumptions”.Mothercare schemes set to exit PPF assessment as restructuring plan agreed UK MPs have written to Dixons Carphone requesting clarity over the funding of its pension scheme in the wake of a profit warning last week that sent the telecoms and electronics retailer’s share price into a tailspin.The Work and Pensions Select Committee, a cross-party group of MPs from the UK’s lower house of parliament, has sent a letter to Dixons Carphone following news that its 2018 profits could be as much as 21% lower than the previous year.In a letter addressed to Geoffrey Budd, chairman of DSG Pension Trustees, Frank Field, the committee’s chair, wrote: “The new group chief executive remarked in the latest update that ‘there’s plenty to fix’ in the company and that ‘nobody is happy with our performance today’. As the company pursues its plans to address these issues, to what extent is it keeping the pension scheme trustees informed and engaged?”Field further touched upon prospective plans to reduce the scheme’s deficit. Credit: Susanna RustA Mothercare shop in Wood Green, LondonTwo defined benefit (DB) pension funds sponsored by another struggling high street retailer, Mothercare, are set to exit the Pension Protection Fund (PPF) following creditor approval for a restructuring plan.The company, which retails to parents of babies and young children, moved to refinance its business in May by proposing to enter into company voluntary arrangements (CVAs) for three of its subsidiaries, Mothercare UK, Early Learning Centre (ELC) and Children’s World.The DB schemes for Mothercare and ELC were placed into the PPF’s assessment period.Creditors this week approved plans for Mothercare and ELC, which could now trigger the return of the company’s two DB plans – the Executive and Staff schemes – to the trustees’ control from the auspices of the PPF.Creditors rejected the CVA for Children’s World, which does not operate a DB scheme.FTSE 350 schemes near full fundingThe aggregate shortfall of defined benefit schemes for the UK’s 350 largest listed companies fell by nearly a third during May, according to Mercer.FTSE 350 pension schemes’ total deficit was £34bn at the end of the month, compared to £50bn at the end of April. Total assets rose to £791bn while liabilities were £825bn, giving an aggregate funding ratio of 96%.It continues a trend of improving funding across listed company schemes over the past two years. Mercer’s estimate showed a £156bn funding gap in September 2016, which shrank to £72bn at the start of this year.Alan Baker, chair of Mercer’s DB policy group, warned schemes not to be complacent: “Market swings could dramatically reverse these improvements and have done so in the past. Therefore, it’s important that trustees and sponsors understand the risks they’re exposed to and have the right strategies in place to lock in these gains.”A similar estimate from JLT Employee Benefits put the FTSE 350 DB scheme shortfall at just £9bn at the end of May, inferring an aggregate funding position of 99%.Note: This article has been updated to confirm that Mothercare’s DB schemes have not yet left the PPF’s assessment process.last_img read more

Dutch library scheme grants indexation while reducing accrual

Dutch library scheme grants indexation while reducing accrual

first_imgThe €2bn Dutch sector scheme for public libraries said it has decided to grant its participants and pensioners an inflation compensation, while reducing its annual pensions accrual.According to its website, the Pensioenfonds Openbare Bibliotheken has raised existing pension rights by 1.1% as of 1 January, as its funding ratio of 113.6% at the end of November enabled the increase.It is the third consecutive year that the library scheme grants an indexation.However, it said it is reducing accrual from 1.738% to 1.4% for 2020, following an agreement between employers and trade unions about the minimum “premium funding”, which reflects how much of the current contribution covers new liabilities. The social partners had set a minimum level of 85% but, based on the low interest rates of September-end, the premium coverage was likely to drop to 69%, Margreet Teunissen, the scheme’s chair, pointed out.“This would be definitively too low and would undermine the pension fund’s financial position,” she said.During the past months, employers and trade unions had failed to reach an agreement on raising contributions, according to Teunissen.“Therefore, our only tool left was reducing pensions accrual,” said the chair, who emphasised that the scheme’s target remained 1.738%.In the past four years, the pension fund has charged a premium of 19.7% of the salary, with three-quarters of the contribution paid by the employers.Because of the current process of pensions reform, and pending a new collective labour agreement for the library sector, the social partners had agreed to extend the arrangement by another year.This year, the social partners and the pension fund will negotiate a new pension plan as well as a new contribution and accrual level.The Pensioenfonds Openbare Bibliotheken has close to 7,000 active participants.last_img read more

