Region-Building: Common Objectives Part 2
INTEGRATED REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE
African Development Bank Proposes Infrastructure Bond For Africa – Bernama (Malaysia), August 18, 2012 – Bank president Donald Kaberuka said the investment would add up to US$22 billion and this could be used to finance construction of infrastructure such as rail, roads and power plants.
East Africa: Region Agrees On Joint Infrastructure Development – AllAfrica, November 16, 2012 – The ministers of Infrastructure and Energy from the East African Community (EAC) have agreed on a mechanism that will ensure joint contribution to the implementation of regional infrastructure projects.
ECOWAS nudges member states on regional infrastructure development – Afrique en Ligue, November 10, 2012 – While underlining the catalytic role infrastructure can play in the achievement of the ECOWAS Vision 2020, the Vice-President solicited stronger commitment and support to enhance the operations of the West African Power Pool, the ECOWAS Regional Electricity Regulatory Authority, the ECOWAS Centre for the Promotion of Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency as well as the West African Gas pipeline Authority and the ECOWAS Bank for investment and Development.
East Africa gets ready for common tourist visa – IPPMedia, November 4, 2012 – The East African Community is finalizing plans for a single destination visa that will offer tourists to the region the opportunity to visit different parts of East Africa.
West Africa: €323 million power agreement signed – “This project is going to inter-connect all the ECOWAS countries….”….The World Bank has promised 103.668m Euros, African Development Bank 103.011m Euros, European Investment Bank 72.347m Euros and 13.116m Euros will be contributed by the respective governments.
Africa aims to implement 15 cross-border energy projects worth $40.5bn by 2020 – Engineering News, September 25, 2012 – The project portfolio, which has been identified and selected partly on the basis of the projects’ ability to enhance cross-border energy-market development, embraces nine hydroelectricity generation developments, four transmission corridors and two pipelines, one for oil and the other for gas.
Namibia: Ambitious Power Project in Pipeline – AllAfrica, July 13, 2012 – Once it sees the light of day the project will add a new western leg to north-south transmission links between Zimbabwe, Zambia, Botswana, Namibia and South Africa. Energy Ministers from the four Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries are also expected to sign agreements supporting the construction of a power line running from Zambia, through Zimbabwe, Botswana and Namibia to reinforce the SAPP power grid….The project is ranked as a Southern Africa Power Pool (SAPP) priority project and a flagship African Union regional integration initiative
World Bank grants loan for Kenya-Ethiopia power line – Sabahi, July 12, 2012 – This new Eastern Electricity Highway Project marks the first phase of $1.3-billion power integration project for East Africa, which will benefit 212 million people living in five countries. [The Sabahi web site is sponsored by the United States Africa Command.]
Southern Africa: SADC Infrastructure Plan Ready for Approval – AllAfrica, July 6, 2012 – If endorsed by the southern African leaders, the master plan would guide development in key infrastructure such as road, rail and ports, and would also act as a framework for planning and cooperation with development partners and the private sector….It is also in line with the African Union’s Programme for Infrastructure Development of Africa (PIDA) and will constitute a key input into the proposed tripartite Free Trade Area made up of SADC [Southern African Development Community], the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and the East African Community (EAC).
East African railway master plan gets funding – International Railway Journal, August 24, 2012 – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has provided $US 500m to the East African Community (EAC), which covers Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda and Burundi, to roll out projects under its Railway Master Plan starting this year.
Asean’s power play – Bangkok Post, November 12, 2012 – For Asean, the creation of smart grids and the Asean Power Grid (APG) are an opportunity for the region, and it should learn from the mistakes of other regions such as Europe.
ASEAN senior officials meet in Cambodia to discuss bloc’s energy security – Philippine Star, July 3, 2012 – The meeting is also to follow up the ASEAN Plan of Actions for Energy Cooperation (2010-2015), which is focused on ASEAN Power Grid, Trans-ASEAN Gas Pipeline, Coal and Clean Coal Technologies, New and Renewable Energy, Energy Efficiency and Conservation, and Civilian Nuclear Energy.
ASEAN, ADB launch biggest ever infrastructure fund – Philippine Information Agency, May 6, 2012 – The 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations’ (ASEAN) has launched its largest financing initiative….The ASEAN Infrastructure Fund will finance the development of road, rail, power, water and other critical infrastructure needs, which are estimated at about $60 billion a year. “This is a watershed moment for ASEAN nations working together to finance infrastructure projects that will boost trade, foster economic growth and create more job opportunities for the half a billion people who call ASEAN home,” said Rajat Nag, Managing Director General of ADB.
