EU & WBs / Albania Energy Market Updates

EU & WBs / Albania Energy Market Updates

Presentation of Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - ACERC

ACERC is a think tank centre with focus in Albania energy market and its integration on 8th Regional Area & EU IEM. The ACERC mission aim to provide a qualified contribution to the promotion of the liberalization and the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.

ACERC main activities profiles briefly consists in the release reports, articles and periodicals. In cooperation also with collaborates the offering of the activities that support capacity building of market actors, such as national and regional seminars, trainings and conferences. Initiatives completed by advocating in the energy sector promoting a forum called in Albanian School of Regulation.

For more visit us at the Official Website of Acerc | Albanian Energy Market - AEM Group in LinkedIn

Saipem 7000 platform for the construction of South Stream left the Black Sea, 30.07.2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, July 31, 2015 16:52:17

The second specialized platform, Castoro Sei, is still in the Burgas harbor

AUTHOR: publics.bg
According to the online service vesselfinder, the pipe-laying platform Saipem 7000, which had to start the construction of South Stream and Turkish Stream, has left the Black Sea and headed to the Dutch harbor of Rotterdam. Currently it is passing through the Bosphorus on its way to the Mediterranean Sea.

Only several months ago Gazprom and Saipem presented a special documentary video, explaining the logistics of the platform’s transportation through the Bosphorus on its way to the Black Sea.

Currently the second pipe-laying platform for shallow waters, Castoro Sei, is still in the harbor of Burgas. Gazprom and Saipem still have not announced official the cause for the movement of the Saipem 7000. However, the Italian company Saipem has already announced, that it received the documents regarding the cancellation of South Stream, on July 9 this year.

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Albania Charges Former Central Bank Governor, Gjergj Erebara BIRN, 29 JUL 15

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, July 31, 2015 16:50:05

Prosecutors in Albania on Tuesday said they had charged former central bank governor Fullani with dereliction of duty over the theft of some 713 million lek (five million euro) and over the purchase by the bank of a state-owned property in 2010.

Fullani, 60, was arrested on September 2014 but released pending further investigations few weeks later.

His arrest and subsequent and dismissal from the supervisory board of the central bank came after the discovery ast year of the major theft from the bank’s security deposit in Linze, outside the capital, Tirana. Fullani denies any wrongdoing.

Ardian Bitraj, a former employee of the bank, was found found guilty of the theft earlier this year and sentenced to 20 years in jail.

Prosecutors also decided to raise charges against Fullani for failing to prevent the theft.

Apart from the theft, Fullani was charged over the 2010 of Hotel Dajti in Tirana city centre, which was sold by the government to the bank for 4.1 billion leks (about 30 million euro). Prosecutors have not yet made public why they think the sale was suspicious.

Fullani is expected to appear in court soon.



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Technip’s Second Quarter 2015 Results, Jul 30, 2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Fri, July 31, 2015 13:37:25

Technip (Paris:TEC) (ISIN:FR0000131708) (ADR:TKPPY):

On July 28, 2015, Technip’s Board of Directors approved the second quarter and first half 2015 adjusted consolidated financial statements.

Note: The second quarter and first half 2015 results presented in this press release were prepared on the adjusted basis described in Technip’s fourth quarter and full year 2014 results press release. These results reflect the financial reporting framework used for management purposes.

€ million (except Diluted Earnings per Share) 2Q 14 2Q 15 Change 1H 14 1H 15 Change
Adjusted Revenue 2,615.4 3,098.4 18.5% 5,083.9 5,981.7 17.7%
Adjusted Underlying EBITDA1 303.0 353.0 16.5% 483.6 596.7 23.4%
Adjusted Underlying EBITDA Margin 11.6% 11.4% (19)bp 9.5% 10.0% 46bp
Adjusted Underlying OIFRA2240.1281.517.2%359.9453.225.9%
Adjusted Underlying Operating Margin39.2%9.1%(9)bp7.1%7.6%50bp
One-off Charge-(570.4)nm-(570.4)nm
Other including Tax and Financial Effects(7.9)80.5nm(7.9)58.6nm
Underlying Net Income4 165.6 183.0 10.5% 232.8 291.0 25.0%
Adjusted OIFRA5240.197.1nm359.9268.8nm
Net Income of the Parent Company 157.7 (306.9) nm 224.9 (220.8) nm
Diluted Earnings per Share (€) 1.30 (2.71) nm 1.88 (1.95) nm
Order Intake 7,077 1,510 9,857 3,011
Backlog 19,860 18,824 19,860 18,824

1 Adjusted operating income from recurring activities after Income/(loss) of equity affiliates excluding exceptional items, depreciation and amortization.
2 (Adjusted) operating income from recurring activities after Income/(loss) of equity affiliates excluding exceptional items.
3 Adjusted operating income from recurring activities after Income/(loss) of equity affiliates excluding exceptional items, divided by adjusted revenue.
4 Net income of the parent company excluding exceptional items. See annex VI.
5 Adjusted operating income from recurring activities after Income/(loss) of equity affiliates.

Thierry Pilenko, Chairman and CEO, commented: “Second quarter results were in line with the expectations we set out in our July 6thannouncement. During the quarter, we continued to pursue our key strategy initiatives, to position ourselves on significant new projects and we launched a major restructuring plan across the Group to address the challenging market outlook we anticipate.

“Subsea continued its outperformance: revenue grew 26%, and adjusted operating income from recurring activities of €250 million demonstrated a robust operating margin of 16.1%. During the quarter, good progress was made on projects across the world, as reflected in a strong vessel utilization rate of 89%. After announcing our alliance with FMC Technologies in March, we formally launched the Forsys Subsea joint venture together, on June 1st as planned.

“Onshore/Offshore grew revenues slightly faster than expected at 12%. Adjusted operating income from recurring activities is impacted by the one-off charge announced on July 6th. Stripping this out, underlying operating profits were €53 million, in line with expectations. We have progressed well on some of our key projects, such as Burgas in Bulgaria, Ethylene XXI in Mexico, RAPID in Malaysia and Prelude in Korea.

“Technip booked €1.5 billion of new orders, similar to the first quarter 2015 level, diversified and balanced between Subsea and Onshore/Offshore. This order intake reflects key elements of our strategy: a strong contribution from reimbursable and services contracts; success in areas such as Brazil pre-salt where we have technology leadership; positioning in early phase work for future projects such as the Browse FLNG in Australia and the Alexandria refinery in Egypt.

“In our July 6th announcement, we set out in detail our views on the market outlook and these have not changed: the oil and gas industry is likely to be adversely impacted for longer than anticipated by the downturn. Our restructuring plan targets savings in Technip’s cost base of €830 million, focusing the business on its core strengths.

“By acting early and decisively, Technip’s teams are mobilized to put the Group on the front foot in a challenging environment.

“Looking forward, we maintain our strategic direction and will continue to invest in, and expand, our capabilities. By having an earlier and broader view of projects, we are able to apply our technologies, the lessons learned from other projects and intelligent standardization to optimize project returns. Clients across the spectrum are responding positively to these initiatives, giving us confidence that our strategy will position Technip to deliver the lower project costs and value creation our industry needs.”

I. ORDER INTAKE AND BACKLOG

1. Second Quarter 2015 Order Intake

During second quarter 2015, Technip’s order intake was €1.5 billion. The breakdown by business segment was as follows:

Order Intake1 (€ million) 2Q 2014 2Q 2015
Subsea 2,238 892
Onshore/Offshore4,839618
Total 7,077 1,510

Subsea order intake included new orders for an initial 50 kilometers of highly technological flexible pipes and associated equipment for the pre-salt in Brazil, to be produced in our manufacturing plants in Vitoria and Açu.

