FLAX LOOKS TO BE A PROFITABLE OPTION FOR 2019

Flax looks like a good option for growers in 2019.  Recent crop budgets from North Dakota State University show flax profits in many parts of the state.  Flax showed positive returns of $4 and $18 per acre in the northwestern and southwestern regions.  Many growers have consistently had flax yields over 30 bushels per acre, therefore based on this yield, net returns are projected at $79 per acre.  These expected returns are very similar to predictions made by both Saskatchewan and Manitoba agencies. (more…)

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Construction and demolition waste production in the EU

In 2012, total amount of the EU construction waste in EU reached 821 160 000 tones and, as a result, construction and demolition sector in EU produced 32% of EU waste. It should be also noted that the number of C&D wastes increases in the EU member states and it is expected that in 2020 the amount of waste generated by the construction sector will reach more than 500 million tonnes1. Therefore, the market related to the construction and demolition waste is seen as the most attractive in comparison with markets aimed at collection or recovery of other types of waste2.
The majority of C&D waste is produced in France, Germany, Netherland and United Kingdom however the group of important producers represent also Italy, Spain and Belgium. In 2011, revenues of recycling of construction and demolition waste in Europe reached $61 billion3.
95% of the EU construction waste consists of mineral and solidified materials (excluding combustion wastes, contaminated soils and polluted dredging spoils). This waste stream includes mainly concrete and masonry which represented above 60% of construction and demolition waste (2011). Another big proportion is composed of asphalt (up to 26%). Other materials (e.g. gypsum) comprise only a small part of the C&DW total weight4.

Future trends and innovative sorting and recycling technologies
European market of C&D waste is characterized by three important trends which can lead to rapid development of new solutions for C&D waste management. First of all, increase of prices for waste disposal is observed and this process may stimulate development of companies interested in C&DW management. Moreover, it is predicted that EU countries will move towards unification of regulations aimed at C&D management. Finally, the unification process will also change the tasks of EU local governments and it is expected that they will be more responsible for local waste management. As a result, the governments will have to reduce the volume of landfill waste and achieve appropriate levels of preparation of re-use, recovery and recycling waste5. These factors may create new possibilities for development and commercialization of innovative sorting and recycling technologies, among which the HISER products and innovations can be found.

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Ukraine – Oil and Gas

The Government of Ukraine (GOU) considers the oil and gas industry as a strategic sector to achieve independence from foreign oil and gas imports. Since the Revolution of Dignity in 2014, Ukraine has taken necessary steps to diversify fuel supplies, improve the output and production of electricity, oil, and natural gas, all efforts aimed at increased energy independence. Ukraine continues to follow its path to energy security and independence though legislative reforms. In 2017, the GOU finally reduced the royalty rates for gas exploration to 12 % (from 28%) for wells up to 5,000 meters and to 6% (from 14%) for deeper wells. This makes Ukraine’s royalty tax one of the lowest in the EU.

(more…)

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Possible effects of US oil sanctions against Iran

U.S. sanctions against Iran will ‘undoubtedly put upward pressure’ on the oil prices in the short run, and will be far more aggressive than the previous sanctions, which merely limited Iran’s oil exports by about 50 percent, a senior fellow in U.S. based think tank said on Sunday. (more…)

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Energy supply

Energy supply projections

The supply mix to meet growing energy demand will be historically diverse – from the oil and natural gas in America’s shale regions, to the deepwater fields off Brazil; from new nuclear reactors in China, to wind turbines and solar arrays in nations around the world.

This diversification in global energy supply will grow over the next two-and-a-half decades. Society’s push for lower-emission energy sources will drive substantial increases in renewables such as wind and solar. By 2040, nuclear and all renewables will be approaching 25 percent of global energy supplies.

Oil grows and continues to be the primary source of energy for transportation and as a feedstock for chemicals. Natural gas also grows, with increasing use in power generation, as utilities look to switch to lower-emissions fuels. Coal struggles to grow due to increased competition in power generation from renewables and natural gas, led by declines in OECD nations. (more…)

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Community Investment Program

The Community Investment Program (CIP) supports a broad spectrum of programs and services by providing grant funding and agreements to community groups and non-profit organizations responsible for:
• Delivering various recreational, cultural and social programs and services.
• Developing and operating community facilities.
• Organizing community events. (more…)

