zoom Lloyd’s Register North America, Inc. (LR) has teamed with Penn Oak Energy Corp with the aim of helping companies raise much needed capital and mitigate the technical risks associated with retrofitting ships fuelled by liquid natural gas (LNG), by providing a one-stop-shop solution to the industry. The challenge to building these new environmentally-friendly ships has been that shipowners are unwilling to invest in LNG-fuelled ships if supplies of LNG bunker are difficult to obtain. However, according to Lloyd’s Register, that has started to change as more LNG facilities are built.LR’s LNG Bunkering Infrastructural Survey 2014 indicates that major ports around the world are either planning for, or are anticipating, the wide-scale development of LNG bunkering. The other challenge for shipbuilders is the large initial capital costs to build these new ships.“LNG as a fuel has emerged as one of the most considered choices for a new generation of vessels. The infrastructure to support this new class of ships has started to mature, and we have seen great strides in companies willing to convert their existing ships to this new fuel or constructing new ships in the U.S. Emission Control Areas. “Our relationship with Penn Oak Energy will help provide the private equity to ship owners to undertake these ambitious projects, and assist those ship builders that the U.S. will need to expand this growing demand,” said LR’s Rafa Riva, Marine Business Development Manager.Penn Oak Energy, based in Scottsdale, Arizona, is a developer of LNG fuel solutions for industrial clients. The company specializes in turnkey solutions that take into consideration technology, natural gas liquefaction and supply, as well as logistics and financial considerations.“The reason Penn Oak Energy chose to partner with Lloyd’s Register after doing a thorough review on other class societies throughout the maritime industry was that Lloyd’s Register was the most experienced in LNG conversions and transport vessels,” said Philip Parker, head of business development for Penn Oak Energy.
Canadian stocks were higher Tuesday after emerging market worries helped spark a series of sharp losses.The S&P/TSX composite index ran ahead 87.39 points to 13,669.68 as investors also looked to a major deal in the financial sector.Bank of Montreal (TSX:BMO) is offering to buy U.K.-based investment manager F&C Asset Management PLC in a cash deal valued at $1.3 billion. BMO shares dipped 56 cents to $69.90.The Canadian dollar was lower after closing at a 4 1/2 year low on Monday, down 0.44 of a cent to 89.55 cents US.U.S. indexes were higher as traders shrugged off a surprisingly weak durable goods orders report for December and concentrated on other data showing U.S. consumer confidence has reached its highest point since August on the strength of a brighter view of the job market and business conditions.The U.S. Conference Board’s consumer confidence index rose to 80.7 this month from a December reading of 77.5.The Dow Jones industrials were up 80.91 points to 15,918.79, the Nasdaq composite index moved up 11.74 points to 4,095.35 while the S&P 500 index rose 10.19 points to 1,791.75.Markets have been severely buffeted over the last few sessions on concerns about emerging markets, including slowing growth in China, the world’s second biggest economy.Investors have also been jittery because of currency turmoil involving countries such as the Turkish lira, the Russian ruble and the Indian rupee as investors wonder how the Federal Reserve’s policy to reduce its monetary stimulus impacts on them.“What’s fearful is that currency instability often leads to economic and stock instability,” observed John Stephenson, portfolio manager at First Asset Funds.The Fed’s massive bond purchases over the last few years has resulted in a stream of cheap money into those markets. But now the central bank is cutting back on those asset purchases.The Fed makes its next interest rate announcement Wednesday and markets widely expect it to further pare its bond purchases by another US$10 billion a month to $65 billion.At the same time, analysts have suggested that North American stock markets were vulnerable to a correction after Fed monetary easing helped underpin a strong rally on many equity markets last year that left the S&P 500 alone up about 30 per cent for 2013.“Investors have said we had some dodgy data, we had a selloff, the market has come off a bit, it’s down for the year (by over four per cent),” added Stephenson.“We’ve had a correction, I don’t see us going down ten per cent, and three, four per cent, that’s a pretty healthy correction and it’s time to start looking to buy.”All TSX sectors were higher with gains paced by a 2.4 per cent rise in the base metals sector while March copper on the Nymex was unchanged at US$3.26 a pound. Teck Resources (TSX:TCK.B) was up 75 cents to C$27.63.First Quantum Minerals (TSX:FM) says it expects its Cobre Panama project will cost about US$6.4 billion, up from an earlier estimate of US$6.2 billion. But it added the mine will produce about 320,000 tonnes of copper annually over the life of the mine, up about 20 per cent and First Quantum shares gained 38 cents to $20.22.February bullion declined $11.10 to US$1,252.30 an ounce and the gold sector moved up 1.66 per cent. Primero Mining (TSX:P) ran up 21 cents to C$6.10 while Barrick Gold (TSX:ABX) rose 39 cents to $21.The tech sector rose 1.5 per cent with BlackBerry (TSX:BB) ahead 32 cents to $11.16 as the company said that it’s making several changes to its BlackBerry 10 smartphone operating system, including a revised incoming call screen.Oil prices recovered after two days of steep losses with the March crude contract on the New York Mercantile Exchange up $1.76 to US$97.48 a barrel. The energy sector rose almost 0.7 per cent and Canadian Natural Resources (TSX:CNQ) advanced 65 cents to C$36.02.Financials also lifted the TSX as Sun Life Financial (TSX:SLF) moved up 59 cents to $36.94.In earnings news, automaker Ford earned $3 billion, or 74 cents per share, in the final quarter of 2013, but that was largely because of a one-time tax gain. Excluding the gain, net income was 31 cents per share, topping analysts’ forecast of 27 cents. Fourth-quarter revenue rose 3.5 per cent to $37.6 billion and its shares inched one cent higher to $15.72.Apple shares were down 7.25 per cent to US$510.57 even as the company reported its best quarter, hitting new quarterly highs for the sales of its most popular products. But it also delivered a revenue forecast that fell below analysts’ predictions for the current quarter.Overseas, London’s FTSE 100 index advanced 0.49 per cent, Frankfurt’s DAX rose 0.67 per cent while the Paris CAC 40 was up 1.2 per cent.
Deputy Superintendent of Police Rajan Adhikari said that Maya Tamang, Dolma Tamang, Phursang and Lyanglamu Tamang from the Sindhupalchowk district and Tikamaya Rai of the Sunsari district were rescued. Police in Chitwan, Nepal have rescued five girls from Narayanghat suspecting that they were being trafficked to Sri Lanka.The Himalayan Times reported that the five girls were being trafficked to Sri Lanka via India. Police said that the girls who were being taken to Mahendranagar from the capital city when they were rescued. Police said that Muna Silwal and Namita Bhandari of Sindhupalchowk, who were accompanying the girls, were also held for further investigation. (Colombo Gazette)