Also included are two EPCI deepwater projects in the US Gulf of Mexico, located in the Mississippi Canyon area: a project for new production pipeline systems on the Thunder Horse production unit, and a contract for the decommissioning of the Blind Faith brownfield development and installation of new subsea equipment supporting a floating production system.

1 Order intake includes all projects whose revenues are consolidated in our adjusted financial statements.

Onshore/Offshore order intake includes call-off on a range of reimbursable and services contracts. Technip was in addition awarded the front-end engineering design (FEED) for the Browse project for three FLNG units in the Browse Basin, offshore Australia. A second contract covering the engineering, procurement, construction and installation phases was also awarded to the Technip Samsung Consortium, subject to the client’s final investment decision.

In Vietnam, Technip, in consortium with Petrovietnam Technical Services Corporation, was awarded an engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract (EPCC) which covers the revamping of the ammonia plant at the existing Phu My Fertilizer Complex.

Technip was awarded a detailed engineering and procurement (EP) services contract for FPSO topsides to be located on the Libra field, offshore Brazil. This contract will be executed in Malaysia and the construction will take place at the Jurong Shipyard in Singapore.

Technip also won a Project Management Consultancy (PMC) contract in partnership with UNICO, a Japanese engineering consultant, for upgrading the Basra refinery in Iraq.

Listed in annex IV (b) are the main contracts announced since April 2015 and their approximate value if publicly disclosed.

2. Backlog by Geographic Area

At the end of second quarter 2015, Technip’s backlog was €18.8 billion, compared with €20.6 billion at the end of first quarter 2015 and €19.9 billion at the end of second quarter 2014.

The geographic split of the backlog is set out in the table below:

Backlog1 (€ million) March 31, 2015 June 30, 2015 Change
Europe, Russia, Central Asia 8,662 7,764 (10.4)%
Africa4,1683,535(15.2)%
Middle East1,1761,031(12.3)%
Asia Pacific2,5962,511(3.3)%
Americas4,0163,983(0.8)%
Total 20,618 18,824 (8.7)%

3. Backlog Scheduling

An estimated 28% of the backlog is scheduled for execution in 2015.

Estimated Scheduling

as of June 30, 2015 (€ million)

Subsea Onshore/Offshore Group
2015 (6 months) 2,619 2,656 5,275
20164,0834,1598,242
2017 and beyond2,7182,5895,307
Total 9,420 9,404 18,824

II. SECOND QUARTER 2015 OPERATIONAL & FINANCIAL HIGHLIGHTS – ADJUSTED BASIS

On July 6th, the Group announced the launch of a restructuring plan addressing the downturn in the oil and gas market. Further details of the charge taken in the second quarter are given in note II.3 below, with additional comments where appropriate in the segment highlights.

1 Backlog includes all projects whose revenues are consolidated in our adjusted financial statements.

1. Subsea

Subsea main operations for the quarter were as follows:

  • In the Americas:
    • In the US Gulf of Mexico, welding activities were completed on Julia and Stones at our Mobile spoolbase and started to ramp-up on the Kodiak project. At the end of the quarter, Deep Blue was re-mobilized on the Julia project for its third installation trip, after completing its campaign in the North Sea.
    • In Brazil, flexible pipe production started for the pre-salt fields of Lula Alto and continued for the fields of Iracema Norte, Iracema Sul, Sapinhoá & Lula Nordeste and Sapinhoá Norte at our manufacturing plants in Vitoria and Açu.
  • In the North Sea, the Deep Blue completed its pipelay campaign on Quad 204 before returning to the US Gulf of Mexico. At the same time, the North Sea Atlantic started to work on Quad 204 for the pre-installation of new risers, after successful installation of the second cassette base frame on the Åsgard Subsea Compression project in Norway. Meanwhile, the Deep Energy completed its pipelay campaign on Kraken in Scotland, before mobilizing on the Prelude project at our Orkanger spoolbase and transiting to Asia Pacific. In Norway, the Apache II completed the umbilical and pipeline installation campaign on Snøhvit.
  • In West Africa, the Deep Pioneer was mobilized on the Block 15/06 development in Angola after a planned maintenance period in Namibia, while the Deep Orient continued its offshore campaign on the same project. Engineering and procurement phases progressed on other major projects, such as Moho Nord in Congo, T.E.N. in Ghana, and Kaombo in Angola.
  • In Asia Pacific, the G1201 completed the installation campaign of Block SK316 and was mobilized on the Malikai project in Malaysia. At the end of the quarter, the Deep Energy started the offshore campaign on the Prelude project in Australia. Engineering and procurement phases progressed on the Jangkrik and Bangka projects in Indonesia, for which flexible pipes are manufactured at our Asiaflex plant.

Overall, the Group vessel utilization rate for the second quarter of 2015 was 89%, compared with 88% for the second quarter of 2014, and substantially up on the 68% in the first quarter of 2015. In Brazil, the Sunrise 2000 vessel was demobilized in June, leaving the Technip fleet.

Subsea financial performance is set out in the following table:

€ million 2Q 2014 2Q 2015 Change
Subsea
Adjusted Revenue1,232.51,553.826.1%
Adjusted EBITDA242.9311.628.3%
Adjusted EBITDA Margin19.7%20.1%35bp
Adjusted OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates*189.0250.332.4%
Adjusted Operating Margin 15.3% 16.1% 77bp

* No one-off charge accounted in Adjusted Subsea OIFRA.

2. Onshore/Offshore

Onshore/Offshore performance in the second quarter reflects the market conditions described in our press release of July 6th which also sets out the corresponding restructuring plan. Of the one-off charge linked to this restructuring plan, €184 million was taken in adjusted Onshore/Offshore operating income from recurring activities. Accordingly, comments below reflect the adjusted underlying operating income from recurring activities, i.e., notably excluding this one-off charge.

Main operations for the quarter were as follows:

  • In the Middle East, construction continued on the Halobutyl elastomer facility in Saudi Arabia as well as the fabrication of the FMB platforms for Qatar. At the same time, the construction started on the Umm Lulu complex in Abu Dhabi.
  • In Asia Pacific, the central processing jacket and the bridge-linked wellhead platform sailed away to Block SK316, while the superlift of the topsides on the hull of Malikai tension leg platform (TLP) was successfully completed in Malaysia. In Korea, all remaining modules and the 135-meter flare were successfully lifted onto Petronas FLNG 1 hull, while all heavy modules are now on the Prelude FLNG hull. On RAPID project, the mobilization of the construction team started at site for piling. Meanwhile, the engineering and procurement phases continued on the Mangalore purified terephthalic acid (PTA) plant in India.
  • In Europe and Russia, the engineering and procurement phases progressed according to plan on the Yamal LNG project, while construction of the modules was pursued at all of the yards. Engineering ramped up on the ammonia plant in Slovakia, while in Bulgaria, the Burgas refinery’s new units were ready for start-up.
  • In the Americas, engineering and procurement activities moved forward for Sasol’s world-scale ethane cracker and derivative complex near Lake Charles, Louisiana, while construction continued on the Ethylene XXI petrochemical complex in Mexico and ramped up for the CPChem polyethylene plants in Texas. At the same time, the construction of the platform started on the Juniper project in Trinidad and Tobago.

