West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Plans

first_img FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Darren Sweeney for SNL:West Virginia regulatory staff have asked FirstEnergy Corp.’s utilities to explain why buying an existing coal-fired power plant is the best option for meeting future generation needs. The utilities also were asked to provide the additional costs needed to retrofit a supercritical, coal-fired plant to meet federal environmental requirements.Monongahela Power Co. and fellow FirstEnergy subsidiary Potomac Edison Co. submitted their integrated resource plan late last year to the Public Service Commission of West Virginia. Mon Power, which supplies the generation needs for Potomac Edison’s West Virginia service territory, predicted a capacity shortfall of more than 850 MW by 2027 and said that purchasing existing generation facilities or co-firing its coal plants with gas are likely the best options to meet this need. (Case No. 15-2002-E-P)Guggenheim Securities LLC analyst Shahriar Pourreza noted in a March 15 research report that opponents of the plan are concerned that FirstEnergy is attempting to place one of its merchant coal plants into the West Virginia utilities’ rate base.Retrofitting would cost approximately $55 million to $80 million for each unit at the coal plants, which Mon Power breaks down to $85 per MW for the three units at Harrison and $140 per MW for the two units at Fort Martin.The utilities said they did not factor in the additional costs needed to meet the minimal EPA requirements under the Clean Power Plan since the regulations remain under litigation and “have yet to be defined in the state implementation plans.”Regulatory staff, however, also are skeptical of the effect on reliability during the retrofitting.“How can the Company remain in compliance with [PJM Interconnection LLC] requirements when at any given outage to retrofit a generating unit with co-fired natural gas burners, generation will be down by at least 546 MW?” the PSC staff asked.Full article ($): W Va. regulatory staff seek answers on FirstEnergy utilities’ coal generation plans West Virginia Regulatory Staff Seek Answers on FirstEnergy Coal-Generation Planslast_img read more

Retail govt bond coupon of 6.4% attractive for investors: Analysts

first_imgThe Finance Ministry’s announcement of a 6.4 percent fixed coupon rate for retail government bonds series ORI-017 is a relatively attractive valuation for retail investors, analysts say.Mandiri Sekuritas head of fixed income research Handy Yunianto said the coupon rate reflected a 90 basis points (bps) spread with the Deposit Insurance Corporation (LPS) deposit rate, which is higher than the spread of the previous ORI series.Although the previous ORI-016 offered a higher coupon rate of 6.8 percent, the spread was only 30 bps above the LPS rate at that time. “The current series actually has a bigger spread due to the lowering of the LPS guaranteed interest rate, which has fallen quite deep along with the fall of Bank Indonesia’s [BI] rate,” Handy told The Jakarta Post on Friday.BI has cut its benchmark interest rate by 50 bps so far this year to 4.5 percent in an effort to stabilize the economy amid the volatility caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Meanwhile, the LPS rate has fallen 75 bps to 5.5 percent during the same period. “That coupon rate is still attractive because it is higher than the deposit rate,” RHB Sekuritas Indonesia assistant vice president Adra Wijasena told the Post. The coupon rate was “reasonable and aligned with investor’s expectation”, he added, citing the yield of the three-year-tenor government debt paper (SUN) of 6.38 percent as of Thursday, according to data from the Indonesia Bond Pricing Agency (IBPA). The ORI-017 series also has a tenor of three years, set to mature on July 15, 2023. Adra added that aside from the attractive rate, retail government bonds were still considered a good investment vehicle as the 15 percent tax for bonds was still lower than the 20 percent tax for time deposits. ORI-017, which will be offered from June 15 to July 9, will be available online across 25 of the DJPPR’s distribution partners including banks, brokerage houses and fintech. The minimum order is Rp 1 million (US$70.23) and the maximum is Rp 3 billion. ORI will only become tradable between domestic investors after a two-month minimum holding period that ends on Sept. 15. According to the latest data from the Finance Ministry’s debt management office (DMO), retail investors owned Rp 95.45 trillion in rupiah-denominated government bonds, around 3.1 percent of the total outstanding bonds, as of June 8. During a webinar held as part of the Post’s webinar series “Jakpost Up Close” on Wednesday, Handy spoke about the low level of individual participation in the bond market. As of June 10, retail investors only held around 3 percent of tradable government bonds, or Rp 95.6 trillion out of the total Rp 3.07 quadrillion, according to data from the DMO.Foreign investors, on the other hand, dominate ownership, holding 30 percent, while banks own 31.7 percent.Despite this, enthusiasm from retail investors has appeared to grow steadily in recent years, as seen by the increase in new retail investor clients across different securities companies. As of 2019, Mandiri Sekuritas had 119,000 retail clients, up from 95,000 the previous year, accounting for around 25 percent of new client growth per year. During the first four months of this year, it booked 11,000 new retail customers. The securities company has been appointed as one of the 25 distribution partners for ORI-017. Digital investment portal Tanamduit, another official distribution partner for government bonds, reported that the number of customers registering on its platform had increased 31 percent to more than 230,000 people as of the end of May. According to a DMO press statement, the process to purchase ORI-017 online will be divided into four phases: registration, billing order, payment and settlement. Retail investors are encouraged to contact one of the 25 distribution partners to place purchase orders through their electronic systems. Topics :last_img read more