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Investment of Bond Proceeds

When governments issue bonds they deposit the bond proceeds (and occasionally other monies) in various funds, which may include a construction fund, debt service fund, capitalized interest fund, debt service reserve, or in the case of a refunding, an escrow fund. In some cases these funds may be held by a third party trustee. Monies allocated to these funds usually are invested until needed. The investment strategy for each fund will depend, in part, on federal or state statutes and regulations governing the types of instruments permitted to be used for the investments, the arbitrage yield permitted for the fund, requirements from rating agencies and/or credit enhancement providers, and the anticipated drawdown of bond proceeds. Additionally, each of these funds will have different investment objectives, so there are many factors that must be considered by the government when selecting the investment instrument. Governments need to be mindful that cash flow analyses are critical components of the process and are useful in reducing the possibility of negative arbitrage that may occur. Furthermore, the presence or lack of arbitrage could affect the entire structure and sizing of the debt financing.

Due to the Dodd Frank Act and the Securities and Exchange Commission’s (SEC) Municipal Advisor Rule (the “Rule”), brokers may be considered municipal advisors if they provide advice on investments of bond proceeds to governments. Under the Rule, municipal advisors have a fiduciary duty to their government clients, and, if brokers wish to avoid becoming fiduciaries, they will be unable to provide advice to government clients unless they meet one of the exemptions to the Rule, which are described in this section. Broker-dealers will be deemed to have provided “advice” when they make a recommendation to their government clients to buy a particular security. However, brokers may provide certain information without it being considered advice.
For example, the SEC has said that brokers may provide information about their firm’s currently available investments (e.g., the terms, maturities, and interest rates at which the firm offers these investments) or price quotes for investments available for purchase or sale in the market that meet criteria specified by a municipal entity. This is considered general information and therefore is not considered advice. Also, a broker may respond to requests for offers for investments of bond proceeds and escrows as long as the broker is just quoting a price and not otherwise commenting on the advisability of those investments.

There are also two exemptions that will allow a broker to provide advice without becoming a municipal advisor with a fiduciary duty. The first is the RFP exemption. Under this exemption an issuer could send out an RFP for investments to at least 3 reasonably competitive providers, asking for recommendations on how it should invest bond proceeds for a particular period of time. The broker could respond to that RFP by providing advice on which investments are good candidates for the issuer. A form of RFP document that would satisfy this exemption, along with model language for the other exemptions in the Rule, is available in the GFOA MA Rule Alert, which is linked to in the reference section of this document. A definition of the term Municipal Advisor can also be found in the Alert.

There is also an exemption if the issuer has an independent registered municipal advisor (IRMA) that will provide it with advice on investments. It requires a written representation on the part of the issuer and a corresponding disclosure on the part of the broker to both the issuer and the municipal advisor. A form of an issuer IRMA representation and a form of broker required disclosure is also available in the GFOA MA Rule Alert. Note: A government may not use an SEC-registered investment adviser as its IRMA, because SEC-registered investment advisers are exempt from the definition of “municipal advisor.” Additional resources to help governments become familiar with the Rule are included in the References section of this Best Practice.

There is also an exemption if the issuer has an independent registered municipal advisor (IRMA) that will provide it with advice on investments.  It requires a written representation on the part of the issuer and a corresponding disclosure on the part of the broker to both the issuer and the municipal advisor.  A form of an issuer IRMA representation and a form of broker required disclosure is also available in the GFOA MA Rule Alert.  Note: A government may not use an SEC-registered investment adviser  as its IRMA, because SEC-registered investment advisers are exempt from the definition of “municipal advisor.”  Additional resources to help governments become familiar with the Rule are included in the References section of this Best Practice.

(more…)

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9 Ways Performance Contracting Can Conserve Energy

To achieve efficiency improvements, water and wastewater utilities might be wise to consider performance contracting. A performance contract with an TNN LTD (TNN) can deliver much-needed operational efficiencies with manageable lifecycle costs and minimized risk.

The TNN delivers the efficiency project under a progressive design-build approach. Benefiting from the efficiencies, the owner pays the TNN for the improvements. In return, the TNN provides a guarantee of operational savings, which are specified in the performance contract. If the savings fall short, the TNN has to reimburse the owner. The intent of the performance contract is that the guaranteed savings generated will cover the debt service for the upgrades. (more…)

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Responsible to environment

Considered to be the biggest sector in the world in terms of dollar value, the oil and gas industry is a global powerhouse employing hundreds of thousands of workers worldwide as well as generating hundreds of billions of dollars globally each year. In regions which house the major NOCs, these oil and gas companies are so vital they often contribute a significant amount towards national GDP. (more…)

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Ukraine