Onshore/Offshore financial performance is set out in the following table:

€ million 2Q 2014 2Q 2015 Change
Onshore/Offshore
Adjusted Revenue1,382.91,544.611.7%
Adjusted Underlying OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates72.853.2(26.9)%
Adjusted Underlying Operating Margin5.3%3.4%(182)bp
Adjusted OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates72.8(131.2)nm
Adjusted Operating Margin 5.3% (8.5)% nm

Elsewhere, on Algiers refinery, Technip confirms that its involvement in this project has stopped at the request of its client, Sonatrach. As provided by the contract, both sides have initiated arbitration proceedings on certain claims. These proceedings are in the earliest stages. In Brazil, construction continued into its final stages on the RPBC project.

3. Group

On July 6th, Technip announced the launch of a restructuring plan with a total one-off charge of €650 million. Of this total, €570 million was booked in the second quarter: €184 million in operating income from recurring activities and €386 million in non-current operating result.

The Group’s adjusted operating income from recurring activities after income/(loss) of equity affiliates, including Corporate charges of €22 million, is set out in the following table:

€ million 2Q 2014 2Q 2015 Change
Group
Adjusted Revenue2,615.43,098.418.5%
Adjusted Underlying OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates240.1281.517.2%
Adjusted Underlying Operating Margin9.2%9.1%(9)bp
Adjusted OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates240.197.1(59.6)%
Adjusted Operating Margin 9.2% 3.1% (605)bp

In the second quarter of 2015, compared to a year ago, the estimated translation impact from foreign exchange was positive €282 million on adjusted revenue and positive €17 million on adjusted operating income from recurring activities after income/(loss) of equity affiliates.

4. Adjusted Non-Current Items and Group Net Income

Adjusted non-current operating items of €(398) million were booked in the quarter, out of which €(386) million reflects part of the one-off charge referred to above.

Adjusted financial result in the second quarter of 2015 included €20 million of interest expense on long and short-term debt.

As the Group net income was a loss in the quarter, share subscription options, performance shares and convertible bonds had an anti-dilutive effect.

€ million (except Diluted Earnings per Share and Diluted Number of Shares) 2Q 2014 2Q 2015 Change
Adjusted OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates 240.1 97.1 (59.6)%
Adjusted Underlying OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates240.1281.517.2%
Adjusted Non-Current Operating Result(6.5)(397.8)nm
Adjusted Financial Result(17.5)(28.4)62.3%
Adjusted Income Tax Expense(59.2)24.2nm
Adjusted Effective Tax Rate27.4%nmnm
Adjusted Non-Controlling Interests0.8(2.0)nm
Net Income of the Parent Company157.7(306.9)nm
Underlying Net Income165.6183.010.5%
Diluted Number of Shares124,998,449113,121,323nm
Diluted Earnings per Share (€) 1.30 (2.71) nm

5. Adjusted Cash Flow and Statement of Consolidated Financial Position

As of June 30, 2015, the adjusted net cash position was €1,415 million compared with €1,751 million as of March 31, 2015.

Adjusted Cash1 as of March 31, 2015 4,320.7
Adjusted Cash Generated from/(used in) Operating Activities (141.3)
Adjusted Cash Generated from/(used in) Investing Activities(117.2)
Adjusted Cash Generated from/(used in) Financing Activities(125.0)
Adjusted FX Impacts 39.0
Adjusted Cash1 as of June 30, 2015 3,976.2

Adjusted capital expenditures for the second quarter 2015 were €87 million, compared with €93 million one year ago.

The Group’s balance sheet remains robust and liquid. Adjustedshareholders’ equity of the parent company as of June 30, 2015, was €4,268 million, compared with €4,363 million as of December 31, 2014.

III. 2015 OBJECTIVES

  • Adjusted Subsea revenue between €5.2 and €5.5 billion, adjusted operating income from recurring activities2 at around €840 million
  • Adjusted Onshore/Offshore revenue around €6 billion, adjusted underlying operating income from recurring activities3 between €210 and €230 million

1 Adjusted cash and cash equivalents, including bank overdrafts.

2 Adjusted operating income from recurring activities after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates.

3 Adjusted operating income from recurring activities after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates excluding exceptional items.

°

° °

The information package on Second Quarter 2015 results includes this press release and the annexes which follow, as well as the presentation published on Technip’s website: www.technip.com

NOTICE

Today, Thursday, July 30, 2015, Chairman and CEO Thierry Pilenko, along with Group CFO Julian Waldron, will comment on Technip’s results and answer questions from the financial community during a conference call in English starting at 10:00 a.m. Paris time.

To participate in the conference call, you may call any of the following telephone numbers approximately 5 - 10 minutes prior to the scheduled start time:

France / Continental Europe: +33 (0) 1 70 77 09 35
UK:+44 (0) 207 107 1613
USA:+1 855 402 7763

The conference call will also be available via a simultaneous, listen-only audio-cast on Technip’s website.

A replay of this conference call will be available approximately two hours following the conference call for three months on Technip’s website and at the following telephone numbers:

Telephone Numbers

Confirmation Code

France / Continental Europe:+33 (0) 1 72 00 15 00294956#
UK:+44 (0) 203 367 9460294956#
USA:+1 877 642 3018294956#

Cautionary note regarding forward-looking statements

This press release contains both historical and forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts, but rather reflect our current expectations concerning future results and events, and generally may be identified by the use of forward-looking words such as “believe”, “aim”, “expect”, “anticipate”, “intend”, “foresee”, “likely”, “should”, “planned”, “may”, “estimates”, “potential” or other similar words. Similarly, statements that describe our objectives, plans or goals are or may be forward-looking statements. These forward-looking statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause our actual results, performance or achievements to differ materially from the anticipated results, performance or achievements expressed or implied by these forward-looking statements. Risks that could cause actual results to differ materially from the results anticipated in the forward-looking statements include, among other things: our ability to successfully continue to originate and execute large services contracts, and construction and project risks generally; the level of production-related capital expenditure in the oil and gas industry as well as other industries; currency fluctuations; interest rate fluctuations; raw material (especially steel) as well as maritime freight price fluctuations; the timing of development of energy resources; armed conflict or political instability in the Arabian-Persian Gulf, Africa or other regions; the strength of competition; control of costs and expenses; the reduced availability of government-sponsored export financing; losses in one or more of our large contracts; U.S. legislation relating to investments in Iran or elsewhere where we seek to do business; changes in tax legislation, rules, regulation or enforcement; intensified price pressure by our competitors; severe weather conditions; our ability to successfully keep pace with technology changes; our ability to attract and retain qualified personnel; the evolution, interpretation and uniform application and enforcement of International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS), according to which we prepare our financial statements as of January 1, 2005; political and social stability in developing countries; competition; supply chain bottlenecks; the ability of our subcontractors to attract skilled labor; the fact that our operations may cause the discharge of hazardous substances, leading to significant environmental remediation costs; our ability to manage and mitigate logistical challenges due to underdeveloped infrastructure in some countries where we are performing projects.

Some of these risk factors are set forth and discussed in more detail in our Annual Report. Should one of these known or unknown risks materialize, or should our underlying assumptions prove incorrect, our future results could be adversely affected, causing these results to differ materially from those expressed in our forward-looking statements. These factors are not necessarily all of the important factors that could cause our actual results to differ materially from those expressed in any of our forward-looking statements. Other unknown or unpredictable factors also could have material adverse effects on our future results. The forward-looking statements included in this release are made only as of the date of this release. We cannot assure you that projected results or events will be achieved. We do not intend, and do not assume any obligation to update any industry information or forward-looking information set forth in this release to reflect subsequent events or circumstances.

****

This press release does not constitute an offer or invitation to purchase any securities of Technip in the United States or any other jurisdiction. Securities may not be offered or sold in the United States absent registration or an exemption from registration. The information contained in this presentation may not be relied upon in deciding whether or not to acquire Technip securities.