Inner-city unit sold for unbelievable five-digit sum

Inner-city unit sold for unbelievable five-digit sum

first_imgThe property sold for a bargain five-digit sum in Kangaroo Point, which is across the Story Bridge from the Brisbane CBD.IN AN unbelievable stroke of good luck for a Brisbane buyer, an inner-city property has sold for just five digits five minutes from the CBD.Do not adjust your screen: The single-bed, single-bath studio in Kangaroo Point sold for an unheard-of $98,500 last month after the overseas-based seller decided he wanted it sold as soon as possible.Harcourts Solutions agent Sameer Ellagta said the property landed three solid offers almost immediately after the owner dropped the pricetag for 703/188 Shafston Avenue, Kangaroo Point. Not a bad bathroom for a studio flat. Mr Ellagta said studio apartments in the complex normally fetched around over $20-30,000 more in the current climate.“Normally in that complex the price $120,000 to $130,000 is usual, but of course that depends on the unit, the circumstances of the seller and the price they are willing to let it go for.” The body corporate fees of around $2,780 a year include electricity and high speed internet.“Shafston College is integrated in the building on levels 1 to 3 as well as their main campus directly next door,” according to the listing, with the studio resident also having access to the recreational lounge, well-equipped indoor and outdoor gym and on-site laundry, cafe and office services.As if to demonstrate just how lucky the buyer was to nab that deal, a similar apartment in the building sold for $135,000 just 10 days later. FOLLOW SOPHIE FOSTER ON FACEBOOK The 21 sqm studio was sold fully furnished so it could be lived in or rented out right away. It was fetching $275 a week or just over $1000 a month.Realestate.com.au’s repayments calculator estimated that a property price of $98,500 would mean a deposit of just $19,700 and with an interest rate of 3.69 per cent over 30 year term would mean a monthly mortgage cost of $362. The studio apartment is located in the Shafston building in the centre background of this picture. Gavel to fall on tightly-held homes Chance to own a London mansion for $23 Million-dollar breakthrough a steal for buyer “The seller really wanted to sell because of personal circumstances,” he told The Courier-Mail. “That saw the price drop significantly. We had three offers within a week once the price dropped.center_img The home is five minutes by ferry to the CBD. The studio brings in a tidy rent amount of $275 a week. The studio apartment comes fully furnished.More from newsParks and wildlife the new lust-haves post coronavirus17 hours agoNoosa’s best beachfront penthouse is about to hit the market17 hours agoThe building is attached to Shafston College and is a mecca for university and tertiary level students, but Mr Ellagta said it also catered for owner-occupiers as well.“Owner occupiers also live there. This building is very flexible.”The studio apartment was marketed as exceptional value for inner city Brisbane.“With solid net rental returns, and high speed internet and electricity inclusive of the low body corporate fees – makes this ideal for the astute investor, or the city commuter looking for one of the most affordable inner city stopover addresses on the market in Brisbane today.” Residents have access to the large cafe.last_img read more

Developers scale down Philippines tidal project

Developers scale down Philippines tidal project

first_imgThe multi-megawatt tidal energy project planned for San Bernardino Strait in the Philippines has been scaled down to 1.5MW to fit the local consumption.The project, being developed by two Philippines-based companies PNOC RC and H&WB Asia Pacific, together with French tidal energy player Sabella, will now feature three tidal turbines with 500kW rated capacity each, Jean-Christophe Allo, Project Manager at Sabella, confirmed.Originally planned as a 5MW tidal energy power plant, the project has been adapted to better suit the local consumption of Capul Island that will be benefiting from the energy produced by tides.The project will also incorporate an onshore storage facility to ensure that tidal turbines provide continuous 24/7 power supply, Allo noted.Jean-Christophe Allo said: “Right now, Capul has only 8 to 16 hours of energy per day, with several blackouts, and with an electrification rate around 60%. Our turbines coupled with onshore storage aim to provide a 24/7 reliable and renewable electricity. When the local consumption increases, we will be able to change the rated power of the turbine to follow it.”Earlier this week, Sabella was on site at Capul Island to identify the landing area and all the grid characteristics to support the engineering for the project.“We are moving forward with the detailed engineering of the tidal turbine plant, and H&WB is running the environmental impacts assessment (EIA) and permitting. We will then look to close the financing in early 2018,” added Allo.To remind, Sabella and H&WB Asia Pacific teamed up in 2015 for the Philippines project.The fully-owned subsidiary of the state-owned Philippine National Oil Company (PNOC), PNOC RC, joined the project early in 2017.last_img read more

Team Van Oord: Birmingham Scheme in Full Swing

Team Van Oord: Birmingham Scheme in Full Swing

first_imgWork is underway on the second element of a £4 million flood prevention scheme in Birmingham, being carried out by Team Van Oord on behalf of the Environment Agency.The works are being carried out in two phases – Selly Park North and Selly Park South – and when complete will significantly reduce the risk of flooding from Bourn Brook, a tributary of the River Rea, for hundreds of local homes and businesses.Work is well underway on the Selly Park South flood defense scheme which comprises the construction of an embankment and a pile cladded wall to prevent water from overtopping the left bank of the River Rea, and creation of an area to store water during storm events upstream of the Dogpool Lane Bridge.Downstream of the bridge new reinforced concrete walls will be constructed to protect the properties directly affected by the works, which started in September 2016 and are scheduled for completion in autumn 2017.The scheme’s design was produced by Calthorpe Estates working closely with the Environment Agency, Birmingham City Council, Team Van Oord and other stakeholders as part of the Rea Catchment Partnership.[mappress mapid=”24212″]last_img read more

Fugro Confirms Løseth as New CEO

Fugro Confirms Løseth as New CEO

first_imgFugro’s shareholders have appointed Øystein Løseth as member of the board of management at today’s extraordinary general meeting. Løseth was nominated by the supervisory board of Fugro in October this year, following the announcement that its current CEO Paul van Riel will retire on April 26, 2018.He will join the board on January 1, 2018. After a transition period he will succeed the current CEO and chairman of the board of management, Paul van Riel, who will step down as planned.Løseth until recently was on the board of directors of Norwegian company Statoil, of which the last two years as chairman of the board. Previously he was CEO of Vattenfall.In addition, the shareholders meeting approved the amendment of the articles of association. The only relevant change is an increase in the number of ordinary shares whilst decreasing the number of financing preference shares, resulting in an unchanged authorised share capital.last_img read more