Construction of railway linking ASEAN finishes – China Daily, August 14, 2012 – Construction workers on Tuesday laid the last piece of a railway that will link Southwest China’s Yunnan Province with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries.
Gov’t eyes Asean power projects – Philippine Daily Inquirer, July 23, 2012 – The Philippine government has started preliminary talks with its neighbors on plans to participate in a regional energy integration through two significant projects in the pipeline—the Asean Power Grid and the Trans-Asean Pipeline Project.
Thailand’s New Infrastructure Projects To Link With Asean Countries – Bernama (Malaysia), August 30, 2012 – Deputy Prime Minister and Finance Minister Kittirat Na-Ranong said the projects are aimed at linking Thailand with other member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean).
With free-trade pact ratified, Ukraine to seek natgas pipeline access – Ukrainian Journal, August 31, 2012 – Ukraine, citing a recently ratified free trade accord, will seek to get access to the Russian natural gas pipelines to start imports of gas from Central Asia, a senior official said.
Expert: cheaper Russian gas supply expected on Eurasian Union’s agenda – PanArmenian, August 27, 2012 – The problem of Russian gas supply to Eurasian Union’s new members below world market prices will be resolved in the framework of the Union, RA NAS Oriental Studies Institute representative said.
Kazakhstan to supply oil to Belarus after creation of Eurasian Economic Union – PennEnergy, August 24, 2012 – Kazakhstan will supply oil to Belarusian refineries after creation of the Eurasian Economic Union, Kazakh ambassador to Belarus Yergali Bulegenov has said.
Russia Uses Gas to Pressure Armenia on Eurasian Union – ArmeniaLiberty.org (press review), August 16, 2012 – “Hraparak” says that the price of Russian gas is Russia’s only strong lever for exerting pressure on Armenia. “Russia sells gas to Armenia at a price slightly below the market level,” writes the paper. “Armenian government representatives are in no rush to specify Armenia’s official position on the Eurasian Union.
With free-trade pact ratified, Ukraine to seek natgas pipeline access – Ukrainian Journal, August 14, 2012 – Ukraine, citing a recently ratified free trade accord, will seek to get access to the Russian natural gas pipelines to start imports of gas from Central Asia, a senior official said Monday. Valeriy Muntian, the government envoy for cooperation with Russia, the CIS, Eurasian Union, and other regional organizations, made the comment days after the free trade deal was signed by Yanukovych.
EU Urges Nations to Step Up Power, Gas Market Integration – Bloomberg Businessweek, November 15, 2012 – The European Union urged the bloc’s national governments to step up integration of power and natural-gas markets in order to reduce energy prices and ensure secure supplies.
Greece Plans Road, Rail, Airport Projects to Boost Growth – Bloomberg, August 28, 2012 – The government is negotiating the creation of a Greek investment fund, supported by European Union mo
GULF COOPERATION COUNCIL:
Oman linked to GCC power grid – Times of Oman, November 5, 2012 – All the three phases of GCC power grid linking all the six Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries have been completed and the grid is successfully in operation, said Dr Ali Al Ghafri, a senior official at the Public Authority for Electricity and Water (PAEW).
Meet adopts tech aspects of GCC railway project – Oman Daily Observer, Septemer 16, 2012 – The meeting adopted the technical specifications booklet of the GCC railway project, which links the capitals of the GCC countries from Kuwait to Muscat.
GCC to spend $252 Billion on energy over next 5 years – Bikya Masr (Egypt), August 27, 2012 – Pushing better energy models has been a stalwart of the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries in recent years….Among the projects on tap are new power production plants, distribution systems and supply grids…
Abu Dhabi Leads Gulf Nations With Oil Pipe to Avoid Iran – Bloomberg, July 13, 2012 – The $3.3 billion link across the United Arab Emirates to the port of Fujairah, to be inaugurated July 15, ensures that at least some Abu Dhabi crude will reach buyers if Iran shuts the waterway….In 2003, the six nations comprising the Gulf Cooperation Council — Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Kuwait, Qatar, Bahrain and Oman — began weighing a regional plan to build a pipeline from southern Iraq through Kuwait and Saudi Arabia to Oman. The Arab group decided in 2007 not to proceed.