This presentation is being furnished to you solely for your information, and it may not be reproduced, redistributed or published, directly or indirectly, in whole or in part, to any other person. Non-compliance with these restrictions may result in the violation of legal restrictions of the United States or of other jurisdictions.

****

°

° °

Technip is a world leader in project management, engineering and construction for the energy industry.

From the deepest Subsea oil & gas developments to the largest and most complex Offshore and Onshore infrastructures, our 37,500 people are constantly offering the best solutions and most innovative technologies to meet the world’s energy challenges.

Present in 48 countries, Technip has state-of-the-art industrial assets on all continents and operates a fleet of specialized vessels for pipeline installation and subsea construction.

Technip shares are listed on the Euronext Paris exchange, and its ADR is traded in the US on the OTCQX marketplace as an American Depositary Receipt (OTCQX: TKPPY).

ANNEX I (a) 1
ADJUSTED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME

Second Quarter

Not audited

First Half

Not audited

€ million (except Diluted Earnings per Share and Diluted Number of Shares) 2014 2015 Change 2014 2015 Change
Revenue 2,615.4 3,098.4 18.5% 5,083.9 5,981.7 17.7%
Gross Margin 416.0 266.6 (35.9)% 713.4 602.6 (15.5)%
Research & Development Expenses(18.4) (23.7) 28.8%(36.0) (41.6) 15.6%
SG&A and Other(163.7)(157.5)(3.8)%(326.2)(308.9)(5.3)%
Share of Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates 6.2 11.7 88.7% 8.7 16.7 92.0%
OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates 240.1 97.1 nm 359.9 268.8 nm
Non-Current Operating Result(6.5)(397.8)nm(6.5)(403.8)nm
Operating Income 233.6 (300.7) nm 353.4 (135.0) nm
Financial Result(17.5)(28.4)62.3%(41.7)(67.3)61.4%
Income/(Loss) before Tax 216.1 (329.1) nm 311.7 (202.3) nm
Income Tax Expense(59.2)24.2nm(85.5)(13.9)nm
Non-Controlling Interests0.8(2.0)nm(1.3)(4.6)nm
Net Income/(Loss) of the Parent Company 157.7 (306.9) nm 224.9 (220.8) nm
Diluted Number of Shares2 124,998,449 113,121,323 nm 124,901,758 113,353,706 nm
Diluted Earnings per Share (€) 1.30 (2.71) nm 1.88 (1.95) nm

1 Note that statements disclosed in annex I(a) and I(c) do not report underlying OIFRA. Please, refer to annex VI, page 21, for the underlying net income reconciliation.
2 As per IFRS, diluted earnings per share are calculated by dividing profit or loss attributable to the Parent Company’s Shareholders, restated for financial interest related to dilutive potential ordinary shares, by the weighted average number of outstanding shares during the period, plus the effect of dilutive potential ordinary shares related to the convertible bonds, dilutive stock options and performance shares calculated according to the “Share Purchase Method” (IFRS 2), less treasury shares. In conformity with this method, anti-dilutive stock options are ignored in calculating EPS. Dilutive options are taken into account if the subscription price of the stock options plus the future IFRS 2 charge (i.e. the sum of annual charge to be recorded until the end of the stock option plan) is lower than the average market share price during the period. As the Group net income is a loss in the quarter, share subscription options, performance shares and convertible bonds have an anti-dilutive effect.

ANNEX I (b)
FOREIGN CURRENCY CONVERSION RATES

Closing Rate as of Average Rate of
Dec. 31, 2014 Jun. 30, 2015 2Q 2014 2Q 2015 1H 2014 1H 2015
USD for 1 EUR 1.21 1.12

1.37

1.11 1.37 1.12
GBP for 1 EUR 0.78 0.71 0.81 0.72 0.82 0.73
BRL for 1 EUR 3.22 3.47 3.06 3.39 3.15 3.31
NOK for 1 EUR 9.04 8.79 8.21 8.56 8.28 8.64

ANNEX I (c) 1
ADJUSTED ADDITIONAL INFORMATION BY BUSINESS SEGMENT

Second Quarter

Not audited

First Half

Not audited

€ million 2014 2015 Change 2014 2015 Change

SUBSEA

Revenue1,232.51,553.826.1%2,241.82,841.426.7%
Gross Margin257.9314.021.8%382.7540.341.2%
OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates189.0250.332.4%244.2415.570.1%
Operating Margin15.3%16.1%77bp10.9%14.6%373bp
Depreciation and Amortization(53.9)(61.3)13.7%(106.0)(123.7)16.7%
EBITDA242.9311.628.3%350.2539.254.0%
EBITDA Margin 19.7% 20.1% 35bp 15.6% 19.0% 336bp

ONSHORE/OFFSHORE

Revenue1,382.91,544.611.7%2,842.13,140.310.5%
Gross Margin158.1(47.4)nm330.762.3nm
OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates72.8(131.2)nm158.7(107.7)nm
Operating Margin5.3%(8.5)%nm5.6%(3.4)%nm
Depreciation and Amortization (9.0) (10.2) 13.3% (17.7) (19.8) 11.9%

CORPORATE

OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates(21.7)(22.0)1.4%(43.0)(39.0)(9.3)%
Depreciation and Amortization - - - - - -

1 Note that statements disclosed in annex I(a) and I(c) do not report underlying OIFRA. Please, refer to annex VI, page 21, for the underlying net income reconciliation.

ANNEX I (d)
ADJUSTED REVENUE BY GEOGRAPHICAL AREA

Second Quarter

Not audited

First Half

Not audited

€ million 2014 2015 Change 2014 2015 Change
Europe, Russia, Central Asia 1,020.4 1,154.5 13.1% 1,709.6 2,182.7 27.7%
Africa 237.7 524.7 120.7% 479.7 943.7 96.7%
Middle East 248.7 220.5 (11.3)% 654.9 505.2 (22.9)%
Asia Pacific 490.8 482.8 (1.6)% 912.0 958.9 5.1%
Americas 617.8 715.9 15.9% 1,327.7 1,391.2 4.8%
TOTAL 2,615.4 3,098.4 18.5% 5,083.9 5,981.7 17.7%

ANNEX II
ADJUSTED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

Dec. 31, 2014

Audited

Jun. 30, 2015

Not audited

€ million
Fixed Assets6,414.26,617.2
Deferred Tax Assets 391.0 496.1
Non-Current Assets 6,805.2 7,113.3
Construction Contracts – Amounts in Assets756.3952.5
Inventories, Trade Receivables and Other3,297.03,826.3
Cash & Cash Equivalents 3,738.3 3,976.5
Current Assets 7,791.6 8,755.3
Assets Classified as Held for Sale 3.2 28.4
Total Assets 14,600.0 15,897.0
Shareholders’ Equity (Parent Company)4,363.44,268.2
Non-Controlling Interests 11.8 20.3
Shareholders’ Equity 4,375.2 4,288.5
Non-Current Financial Debts2,356.61,671.7
Non-Current Provisions232.9247.2
Deferred Tax Liabilities and Other Non-Current Liabilities 249.1 266.7
Non-Current Liabilities 2,838.6 2,185.6
Current Financial Debts256.4890.3
Current Provisions328.3551.0
Construction Contracts – Amounts in Liabilities2,258.22,491.1
Trade Payables & Other 4,543.3 5,490.5
Current Liabilities 7,386.2 9,422.9
Total Shareholders’ Equity & Liabilities 14,600.0 15,897.0
Net Cash Position 1,125.3 1,414.5
Adjusted Statement of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity (Parent Company)
Not audited (€ million):
Shareholders’ Equity as of December 31, 2014 4,363.4
Net Income(220.8)
Other Comprehensive Income172.6
Capital Increase158.2
Treasury Shares4.6
Dividends Paid(225.8)
Other16.0
Shareholders’ Equity as of June 30, 2015 4,268.2

