Still Seeking Buyer for Failing Arizona Coal Plant, Owners Are Running Out of Time

first_imgStill Seeking Buyer for Failing Arizona Coal Plant, Owners Are Running Out of Time FacebookTwitterLinkedInEmailPrint分享Associated Press:A coal-fired power plant in far northern Arizona is set to shut down in 2019 unless a new owner can be found. The deadline for interested buyers is Sunday.The operator of the 2,250-megawatt Navajo Generating Station, the Salt River Project, says the deadline will determine whether to maintain the plant for long-term use or plan to tear it down. The utility and other owners voted this year to shutter the plant on the Navajo Nation near Page because natural gas became a cheaper option for energy production than coal.Peabody Energy, the owner of the coal mine that feeds the power plant, sees it differently. It hired investment firm Lazard earlier this year to look for new owners.The Navajo Nation and the Hopi Tribe want a new owner, too, because their budgets rely heavily on the vast reserves of coal mined from near Kayenta. Environmentalists who have fought the power plant on health and environmental grounds say the tribes instead should focus on renewable energy.Here is a look at the economics of the plant and what’s expected Sunday:WHAT IS THE SITUATION WITH THE PLANT?The plant was built in 1969 to power water delivery to the state’s desert region through a 336-mile canal system. The sole coal supplier is Peabody Energy’s Kayenta Mine, which ships the coal to the plant via rail line.The plant became a steady supplier of electricity to Arizona, Nevada and California over the decades. But utilities increasingly are switching from coal to natural gas, which is cheaper and better for the environment, or renewables. As a result, the plant’s owners say financial considerations make it impossible to keep the location open, and they want to shut it down. The loss of the plant would kill the coal mine, where hundreds of tribal members work.WHO IS LOOKING FOR NEW OWNERS?Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says long-term operation of the plant is among the department’s top priorities.The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation owns a portion of the power generated from the plant and says it has to look out for the best interests of tribal governments. It is keeping the players talking about potential new ownership, cost-reduction at the power plant and mine, and new power buyers.But the customer base is dwindling. California cut out power from coal, and Nevada is doing the same. The largest user of power from the Navajo Generating Station, the Central Arizona Project, is in favor of ditching coal, too. Officials say they could have saved $38.5 million last year by buying power on the open market.Peabody argues that coal is more stable than natural gas, and it would offer a reduced price for it.WHO ARE THE POTENTIAL NEW OWNERS?No one will say. Prospective owners have signed confidentiality agreements. SRP gives them access to information on the plant, past performance, maintenance schedules and cost, existing lease agreements, the coal supply from Peabody Energy’s Kayenta Mine, staffing and union contracts through a virtual data room.SRP spokesman Scott Harelson says the utility has 14 signed non-disclosure agreements but it doesn’t know the level of interest.Peabody spokeswoman Beth Sutton wouldn’t say whether any serious contenders have been found, only that the company is pleased with the caliber of firms interested in the process.WHAT IS THE VALUE OF THE PLANT?Construction of the plant cost $650 million, according to SRP. Another $465 million went to pollution controls in later years. Harelson said the value now depends on how much money could be made running the plant.The owners don’t expect to make a huge profit if it sells.Operations and maintenance costs totaled $204 million in 2016. Environmental regulations also would factor in to future costs. The plant owners committed to shutting down one of the three units by 2020 to cut haze-causing nitrogen oxide emissions and install pollution controls on the other two units by 2030.WHAT HAPPENS OCT. 1?Harelson said it’s a firm deadline for interest from potential owners.Others see it as a softer deadline considering the Interior Department and Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, a former owner, have until Dec. 1 to sign off on the lease with the Navajo Nation that extended the plant’s operation through 2019.Harelson said Lazard has been communicating with the Navajo Nation, and SRP expects a list from the tribe by Sunday on interested buyers. Lazard didn’t return a call from The Associated Press. But a managing director, Juan Correa, told Arizona regulators earlier this year “the universe of buyers is relatively small.”WHAT’S IN IT FOR TRIBES?The Hopi Tribe’s interest is in coal royalties that make up 80 percent of its budget. Few of its members work at the power plant or mine.Hundreds of jobs for Navajos and 30 percent of the tribe’s budget would be lost if the plant and mine close. A new owner would have to negotiate a lease with Navajo.Meghan Cox, a spokeswoman for Navajo President Russell Begaye, said the tribe is hopeful for ownership proposals and looks forward to reviewing them.Percy Deal, a Navajo who lives south of the coal mine, says the Navajo Nation should stop wasting time thinking a new owner will come aboard. He said the economics don’t support keeping a coal plant open.More: Sunday deadline for interest in Navajo coal plant approacheslast_img read more