GCC Now Stronger Than Ever Before: Al-Zayani – Eurasia Review, June 13, 2012 – Meanwhile, a meeting of GCC water and electricity ministers has approved a study on linking the member states water networks as well as the GCC water strategy. “I am confident that GCC water network will become a reality like the GCC power grid,” said Water and Electricity Minister Abdullah Al-Hussayen.
GCC countries plan huge infrastructure investments – Al-Bawaba, Jan. 1, 2012 – The most ambitious project, valued at U.S. $ 30 billion, is the railroad that will connect all the countries of the GCC [Gulf Cooperation Council], whose construction is scheduled to begin in 2012. For roads construction, investments are put at $ 18 billion.
For GCC Countries, a Challenge Within Reach: The Gulf Rail Network – PolicyMic, August 21, 2012 – A significant part of the spending has been allocated to much-needed infrastructure projects. Among these, an ambitious project to construct an approximately 1,200 mile rail route extending from Kuwait to Oman and linking all GCC countries, with the possible inclusion of Yemen in the future.
Public-private partnerships vital in GCC – Zawya, August 10, 2012 – The six Gulf countries that have historically been investing state funds generated from huge oil windfalls in infrastructure and development projects, could take advantage of the presence of a more mature private sector by forging partnerships in executing infrastructure projects.
[“Public-Private partnership” is a euphemism for big-government/big-business fascism and is a characteristic of all the world’s geopolitical/economic regions.]
Bridge gap for Gulf Common Market – Gulf News (Dubai, UAE), August 23, 2012 – Each Gulf state needs to strengthen its efforts in extending the same facilities to nationals of other Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) countries — be it investment, employment, education and property ownership….The GCC also needs to expand the physical infrastructure to allow greater cross-border mobility….In this regard, the GCC Power Grid and the GCC Railway need to be fast-tracked…. Otherwise, the GCM will remain a dream, let alone the single currency and the GCC Monetary Union.
[Nearly all of the infrastructure components necessary to build a geopolitical regional jurisdiction are pointed out in this article, and all are being implemented in North America. Notice that education facilities are to be offered to to people from other member nations. Is that not indicative of the real motive behind the various proposals from both democrats (Obama) and republicans (Rubio) in the U.S. for a “Dream Act” for illegal immigrant children from Mexico?]
Houston’s I-69 traffic expected to soar to 350,000 by 2035 – Houston Chronicle, August 6, 2012 – Experts say traffic will increase regardless of whether the so-called NAFTA Superhighway, envisioned two decades ago as a trade route from Mexico through Houston to Canada, is fully built. Gov. Rick Perry initially proposed a more elaborate Trans-Texas Corridor that would be an entirely new thoroughfare that included room for rail and utilities.
[The North American Highway system is part of the North American regional infrastructure project that includes the Keystone pipeline. Similar regional infrastructure projects are underway in the ASEAN region, SAARC, the Arab League, the GCC, the African Union, and UNASUR.]
TransCanada Expects Keystone XL Approval After Obama Re-election – Fox Business, (This article was originally published Friday.) Published November 12, 2012 Dow Jones Newswires – November 9, 2012 – TransCanada Corp. (TRP) still expects to receive White House approval for its 830,000-barrels-a-day Keystone XL pipeline project after President Barack Obama’s re-election, the company said Wednesday.
Re-Elected Obama Has No Reason to Block Keystone Pipeline – Bloomberg, November 13, 2012 – Since then, the company has rerouted and….now Obama has won re-election, removing any need to pretend the pipeline’s surpassing value to U.S. energy security is undermined by its environmental risks.
Keystone pipeline pushed to forefront – Obama pressed for quick decision – Washington Times, November 7, 2012 – With a second term now in hand, President Obama no longer can delay a decision on the Keystone XL pipeline and must either side with environmentalists within his party or greenlight a major step toward North American energy independence.
Part of Keystone pipeline to go ahead, company says – MSNBC, Feb. 27, 2012 – In the meantime, the company noted Monday, the section from Cushing, Okla., to the Texas Gulf Coast will be built….The section north of Nebraska is currently being built…
Texas Keystone Pipeline Critics Resist Use of Eminent Domain – AOL Energy, October 25, 2012 – In a state that has always been heavily dependent on oil, Crawford acknowledged she’s in a minority in resisting the industry but said she’s motivated by what she called TransCanada’s “bullying” tactics, and by the fact that it is a foreign corporation, whose product she said seems likely to be sent for export rather than to increase North American energy independence.