ANNEX III (a)
ADJUSTED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOWS

First Half

Not audited

€ million 2014 2015
Net Income/(Loss) of the Parent Company224.9 (220.8)
Depreciation & Amortization of Fixed Assets123.7186.1
Stock Options and Performance Share Charges20.515.2
Non-Current Provisions (including Employee Benefits)7.7137.6
Deferred Income Tax8.4(100.6)
Net (Gains)/Losses on Disposal of Assets and Investments7.9(26.7)
Non-Controlling Interests and Other10.67.7
Cash Generated from/(used in) Operations403.7(1.5)
Change in Working Capital Requirements(194.9)370.9
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Operating Activities208.8369.4
Capital Expenditures(185.8)(144.6)
Proceeds from Non-Current Asset Disposals17.02.0
Acquisitions of Financial Assets-(2.5)
Acquisition Costs of Consolidated Companies, Net of Cash acquired(5.9)(32.4)
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Investing Activities(174.7)(177.5)
Net Increase/(Decrease) in Borrowings(13.5)(107.5)
Capital Increase8.121.3
Dividends Paid(206.5)(88.9)
Share Buy-Back and Other(41.8)-
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Financing Activities(253.7)(175.1)
Net Effects of Foreign Exchange Rate Changes37.2222.0
Net Increase/(Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents(182.4)238.8
Bank Overdrafts at Period Beginning(2.4)(0.9)
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Period Beginning3,205.43,738.3
Bank Overdrafts at Period End(2.8)(0.3)
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Period End3,023.43,976.5
(182.4)238.8

ANNEX III (b)
ADJUSTED CASH & FINANCIAL DEBTS

€ million Dec. 31, 2014

Audited

Jun. 30, 2015

Not audited

Cash Equivalents1,809.4 2,052.9
Cash1,928.91,923.6
Cash & Cash Equivalents (A) 3,738.3 3,976.5
Current Financial Debts256.4890.3
Non-Current Financial Debts2,356.61,671.7
Gross Debt (B) 2,613.0 2,562.0
Net Cash Position (A – B) 1,125.3 1,414.5

ANNEX IV (a)
BACKLOG BY BUSINESS SEGMENT

€ million As of

Dec. 31, 2014

Audited

As of

Jun. 30, 2015

Not audited

Change
Subsea9,727.8 9,420.0 (3.2)%
Onshore/Offshore11,208.49,404.0(16.1)%
Total 20,936.2 18,824.0 (10.1)%

ANNEX IV (b)
CONTRACT AWARDS
Not audited

The main contracts we announced during second quarter 2015 were the following:

Subsea Segment:

  • Brownfield contract for the Triton floating production storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel, covering project management and engineering, with the installation of two flexible risers and one dynamic umbilical: Dana Petroleum, 193 kilometers east of Aberdeen in the central North Sea, at a water depth of approximately 90 meters, Scotland,
  • Contract for the design, engineering, fabrication, installation and pre-commissioning of the new production pipeline systems on the south side of the Thunder Horse production drilling quarters unit, at a water depth of approximately 1,900 meters: BP Exploration & Production Inc., Mississippi Canyon Blocks 778 and 822, US Gulf of Mexico,
  • Contract for the decommissioning of the brownfield development and installation of new subsea equipment supporting a floating production system, in a water depth of approximately 2,000 meters: Chevron North America Exploration and Production Company, Mississippi Canyon, US Gulf of Mexico.

Onshore/Offshore Segment:

  • Front end engineering design (FEED) contract for two tension leg platforms (TLPs) for the Liuhua 11-1 and 16-2 joint development project, covering the design and engineering of the topsides (including two drilling rigs), hulls, mooring and riser systems:China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CNOOC),in the South China Sea, People’s Republic of China,
  • Front end engineering design (FEED) and detailed engineering design contract for the development of a new gas pipeline of more than 1,700 kilometers, which will transport gas from the Camisea field to Southern Peru: Consorcio Constructor Ductos del Sur, Peru,
  • Project Management Consultancy (PMC) contract covering the engineering, procurement, construction, commissioning, start-up and warranty management phase of the Basra refinery upgrading: South Refineries Company (SRC) – Ministry of Oil, Iraq,
  • Significant engineering, procurement, construction and commissioning contract that covers the revamping of the ammonia plant at the existing Phu My Fertilizer Complex:PetroVietnam Fertilizer and Chemicals Corporation (PVFCCo), southern Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province, Vietnam,
  • Topsides detailed engineering and procurement services contract part of the conversion of a shuttle tanker into a floating, production, storage and offloading (FPSO) vessel: Jurong Shipyard Pte Ltd, Jurong Shipyard, Singapore.

Since June 30, 2015, Technip has also announced the award of the following contracts, which were included in the backlog as of June 30, 2015:

Subsea Segment:

  • Engineering, procurement, construction, installation and commissioning contract for the tie-in of PETRONAS first Floating Liquefied Natural Gas (PFLNG1) facility to KAKG-A platform, covering the procurement and installation of a 3.2 kilometers flexible flowline between the existing KAKG-A central processing platform in Kanowit field to the PFLNG1 riser: PETRONAS Carigali, Kanowit field, 200 kilometers offshore Bintulu, East Malaysia.

Onshore/Offshore Segment:

  • Browse floating liquefied natural gas (FLNG) project, which covers the realization and installation of three FLNG units. The contract awarded covers the front-end engineering design (FEED) elements of the Browse FLNG project. A second contract covering the engineering, procurement, construction and installation, awarded to Technip Samsung Consortium is subject to the final investment decision from the client: Shell Gas & Power Developments BV & Woodside Energy Limited,Brecknock, Calliance and Torosa fields in the Browse Basin, 425 kilometers North of Broome, Western Australia,
  • Project Management Consultancy (PMC) contract for a project designed to transport gas from the Shah Deniz field to the European market. The services will include the overall project and site management, procurement and subcontracting for all the EPC packages throughout the engineering, procurement and construction phases, as well as warranty management and the project close-out: Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) AG, Italy, Albania and Greece.

Since June 30, 2015, Technip has also announced the award of the following contracts, which were not included in the backlog as of June 30, 2015:

Onshore/Offshore Segment:

  • Contract for a project to modernize and expand the MIDOR refinery, aiming at improving the production quality of the plant, considered the most advanced of the African continent: Midor (Middle East Oil Refinery), near Alexandria, Egypt,
  • Contract for the modernization project of the Assiut refinery, designed to refine the “bottom of the barrel” and aiming at maximizing diesel production:Egyptian General Petroleum Corporation (EGPC) and Assiut Oil Refining Company (ASORC), Upper Egypt.

****

The annex V presents the first half IFRS consolidated financial statements and a reconciliation to the adjusted basis.

