U.K. Prefers Spain’s Telefonica for Biggest Smart Meter Deal
Spain’s Telefonica SA is the preferred bidder for two smart metering communications contracts worth 1.5 billion pounds, says the U.K. government. This will be the industry’s biggest deal yet. Telefonica’s unit in Britain is favored to build networks that transmit information about usage from power and gas meters in Wales and Southern and Central England to data storage sites. The U.K. is compelling utilities to install more than 53 million power and gas meters by 2020 in a 12-billion pound program to help consumers cut energy use. The government said Telefonica’s two contracts would run for 15 years.
Japan Looks at Ice Walls to Halt Radioactive Water Leak
Turning soil into artificial permafrost using refrigerated coolant piped through the earth was first used a hundred and fifty years ago to shore up coal mines. Now, Japan is looking at the technology with hopes of containing the contaminated water leaks at Fukushima. The envisioned wall of ice would run 1.4 kilometers underground, and would be the world’s longest continuous stretch of artificially frozen earth. Kajima Corp., the construction company that was the principal builder of the Dai-Ichi nuclear plant, has been given until March 31, 2014, to complete a feasibility study of the project.
RWE Closes Unprofitable Power Plants to Boost Generation Unit
RWE AG will shut down power plants with hopes to revive profits at its electricity generating business. The company, which is Germany’s second-largest utility, will close 3,100 MW of power plants. Weak electricity demand in Europe and increased renewable energy production has led to power price slumps that reduced margins for gas and coal-fired plants. RWE is looking at the cost effectiveness of atomic power plants, planning to cut 2013 capital and will cut more jobs than previously announced, CEO Bernhard Guenther said. The utility also plans to raise as much as 5 billion euros by selling its Dea oil and gas unit.
BP Requests Denial Bid for Class-Action Investor Suit
BP Plc asked a federal judge to deny U.S. investors the right to pursue a class action lawsuit for misleading information about the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. The investors sued BP, claiming the company lied about the size of the worst offshore spill in U.S. history and its ability to control a deep-water blowout to bolster its share price. BP lawyers said in court that complainants must demonstrate that the alleged misrepresentations were publicly known, that the stock traded in an efficient market, and that the transaction occurred between the time the misrepresentations were made and the time the truth was revealed.