Trade corridors need protection from protectionism – Winnipeg Free Press, September 25, 2012 (Opinion) – Improving transportation for the flow of people and movement of goods is the focus of this week’s meeting in Winnipeg of the North American Corridor Coalition (NASCO), the tri-national association of heartland states and provinces, cities and business that support more than a trillion dollars in continental commerce.The infrastructure that serves our production chains — our roads and rail lines, our sea and airports, our power grids and pipelines that fuel our factories and offices — must link seamlessly.
[NASCO was one of the original point organizations pushing the North American Highway system, as shown in this illustration from a few years ago. At that time, the idea of a North American Highway was derided as a “conspiracy theory,” and many politicians denied the plan’s existence, but it is now is admitted and openly advocated by globalists. The highway is part of a North American infrastructure plan that includes railroads, pipelines and utility grids. The Keystone X pipeline is part of the network.]
A pan-Canadian pipeline? No, thanks. – iPolitics (Canada), September 21, 2012 (Opinion) – North American energy independence, in addition to the perimeter security deal currently being implemented, would be the perfect precondition for joint North American foreign policy ventures….
NAFTA Triumverate Moves to Further Cement Continental Union – Pacific Free Press, April 10, 2012 – On April 2, President Barack Obama hosted Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Mexican President Felipe Calderon for the sixth North American Leaders Summit….In their joint communique, the leaders recognized, “the growing regional and federal cooperation in the area of continental energy, including electricity generation… They emphasized the need to deepen, “cooperation to enhance our collective energy security, including the safe and efficient exploration and exploitation of resources.”….Mexico’s drug war is increasingly being seen as a continental problem that requires continental solutions which is further pushing the NAFTA partnership into a common security front. This is escalating the militarization of the borders, integration in areas of law enforcement and the military, as well as advancing the development of a North American security perimeter.
A New Chapter of NAFTA Unfolds – Financial Post (National Post – Canada), August 29, 2012 – “San Antonio is the hub of NAFTA,” says [Mexican Business Association Chairman Eduardo Bravo]. “It…serves as a vital center for NAFTA related surface trade and logistics, with Interstate 35—the Pan American Highway—and Interstate 10 providing unparalleled distribution access for every direction in North America.”
NAFTA 20 years later: North American leaders announce summit, promise NAFTA 2.0 – Examiner.com, August 30, 2012 – Originally dubbed the Trans Texas Corridor in Texas, four major trade corridors will run through Texas and eventually up into Canada: La Entrada al Pacifico, Ports to Plains, I-35, and I-69. Canamex will run from the border of Mexico through Arizona up into Montana connecting to Canada. But there are 12 total, with BC to Baja, Camino Real, Gulf Crescent, I-75, Spirit, North-South, and Trans-Can Connector rounding out the planned NAFTA superhighways (see larger map here).
Towards regional electricity trade
Kuensel (Bhutan), September 2, 2012 – “This would call for construction of numerous cross-border transmission lines and pooling stations, both within Bhutan and India…” ….SAARC countries can share energy through cross border interconnections.
Bid time for importing power from India extended – Financial Express (Bangladesh), June 6, 2012 – Officials said the electricity from India will help ease Bangladesh’s electricity crisis….It will also help establish a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) electricity grid. Currently India has a power link with Bhutan.
The ‘Great Game’ of Influence in Afghanistan Continues But with Different Players – Fox News, June 10, 2012 – The US has, what it describes as a “New Silk Road” strategy that involves attempting to improve trade ties between the countries of central Asia and the Indian sub-continent. The aim of it is to bring economic prosperity to the region and hopefully that will undermine the extremists. The US is also promoting the benefits of the TAPI pipeline project that would bring natural gas from Turkmenistan across Afghanistan to markets in Pakistan and India.
[This is a vague, misleading description of the real objective: the integration of Afghanistan into the geopolitical region-building of SAARC (South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation) that is comprised of Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Maldives, Nepal, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.]