****

ANNEX V (a)
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF INCOME
Not audited

€ millionFirst Half
(except Diluted Earnings per Share, and Diluted Number of Shares) 2014 IFRS 2015 IFRS Change Adjustments 2015 Adjusted
Revenue 4,841.9 5,336.4 10.2%645.3 5,981.7
Gross Margin 713.5 597.5 (16.3)%5.1 602.6
Research & Development Expenses(36.0) (41.6) 15.6%- (41.6)
SG&A and Other(326.1)(308.7)(5.3)%(0.2)(308.9)
Share of Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates (8.9) 17.5 nm(0.8) 16.7
OIFRA after Income/(Loss) of Equity Affiliates 342.5 264.7 nm4.1 268.8
Non-Current Operating Result(6.5)(403.8)nm-(403.8)
Operating Income 336.0 (139.1) nm4.1 (135.0)
Financial Result(42.5)(66.2)55.8%(1.1)(67.3)
Income/(Loss) before Tax 293.5 (205.3) nm3.0 (202.3)
Income Tax Expense(67.3)(10.9)nm(3.0)(13.9)
Non-Controlling Interests(1.3)(4.6)nm-(4.6)
Net Income/(Loss) of the Parent Company 224.9 (220.8) nm - (220.8)
Diluted Number of Shares 124,901,758 113,353,706 nm
Diluted Earnings per Share (€) 1.88 (1.95) nm

ANNEX V (b)
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF FINANCIAL POSITION

€ million

Dec. 31, 2014
IFRS
(audited)

June 30, 2015
IFRS
(not audited)

Adjustments

June 30, 2015
Adjusted
(not audited)

Fixed Assets6,452.5 6,662.0(44.8) 6,617.2
Deferred Tax Assets 366.0 473.123.0 496.1
Non-Current Assets 6,818.5 7,135.1(21.8) 7,113.3
Construction Contracts – Amounts in Assets755.1952.5-952.5
Inventories, Trade Receivables and Other3,157.43,566.3260.03,826.3
Cash & Cash Equivalents 2,685.6 2,499.71,476.8 3,976.5
Current Assets 6,598.1 7,018.51,736.8 8,755.3
Assets Classified as Held for Sale 3.2 28.4- 28.4
Total Assets 13,419.8 14,182.01,715.0 15,897.0
Shareholders’ Equity (Parent Company)4,363.44,268.2-4,268.2
Non-Controlling Interests 11.8 20.3- 20.3
Shareholders’ Equity 4,375.2 4,288.5- 4,288.5
Non-Current Financial Debts2,356.61,671.7-1,671.7
Non-Current Provisions231.6246.01.2247.2
Deferred Tax Liabilities and Other Non-Current Liabilities 236.8 255.711.0 266.7
Non-Current Liabilities 2,825.0 2,173.412.2 2,185.6
Current Financial Debts256.4890.3-890.3
Current Provisions326.3549.02.0551.0
Construction Contracts – Amounts in Liabilities1,256.11,079.81,411.32,491.1
Trade Payables & Other 4,380.8 5,201.0289.5 5,490.5
Current Liabilities 6,219.6 7,720.11,702.8 9,422.9
Total Shareholders’ Equity & Liabilities 13,419.8 14,182.01,715.0 15,897.0
Statement of Changes in Shareholders’ Equity (Parent Company)
IFRS, Not audited (€ million):
Shareholders’ Equity as of December 31, 2014 4,363.4
Net Income(220.8)
Other Comprehensive Income172.6
Capital Increase158.2
Treasury Shares4.6
Dividends Paid(225.8)
Other16.0
Shareholders’ Equity as of June 30, 2015 4,268.2

ANNEX V (c)
CONSOLIDATED STATEMENT OF CASH FLOW
Not audited

First Half
€ million 2014 IFRS 2015 IFRS Adjustments 2015 Adjusted
Net Income/(Loss) of the Parent Company224.9 (220.8) - (220.8)
Depreciation & Amortization of Fixed Assets123.7186.1-186.1
Stock Options and Performance Share Charges20.415.2-15.2
Non-Current Provisions (including Employee Benefits)7.7137.6-137.6
Deferred Income Tax(8.5)(96.8)(3.8)(100.6)
Net (Gains)/Losses on Disposal of Assets and Investments7.9(26.7)-(26.7)
Non-Controlling Interests and Other28.26.90.87.7
Cash Generated from/(used in) Operations404.31.5(3.0)(1.5)
Change in Working Capital Requirements(776.7)56.2314.7370.9
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Operating Activities(372.4)57.7311.7369.4
Capital Expenditures(185.8)(144.4)(0.2)(144.6)
Proceeds from Non-Current Asset Disposals17.02.0-2.0
Acquisitions of Financial Assets-(2.5)-(2.5)
Acquisition Costs of Consolidated Companies, Net of Cash acquired(5.9)(32.4)-(32.4)
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Investing Activities(174.7)(177.3)(0.2)(177.5)
Net Increase/(Decrease) in Borrowings(13.5)(107.6)0.1(107.5)
Capital Increase8.121.3-21.3
Dividends Paid(206.5)(88.9)-(88.9)
Share Buy-Back and Other(41.8)---
Net Cash Generated from/(used in) Financing Activities(253.7)(175.2)0.1(175.1)
Net Effects of Foreign Exchange Rate Changes29.4109.5112.5222.0
Net Increase/(Decrease) in Cash and Cash Equivalents(771.4)(185.3)424.1238.8
Bank Overdrafts at Period Beginning(2.4)(0.9)-(0.9)
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Period Beginning2,989.12,685.61,052.73,738.3
Bank Overdrafts at Period End(2.8)(0.3)-(0.3)
Cash and Cash Equivalents at Period End2,218.12,499.71,476.83,976.5
(771.4)(185.3)424.1238.8

ANNEX VI
UNDERLYING NET INCOME RECONCILIATION
Not audited

€ millionSecond Quarter

2015

Net Income of the Parent Company(306.9)
One-off charge in OIFRA184.4
Charges from Non-Current Activities386.0
Other11.8
Taxes & Financial Result(92.3)
Underlying Net Income183.0

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Allemagne : L’électricité d’origine renouvelable atteint un nouveau record en juillet 29/07/2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Thu, July 30, 2015 14:31:47

L’électricité d’origine renouvelable en Allemagne a dépassé le 25 juillet l'ancien record de 74 pour cent, atteignant 78 pour cent de la demande journalière d'énergie, stimulée par le temps venteux dans le nord où l'Allemagne a installé la majorité de ses éoliennes et par temps ensoleillé dans le sud.

La combinaison de vent fort et de temps ensoleillée a mené à ce nouveau record, selon Craig Morris, un journaliste qui a couvert la scène énergétique de l'Allemagne depuis plus d'une décennie. Le record précédent de 74 pour cent a été atteint en mai 2014. Les centrales d’énergie renouvelable en Allemagne ont fourni 32,5% de l'électricité du pays dans la première moitié de 2015, principalement grâce aux additions de la capacité d’énergie éolienne, selon la Fédération des énergies renouvelables (BEE). Le pays a enregistré une forte croissance dans l'éolien terrestre, et en même temps une diminution considérable dans le secteur du solaire photovoltaïque (PV) et des installations de biogaz.

www.energymarketprice.com.



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The EU Global Strategy Review: a view towards the neighbourhood, Louisa Slavkova, 28th July, 2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Wed, July 29, 2015 16:07:30

The review of the European Security Strategy of 2003 has started a long-awaited process that has been called for by practitioners and analysts alike. Since 2003 EU’s strategic environment has changed dramatically. The challenges we face vary both geographically and in their nature, be they climate change, cyber security, scarcity of natural resources, hybrid wars, ethnic and religious conflicts or migration. With the launch of EU’s Global Foreign Policy Review, the challenge will be to guide the process and avoid it getting lost in an ever widening scope; to make sue that in attempting to address all issues it does not fail to focus on those of immediate and pressing significance. Indeed, in 2015 we face a Europe that is “more connected, more contested and more complex”, but the reality remains that Europe needs to take care of its neighbourhood first. Following this rationale, the Western Balkans, Turkey and the Eastern Neighbourhoods should be at the heart of the review.