McLaren Headed Back to Indy 500 and Eventually IndyCar

first_imgMcLaren made the Indianapolis 500 its personal playground in the 1970s with three victories in 10 appearances. Then the manufacturer was done, back to England with a focus on Formula One and no time for “The Greatest Spectacle in Racing.”Fernando Alonso’s quest to win motorsports version of the Triple Crown has sparked a renewed interest in Indy for McLaren, which has entered next month’s race while exploring an eventual full-time entry in IndyCar. McLaren and its trademark papaya orange car will be back on the track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway on Wednesday for a test, the first time the team has been an official participant for the 500 since Johnny Rutherford won in 1976.Alonso had McLaren’s support in his 2017 Indianapolis 500 debut, but he drove for Andretti Autosport and McLaren as a team carried little responsibility.This May, the entire effort will be from McLaren.“It’s definitely more nerve-wracking than when we did it with Andretti,” said McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, an American and former Indianapolis resident. “Michael did everything and you knew it was going to be a mega car. We’ve started this thing from scratch. We built the cars ourselves, put the team together, and they’re all experienced guys, but we’re rookies.”FILE – In this May 27, 2017, file photo, Fernando Alonso, of Spain, waits for the start of the drivers meeting for the Indianapolis 500 auto race at Indianapolis Motor Speedway, in Indianapolis. McLaren will put a car on track at Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the first time since 1976 when Fernando Alonso tests Wednesday. Alonso is trying to win motorsports version of the Triple Crown, while the famed manufacturer is considering a return to IndyCar competition. (AP Photo/Darron Cummings, File)It is a tremendous undertaking for McLaren, which desperately does not want to embarrass itself or Alonso. The two-time Formula One champion has wins at Monaco and Le Mans on his resume and adding the 500 would allow him to join Graham Hill as the only drivers to complete the sweep.A fallout in F1 with engine supplier Honda hurt Brown’s bargaining to get Alonso back with Andretti or another established team, and Roger Penske wasn’t interested in adding the Spaniard to his Chevrolet lineup. But Chevy was willing to give Alonso an engine, so Brown decided McLaren would go ahead and enter Indianapolis on its own.Brown picked a team of McLaren employees and they built Alonso’s car at their England headquarters and shipped it to Indianapolis for Wednesday’s session. Alonso was on the track earlier this month for a day of testing at Texas Motor Speedway in a different car, built by IndyCar team Carlin as part of a technical alliance McLaren struck to ensure it is properly prepared. That car will be Alonso’s backup next month.“All the people that are on the (Indy) team put their hand up and said, ‘I really want to go to Indy,’ so there’s a lot of enthusiasm,” Brown said. “We’re taking it on. We’re doing it ourselves.”Alonso, following a full day at Texas in which Rutherford was on hand to observe, said he is confident he will have a solid entry from McLaren. He led 27 laps in the Andretti entry in 2017 and might have been in contention to win had his engine not expired 21 laps from the finish.His previous appearance exposed him to the enormity of the event, and Alonso said he is ready to go.“I feel quite a lot more prepared. I know the race, the atmosphere of the 500, the drivers’ parade, I know the formation laps. I know a lot of things that you spend energy on your first time there because everything comes as a surprise,” he said. “I think that energy, I can save it now. I know how it goes, so I can go into the rhythm of the race, come into qualifying with a little bit more energy and more concentration.“I don’t want to take for granted anything. I want to review every single race from the past, start from zero with engineers and everything. I want to make as much preparation as possible.”The attention will be on Alonso, who captivated the audience and proved to be a popular addition to the field two years ago. But scrutiny will be on McLaren and its preparation for a fulltime IndyCar entry. McLaren announced last week it will enter a sports car in IMSA next season, and Brown believes its deliberate approach has allowed the F1 effort to improve even amid expansion to different series.“We wouldn’t have gone to the effort we’ve gone in buying equipment and doing what we’re doing if we did not have an intention to get in (IndyCar) at some point,” Brown said. “I don’t know if it’ll be (next year). I think it’s more of a when than an if we all want to do it.”By: Jenna Fryer, AP Auto Racing WriterTweetPinShare0 Shareslast_img read more