Puerto Rico Debt Struggle Ties Back to Its Stunted Energy Economy

first_imgPuerto Rico Debt Struggle Ties Back to Its Stunted Energy Economy FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Llewellyn Hinkes-Jones for Bloomberg BNA:Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) demanded that Puerto Rico provide detailed financial statements by March 1 before the Senate Finance Committee, which he chairs, puts together a debt-restructuring mechanism for the island.Puerto Rico is in talks with creditors over the country’s distressed debt.A major source of the country’s debt problems comes from the Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority (PREPA), the island’s sole energy provider, which owes about $9 billion to bondholders and other creditors. The utility is dependent on imported oil to generate electricity, for which it sometimes pays on the order of $100 per barrel, even as global oil prices have collapsed to a level below $30 a barrel.In a 2012 presentation, PREPA proposed a switch to liquefied natural gas (LNG), which would lead to $500 million to $1 billion in savings a year and avoid fines under the U.S. Mercury and Air Toxics Standards.But those calculations were based on the construction of the Via Verde gas pipeline and the Aguirre offshore terminal, neither of which has been completed. The Via Verde project was abandoned in 2012 over environmental concerns. The Aguirre project was initially approved by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission in July 2015, but is under appeal following a request for additional details by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.In a 2015 report, the Institute for Energy Economics and Financial Analysis (IEEFA) sharply criticized the commonwealth’s sole focus on LNG, which it described as transitioning from one fossil fuel to another, even though the island is “blessed with abundant wind and solar energy.”The IEEFA report notes that any savings from a switch to LNG could easily be wiped out by a spike in LNG prices. According to IEEFA Director of Finance Tom Sanzillo, for the switch to make sense “essentially, LNG prices can’t be much higher than what they are right now, which is around $2-$3/Mcf.” One Mcf equals 1,000 cubic feet.“The island could easily be focusing more on solar, wind, and energy efficiency,” Sanzillo said. “All of which would bring more jobs and fuel the local economy, whereas LNG would only bring a handful.”Puerto Rico offers no incentives for energy efficiency. In 2011, only 1 percent of its electricity came from renewable sources.Full article: Hatch Demands Audited Financials From Puerto Ricolast_img read more

CoreLogic data reveals Gold Coast house prices up 6.2 per cent over the 12 months to $600,000