The Black Sea region

The geopolitics of the Black Sea region as part of EU’s neighbourhood is very much framed within the context of the competition between Russia and the EU. There is a visible rivalry over integration in the region that juxtaposes EU’s attractiveness to Russia’s coercion and pressure. Russia is a power that really contests, while the EU needs a clear sense of direction. Within this competitive context, the EU’s soft-power concept could be easily challenged by Russia as it entails fostering liberal changes, while the Russian soft power is conservative with religious components and does not seek change. Unlike the EU, Russia accepts its partners without being too demanding. In addition, behind Russia’s soft power lies hard power.

At the same time, it is perceived that the regional problems are not in fact regional but structural and are caused by Russia as the only nation state that is able and willing to question the foundations of the international system. Therefore, policy-makers should look at the regional situation in a global and structural context and divest themselves of wishful thinking.

In respect to geopolitical dynamics and the role of Russia, it is worrying that for EU’s neighbours the predominant notion is that it is a matter of choice between Russia and the EU. The EU’s agenda is not to build zero-sum dynamics in the neighbourhood. The attempt at going back to the spheres of influence should be fought against and the EU should try to rebuild the win-win framework of mind. Asking some countries to choose would be at the very least unsustainable and, in some cases, impossible.

The mission of the ENP as EU’s policy for the region should be preserved but its instruments should be adjusted. The EU should keep up its ambition to promote stability and democracy in the region. Mechanisms should be created for avoiding the danger of equating countries and societies with their government. The EU should listen more to voices within the society that are not represented in government. The Union needs more consistency in terms of a constant unfaltering message. There is a need to create the conditions for more connectivity between civil society organisations in the Eastern Partnership countries.

What the EU can undertake vis-à-vis Russia beyond sanctions includes, avoiding the “business-as-usual” and “Russia-first” paradigms, continuing with the progress on association agreements and finally, putting forward a third attempt to create a new type of Black Sea regionalism that could be a new path to the EU for countries like Armenia and Ukraine. Unilateral trade liberalisation and the introduction of non-visa regimes could be pragmatic instruments of importance that have not yet been used in the region so far.

The Western Balkans

Turning to the Western Balkans, the lengthy and incremental nature of the relations between the EU and this region needs to be changed as it frustrates countries from the region. If the EU is to remain the only game in town several conditions ought to be fulfilled. A reasonable and straightforward enlargement timeframe is needed, as indifference towards the accession timeline exists in some countries (e.g. Macedonia) and threatens democratic reforms. The EU has to become proactive and launch a process of strategic thinking about the enlargement to the Western Balkans. The Union should reiterate that more neighbourhood does not mean less enlargement. More incentives for countries aspiring to EU membership should be added. As part of the Global Strategy Review, the EU would need to draw lessons learned from its intensive engagement in the Western Balkans and of impasses such as Macedonia or Kosovo.

In High Representative Federica Mogherini’s words, the EU first and foremost needs to transform the narrative of the five-year enlargement freeze into a narrative of a 5-year timeframe to better prepare the candidate countries for enlargement. In this way, it will no longer be a matter of freezing but a matter of proceeding. What can make the European perspective more attractive is credibility. Enlargement is definitely a win-win policy but we need to figure out how to move forward otherwise the process will die. It should become clear that it is not logic of “give and take” but of “give and give” and “take and take.”

The EU should communicate its Enlargement Policy better to avoid the currently dominant perception that these countries are not truly wanted in the EU. Countries from the Western Balkans should be involved in intra-EU processes before accession. Candidate countries should be involved in the policy process instead of simply being required to align policies. The EU should be careful not to perpetuate the narrative of democracy vs. stability. In addition, the EU should pay more attention to the foreign policy dimension of its relations with the Western Balkans – those states are not only accession countries but also partners. In addition, the EU should readjust and better utilise existing instruments that have not been put to proper use until now. The Union should also use the rule of law, the fight against corruption and financial conditionality more strategically and work towards the creation of substantive democracies and not just formal ones. Presently, enlargement and EU involvement are on “autopilot,” with the EU traditionally being more focused on process than on substance as such (e.g. democracy promotion). And in this process, many people in the Western Balkans perceive that no party is truly involved: neither ruling elites nor EU governments centred on the EU’s internal challenges or on immediate foreign policy crisis.

Migration

Due to the existence of buffer countries the EU has the illusion that migration waves can be contained and are manageable. Europe should realise that it is imperative to have more burden sharing in migration. In respect of the migration problem, a realistic scenario requires understanding two things: firstly, that this is an issue that is not going away; secondly, it is a common European issue that calls for a common European approach and shared institutional responsibility. The elements we need to consider in solving the problem include not only discussing borders and routes, but also seeing the influence of criminal networks and what happens beyond our borders in the countries of origin and transit.

Energy

Energy is increasingly having an important role in the European Union’s external policy. A market-based approach is essential for stable development of the internal EU energy market but also for the Wider Europe region. In terms of energy security, a shift of paradigm is needed, moving away from a focus solely on gas with South Eastern Europe being a prime example, due to its relatively low gas consumption. Instead, an idea for further liberalisation is needed, ensuring market solutions and activating the region’s renewable energy potential.

Energy security is often being mistaken with energy independence by the policy-makers. There is a tendency to ‘pipelinise’ energy politics. Energy should always be about the market and not about foreign policy, and South Eastern Europe finally understands that liberalisation is key. When it comes to the Iran deal and its impact on Europe’s energy sector, the immediate effects might be negligible, but the effects will start becoming apparent in five to ten years. Iran has great potential as a source for both oil and gas for the EU.

The Union should make a better use its existing legislative measures and tools to enhance the Union’s energy independence. Policy-makers in the EU and the member states should stop equating energy security with the security of gas supplies. Energy security is a much more inclusive concept that encompasses the development of a country’s own resources, development of renewables and enhancing interconnectedness in addition to exploiting the traditional gas delivery routes.When it comes to Ukraine, the Energy Union should help the country build institutional capacity.The EU should also make the necessary effort in engaging Turkey in the Energy Community despite the country’s reluctance. It is important for the EU to put emphasis on the market-based approach and depoliticise the discussion on energy.

The current analysis is based on the international round table discussion with think-tank representatives in the framework of EU’s Global Foreign Policy Strategy Review and the review of the European Neighbourhood Policy “The EU in a changing global environment: what next for EU’s neighbours”, organised by ECFR-Sofia in cooperation with Sofia Platform and the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. During the event, more than 40 think tank representatives from the Western Balkans and EU’s Eastern neighbourhood had the opportunity to share their views with each other and with Federica Mogherini, High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and Vice-President of the European Commission.

Read more on: Wider Europe, European Power



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EU COMMISSION PRESENTS ITS "ENERGY SUMMER PACKAGE" By Miriam Eisermann on 28 July 2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Tue, July 28, 2015 23:11:47

Mid-July, the European Commission presented its “Summer Package” outlining a number of priorities and measures to foster a low-carbon growth. Energy Cities provides you with key takeaways from the announcement.

What is the message?

The package is meant to show to both Member States and the international community that Europe is determined to push on climate and energy action for 2020 and beyond. It is an important step to achieve the planned Energy Union.

A positive signal

EU Commission Vice-President for Energy Union Maros Sefcovic and EU Commissioner for Climate Action Miguel Arias Canete acknowledge that “the achievement of the Energy Union requires a fundamental transformation of Europe’s energy system."

We, at Energy Cities, think that this makes the EU Commission an ally for making this deep change. The change that should lead to strongly-decentralised energy systems fitting local needs and simultaneously contributing to sustainable development and emission reduction at global level.

The improvements proposed by the EU

A revision of the energy label for more clarity: that should save enough energy to cover the equivalent of the energy demand of all Baltic countries for one year.