Read More →

EMV trends on the horizon

first_imgAs 2016 progresses, there is much promise ahead for increased EMV chip card adoption. Already, merchants accepting EMV have noted a distinct shift in their usage among consumers. About 70 percent of Walmart’s and Target’s transactions per day are made with chip cards. The Home Depot has experienced similar growth with over 50 percent of its transactions made with chip cards. Other larger merchants, including Target, anticipate similar numbers down the line.Although more merchants are accepting EMV chip cards, many have not yet adapted to the new technology. A recent survey found only 41 percent of merchants are ready to accept EMV payments. Merchants resisting the change may be trying to avoid implementation costs. Others may be apprehensive about perceived implementation pains, or their acquiring vendors have not yet secured EMV solutions.While some merchants, like Walmart, are experiencing rapid success with their chip card transactions, others have noted a few hiccups. McDonald’s has begun testing EMV technology at the point-of-sale (POS) and noticed a perceived increase in the length of time it takes for EMV transactions to process. As a fast food operation that focuses on speed, McDonald’s values quick payment transactions. In 2016, McDonald’s will continue to revisit its transaction flow to minimize transaction times. As McDonald’s does this, it will be interesting to see how quick service restaurants will verify payments as time goes on.In the year ahead, merchants and financial institution (FI) issuers may also notice the following EMV trends:American Express and other national brands moving to dual-interface: Dual-interface cards are contact cards that also enable contactless payments. This gives cardholders the added security of EMV, while allowing them to make tap and go payments. Credit unions issuing these dual-interface cards have an extra arrow in their quiver, giving cardholders the ability to conduct transactions at any terminal. Merchant unification for POS activity: There has not yet been a standard established for how EMV chip cards are processed or how the transaction flows through each application. As a result, cardholders making a transaction at one merchant’s terminal may not have the same transaction experience somewhere else. Once a standard procedure is established across all EMV terminals, there will be a more consistent, efficient transaction flow for cardholders.EMV continues to gain momentum in the marketplace. FIs, merchants and cardholders alike may need to embrace the latest trends in EMV technology as they emerge. ATM and fuel dispenser migration in 2017: The next big step following the October 2015 liability shift is for ATMs and fuel dispensers to migrate to EMV. The migration process for these terminals will be slower than merchants as the implementation costs are much higher. Visa and MasterCard propose that credit unions, fuel retailers and other locations with ATMs should make the shift by 2017. Quick service restaurants migrating to EMV acceptance: As noted earlier, McDonald’s has already begun migrating to EMV. Once McDonald’s streamlines its transaction flow to align with its emphasis on speed, other restaurants may follow suit. EMV terminals may even be implemented right at dining tables, enabling fast and easy bill payments at sit-down restaurants.center_img The sun setting on MSD technology: MSD refers to magnetic strip data, an older method of reading contactless payment transactions. Merchants trying to read current contactless EMV transactions using MSD technology have experienced frequent card declines. Visa and MasterCard are pushing to complete a shift away from this technology by 2017. They are also currently looking for strategies to steer merchants away from MSD technology. 46SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Chole Casber Chole Casber is a product manager for TMG. In his role, Chole is responsible for various product lines from ideation through rollout, including EMV. Chole is also focused on identifying … Web: www.tmg.global Detailslast_img read more

Read More →

Football News Lionel Messi scores twice, Argentina warm-up for Copa America with 5-1 win over Nicaragua

first_imgArgentina have not won a major trophy since 1993.Argentina plays Colombia in Salvador before taking on Paraguay and Asian champions Qatar.Nicaragua are competing in the Gold Cup for the second time. highlights San Juan: Lionel Messi scored a first-half double as Argentina warmed up for the Copa America with a comprehensive 5-1 win over Nicaragua on Friday in San Juan. The Central Americans, who will participate in this month’s Gold Cup tournament while Argentina battles it out in Brazil, frustrated the home side initially. But it was left to captain Messi to spark his side into action in their only warm-up match ahead of the tournament, expertly opening the scoring on 37 minutes before grabbing another just 96 seconds later. Lautaro Martinez, the Inter Milan forward, also scored twice, coming off the substitutes bench at half-time to give coach Lionel Scaloni food for thought ahead of the opening match with Colombia on June 15. Scaloni, brought in after Jorge Sampaoli was sacked following a disastrous showing at the World Cup last summer, is aiming to build a younger team and end Argentina’s 26-year wait for a trophy.     Indeed, in Scaloni’s Copa America squad only Messi, Sergio Aguero and Angel Di Maria remain from the one that was beaten by Germany in the World Cup final in Rio five years ago. An on-song Messi, however, is needed for the South Americans to prosper over the next few weeks. Messi has lost three Copa finals — 2007, 2015 and 2016 — and the last time Argentina won an international title was in the same competition back in 1993 when the diminutive forward was just six years old. They have reached four of the last five finals.  With Brazil missing the injured Neymar for the showpiece event, which starts on June 14, Argentina is one of the favourites.RELATED     Early on in Friday’s first meeting between Argentina and Nicaragua, Scaloni’s team failed to inspire in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina. Aguero looked dangerous in the opening stages and Messi really should have done better on 12 minutes when he uncharacteristically shot wide from close range. Nicaragua, however, were defending well while regularly asserting their physicality — Messi was twice hauled down in the opening half hour — to frustrate Argentina and their supporters. River Plate’s Matias Suarez had a shot pushed onto the post by visiting keeper Justo Lorente on 26 minutes but the two time World Champions were being made to work hard for openings.     Nicaragua, ranked 129th in the world and competing in their second successive Gold Cup, will prove a stern test for Costa Rica, Haiti and Bermuda despite this thrashing. They have yet to win a game in two appearances at the tournament — lost six with just one goal scored — but won’t go down without a fight. Messi, however, is a danger for any team and his brilliant run and finish saw the Barcelona star beat three defenders before clinically finishing past Lorente. He grabbed his second soon after when Aguero’s shot was parried. Scaloni withdrew key men Messi and Aguero at half-time, which allowed Martinez, 21, to impress with a well-taken effort on 63 and 72 minutes.     Watford’s Roberto Pereyra made it five with nine minutes remaining while Nicaragua’s deserved consolation came through Juan Barrera’s late penalty. Argentina plays Colombia in Salvador before taking on Paraguay and Asian champions Qatar in Group B.center_img For all the Latest Sports News News, Football News News, Download News Nation Android and iOS Mobile Apps.last_img read more

Read More →