first_imgREIG Gold Coast chairmain John Newlands at his Surfers office. Photo: Steve HollandHe said the driving forces behind the increase was population growth and employment.“I don’t see a boom bust situation as our population is growing and other industries apart from tourism and building are thriving,” he said.“I think there’s another good 10 to 20 per cent increase to go. We’re still reasonably cheap for what we’ve got to offer here.” Kendra Miller-Sherley pictured with children Taya and Kade Miller. Photo: David ClarkKendra Miller-Sherley says her family is fortunate to have bought their property when they did.The 41-year-old, who runs kids clothing line Sweet Child of Mine, purchased a two-bedroom 1970s brick house in Palm Beach with husband Todd Sherley in 2012 for $351,000. It was the third property the pair had bought in the beachside suburb with a goal of transforming it into their dream home.“I rented in Palm Beach from the early 1990s and I had always thought the suburb was undervalued,” she said.“It had quite a bad reputation early on as well.” CoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said further growth was expected on the Gold Coast this year. Photo: David ClarkCoreLogic research analyst Cameron Kusher said further growth was expected on the Gold Coast this year driven by cashed-up interstate buyers who have equity in their properties and are drawn to holiday homes on the Gold Coast.“We’re seeing growth coming back to the Gold Coast market and that’s been the trend for the past few years,” Mr Kusher said.“We’re also seeing demand from the investment market out of Sydney and Melbourne.”While the record-high is good news for homeowners, first-homebuyers are being pushed further out of the Glitter Strip.“It is a median price so the point to make is if you’re a first homebuyer you’re probably not going to be buying on the water,” Mr Kusher said.“But there’s lot of affordable houses on the Gold Coast — suburbs like Coomera — which are away from the Coast where there has been a lot of development.”Mr Newlands said getting into the Gold Coast property market was still achievable and encouraged first homebuyers to do their research.“There are still properties that are under $600,000 and if you go further north you can buy a house and land package for $450,000,” Mr Newlands said. Harcourts Coastal director Dane Atherton advises first homebuyers to “get into the market now”. Photo: Jerad WilliamsHarcourts Coastal director Dane Atherton predicted the median house price would increase by more than nine per cent this year.More from news02:37Purchasers snap up every residence in the $40 million Siarn Palm Beach North10 hours ago02:37International architect Desmond Brooks selling luxury beach villa1 day ago“I would say get into the market now because this time next year we will be saying it has gone up again,” Mr Atherton said.He said more first homebuyers were choosing to buy units rather than houses.“I would say it’s a trend where if you want to live in certain suburbs that are perhaps closer to the beach or closer to infrastructure, that’s one option that’s available,” Mr Atherton said.“The great benefit for the Gold Coast is we have affordable apartments here.” Hitting a median house price of $600,000 is a major milestone for the Coast according to REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman John Newlands.THE Gold Coast property market is firing with median house prices hitting a record-high of $600,000.In further proof the city is booming, CoreLogic data released this week reveals house prices are up 6.2 per cent over the 12 months to December, 2016 and 21.2 per cent over three years.The record trumps Brisbane by $85,000 and is just $25,500 short of Melbourne’s median price. Sydney’s median house price continues to outweigh every city in the country coming in at $905,000. CoreLogic data released this week reveals house prices on the Gold Coast are up 6.2 per cent over the 12 months to December, 2016.Hitting a median house price of $600,000 is a major milestone for the Coast according to REIQ Gold Coast zone chairman John Newlands, who previously predicted the record high.“I didn’t expect it to hit $600,000 so soon but I think people are still seeing good value here,” Mr Newlands said.“A lot of the focus was on the Sydney and Melbourne house markets over the past three years and that is now flowing through to people who realise there is value here.” Kendra Miller-Sherley, pictured with her children Taya and Kade Miller, says she feels fortunate to have bought in Palm Beach when she did. Photo: David ClarkOn reflection, the mother-of-two said the pair was extremely happy to have bought in Palm Beach when they did.“We really tossed up at the time of buying this place whether to go to Elanora or Currumbin where we could have got a bigger property that was completely ready to move in to,” she said. “But the proximity to the beach, parks and everything else we get here outweighed the other suburbs at the time.“Given the value increases here we are super happy we got in when we did.”“I really do feel sorry for young people that want this lifestyle but won’t be able to afford to get into the market.” Gold Coast median house prices 2016 $600,0002015 $565,0002014 $528,0002013 $495,0002012 $475,0002011 $490,0002010 $521,0002009 $497,7502008 $504,0002007 $487,0002006 $435,0002005 $414,000last_img read more

Drogba: Chelsea should turn to Mourinho

first_img He continued: “The fans want him back. He loves Chelsea. Because you want to rebuild a team and to give them the strength we had a few years ago, he could be the right person. He is a winner and is close to the players. He went to Inter and is at Real Madrid but is still talking about Chelsea, so he loves this club.” Mourinho had three years in charge at Chelsea in his first spell and has been strongly linked with a second stint in charge once interim boss Rafael Benitez departs in the summer. Mourinho had success with Inter Milan and Real Madrid since leaving the Premier League, but Drogba said: “I don’t think he has got over Chelsea and they haven’t got over him. “When he came he brought success; we won league titles back to back with some great football and the only thing he didn’t win was the Champions League. Maybe that is one of the reasons why he might want to come back. It is unfinished business.” Drogba, 35, may also be interested in joining Mourinho at Chelsea in some capacity, should club owner Roman Abramovich pursue a deal for the manager. Drogba, who was among Mourinho’s first signings at Chelsea in 2004, said: “Let me finish at Galatasaray first and then we will talk about that.” In January, Drogba signed an 18-month deal with the Turkish side. Didier Drogba believes Jose Mourinho’s passion for Chelsea could mean he returns for a second spell in charge at Stamford Bridge this summer. Former Chelsea striker Didier Drogba, who is set to line up for Galatasaray against Mourinho’s Real Madrid tonight in the Champions League, suspects the Portuguese manager has “unfinished business” with the Blues. And the Ivory Coast frontman, who converted the clinching spot-kick in last season’s Champions League final penalty shoot-out, claims Mourinho returning to west London would be an arrangement that suits everyone. Drogba said, according to several British newspapers: “I think for the club it is the best solution to bring Jose back.” center_img Press Associationlast_img read more