A New Deal for Energy Consumers: better information and protection as well as stronger participation in energy markets.

New electricity market design: the European Commission has opened aconsultation on a new ‘energy market design’ to fulfil a more consumer-focused, renewable-fuelled and cross border Energy Union.

A reform of the Emission Trading Scheme: Carbon prices estimated to average €25/t CO2 over Phase 4 (2021-2030).

What is in there for the local level?

Energy Cities very much welcomes that the package foresees “decentralised electricity generation - including for self-consumption, and supports the emergence of innovative energy service companies”. The Commission will simplify procedures allowing to consume one’s own renewable energy, thereby turning energy consumers into prosumers. It will also encourage Member States to further develop schemes that value prosumers’ excess electricity which is injected in the grid. “By generating and consuming electricity locally, system losses can be reduced”, states the document.

In its package the European Commission rightly puts the devolution of powers to local actors forward. We can see that all over Europe, new municipality-owned energy companies (Stadtwerke), energy cooperatives and citizen energy projects are emerging. They witness the request for a stronger participation of the local level in the energy system. By quickly implementing a supportive legislative framework, the Commission can be a driver of this trend. This will accelerate the energy transition which cannot do without local and regional energy generation and supply.

The downside

Regrettably, the bundle of proposed measures is not backed up by a clear allocation of competences and responsibilities on delivering the European energy and climate goals. It lacks a credible governance framework with effective procedures such as binding planning and reporting regimes on national energy policies. As stated in a recent joint paper by E3G, WWF and Client Earth, “this would reinforce investor confidence, energy security and enable citizens to take ownership of the transition.”

Moreover, divestment from fossil fuels is not part of the package. Low-carbon aims need to go hand in hand with saying goodbye to carbon-intensive fuels!

Next steps

- September: EU Council of environment ministers (to set out the EU’s vision for COP21)

- November: EU Council of energy ministers

- November/December: UN Climate Change conference COP21 in Paris



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ACERC Open Invitation to Host Material on Energy Fields and Related Topic, ACERC Press Note: 26th July 2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sun, July 26, 2015 13:28:12

ACERC Open Invitation to Host Material on Energy Fields and Related Topic

ACERC Press Note: 26th July 2015

Do you have news on energy fields and related topic to share? Use the ACERC online Platform to reach a large group of professional all over the world!!! :-)

Albanian Centre for Energy Regulation and Conservation - Acerc is a think tank centre with focus in Albania energy market and its integration on Regional & IEM. In the framework of its mission Acerc aim to provide a support on publish and divulgation of articles and other related materials in the liberalization and the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.

In above projection Acerc want to invite all the interested parties in the energy market to deliver their publication in the field of energy and related topics that regard the EU and mainly Western Balkans and Albania area. In this regard, your works can reach a very targeting group of professional that go around 10 000 visitors by month or 310 visitors by day only inside the official page of ACERC (without the hundreds for each notice report in the related social media).

In regard their area of distribution from the April 29, 2015 (period from which have start the new identification tracing method) there have been around 70 countries that visit the Official Page of ACERC. The more about the Map of the different countries that have visited the Official Page of the ACERC find at: http://s03.flagcounter.com/gmap/Tknt/

Then if the here above initiative constitute a common interest to you, the ACERC will be pleasant to reserve periodically and without any payment a place on publishing and divulgation of your article and other related material in the liberalization and the effective integration as well as the efficient use of energy resources.

Thanking for all the attention in relation to the above, it is looking forward for any further communication.

Acerc Team



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It's All About Gas: EU Finds Potential Energy Supplier to Replace Russia? 24.07.2015

AEM Bulletin July 2015Posted by Adv. Lorenc Gordani, PhD Sat, July 25, 2015 20:00:03

The US and EU are taking great pains to find a substitute for Russia's gas, Scottish researcher and writer Steven MacMillan notes, adding that Azerbaijan and Norway may potentially play a pivotal role.

Washington and Brussels have long been expressing their anxiety regarding Europe's dependence on Russia's energy; the US has recently intensified its efforts to replace Russia as Europe's main provider of natural gas, while the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) has presented a number of possible scenarios to diversify the EU's gas supplies away from Russia.

"Since relations between the West and Russia have deteriorated so rapidly following the US coup in Ukraine, Western strategists have been working relentlessly to find a replacement to Russian energy supplies to the EU. In the immediate term, this is impossible, a reality that unnerves many in Washington and Brussels," Scottish geopolitical analyst and editor of The Analyst Report Steven MacMillan underscored.

However, neither Washington nor Brussels are ready to give up, the analyst noted, adding that the West is considering a number of countries which could in the medium to long term replace Russia's gas supplies or at least "dramatically reduce" Europe's energy dependence.

The recent report by the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) entitled "Europe's Alternatives to Russian Gas," is considering a vast range of potential energy suppliers.

For instance, among the "candidates" are such energy suppliers as Iraq and Libya. Alas, the states are so unstable — "due to Western foreign policy of course" — that they cannot be regarded as viable options, the expert underscored.

The ECFR analysts also view Israel as the EU's potential energy supplier, but this source is again an unlikely substitute for Russian gas: 60 percent of Israel's gas reserves go to the domestic market.

Resource-rich Turkmenistan cannot solve the European dilemma either: the country has shifted its export strategy toward China.

At the same time, the ECFR clings to the hope that Iran, a country that hosts vast oil and gas reserves, may become a possible player.

"Speculation has grown in recent months that Tehran and Brussels could strike an energy deal in the near future that would see Iran supplying gas and oil to the EU. With recent news that the negotiations between Iran and the P5+1 states have concluded successfully, and a deal has been reached which is expected to see sanctions gradually lifted, this is becoming more likely," Steven MacMillan emphasized.

However, it seems that Brussels is doomed to disappointment: according to Iranian President Hassan Rouhani, Iran is far from being able to replace Russia as a supplier, since it lags behind in gas extraction.

Furthermore, despite the agreement that has been reached between Tehran and the P5+1, Iran still views the Western countries "as perfidious partners," given the controversial history of their meddling into Iranian affairs.

"There is no question that many of the neocons in Washington will be irate at the recent deal and will still push for regime change in Tehran," MacMillan remarked.

Thus far, both Washington and Brussels should better seek more tame and subservient states than Iran to replace Russia. Remarkably, ECFR analysts claim that Azerbaijan could play this role, stressing that "Azerbaijan is the supplier best placed to respond to the EU's strategy of diversifying gas supply away from Russia."

There is a project that envisages the connection of the Trans-Anatolian Natural Gas Pipeline (TANAP), that will run from Azerbaijan to Turkey, with the Trans Adriatic Pipeline (TAP) which will go through Greece and Albania to Italy. It is expected that TAP will become operational by 2020 and will have an initial capacity of 10 billion cubic meters of gas per year.

"It will be important for the West to ensure that Azerbaijan continues to play a cooperative role with Western energy corporations in the future, as some voices in Washington have asserted that 'US-Azerbaijan relations are clearly now in serious crisis'," MacMillan pointed out.

And last but not the least is Norway that will most likely continue to play a significant role in providing the EU with natural gas. As the Norwegian Foreign Minister stated earlier this year, Norway will supply gas to Europe for "years to come."

While the West is sweating bullets about Europe's dependency on Russia's gas, Moscow is expanding its energy ties with Asian and Latin American countries. In addition to its ongoing projects Russia is considering building the Altai pipeline that will connect Western Siberia with northwestern China. Moreover, the Kremlin has already signed an energy deal with Argentina and inked an agreement with Saudi Arabia, the US' longstanding ally, on cooperation in the nuclear energy sphere.



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