IEX keen on setting up SAARC regional power exchange – Hindu Business Line, November 1, 2012 – Indian Energy Exchange (IEX) wants the SAARC members to consider having a ‘SAARC-based power market’, a regional power exchange. IEX is open to operating as a regional power exchange.
Let’s tap into TAPI! – Pakistan Today, October 12, 2012 – Pakistan can resolve its energy crisis by expediting work on The Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India (TAPI) Gas Pipeline Project, Ambassador of Turkmenistan to Pakistan Atadjan Movlamov said Thursday.
The New Silk Road Strategy – Pakistan Today, October 1, 2012 – New Delhi has invested in the new 2000-kilometer pipeline which would cost around $7.6 billion and bring 70 billion cubic meters of gas from Daulatabad gas fields of Turkmenistan to India through Afghanistan and Pakistan. The agreements between Pakistan and India and other SAARC countries have confirmed the new economic integration.
NEW SILK ROAD: STABILIZING AFGHANISTAN POST-2014 – Open Democracy, May 29, 2012 – US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton introduced the ‘New Silk Route’ initiative with her counterpart, the Afghan Foreign Minister Zalmai Rassoul. This New Silk Road would once again create trade routes between Asia and the West, facilitated by the establishment of modern highways, rail links and energy pipelines. Certainly, such an initiative is part of the wider transition program envisioned by the US, which has already shifted its focus from stabilisation projects to investment in Afghanistan. It is also arguably a process intended on assisting the withdrawal of the US from Afghanistan, by creating a viable environment ultimately giving way to “spurring growth, and integrating Afghanistan into the economy of South and Central Asia.”
‘TAPI GAS PIPELINE TO FOSTER REGIONAL COOPERATION’ – Daily Times (Pakistan), May 22, 2012 – The Turkmenistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and India (TAPI) pipeline offers benefit to all four participating countries and has the potential to enhance regional cooperation, said SAARC Chamber of Commerce and Industry (CCI) President Vikramjit Sahney…
THE CLASH OF EURASIAN GRAND STRATEGIES – The National Interest, May 1, 2012 – While the United States is clearly eager for the entire region to be developed, later Clinton highlighted one of the U.S. key rationales for this approach: “An Afghanistan firmly embedded in the economic life of a thriving South and Central Asia would be better able to attract new sources of foreign investment, connect to markets abroad and provide people with credible alternatives to insurgency.” In other words, it is a strategy focused on tying Afghanistan economically into its neighborhood, which will help facilitate American withdrawal.
Towards regional electricity trade – Kuensel (Bhutan), September 2, 2012 – “This would call for construction of numerous cross-border transmission lines and pooling stations, both within Bhutan and India…” ….SAARC countries can share energy through cross border interconnections.
‘Afghanistan can be rebuilt by making it trade, energy hub’ – India Minister of State for External Affairs E Ahamed, Business Standard (India), June 17, 2012 – I believe that India’s active presence in the region will contribute to stability and development in the entire Central and South Asia region. In this analysis, we must factor in the regional situation and especially the challenge of rebuilding the Afghan nation. A cooperative approach for embedding Afghanistan into a more meaningful regional economic and security framework, would have benefits for the entire region. One way is to work towards converting Afghanistan into a hub for trade and energy, connecting Central and South Asia…
The connectivity conundrum in Bangladesh – The Hindu, Feb. 19, 2012 – “We are ready to send and receive cargo from Bhutan, India and Nepal,” Mangla Port Chairman Commodore M.A.K. Azad told visiting journalists….marking a major turn in ties among the four SAARC members. Close by, another symbol of SAARC cooperation — a thermal plant to be jointly built by Bangladesh and India — is taking shape.
Unasur to Spend 116 Billion Dollars in Infrastructure – AmericaeEonomica (Madrid, Spain), November 19, 2012 (Google translation) – The Union of South American Nations (Unasur) has decided to implement 531 infrastructure projects valued at 116,000 million, of which six are located in Peru and has been assured Minister of Transport and Communications of the country, Carlos Paredes.
Cosiplan delegates will meet to discuss rail system – La Nacion (Paraguay), June 21, 2012 (Google Translation) – In the second fortnight of August this year, will meet in Asuncion Council delegates [to the] South American Infrastructure and Planning (COSIPLAN) under the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR)….At this meeting, members will attend the working group on rail integration in the region.
South America eyes $21bn infrastructure projects – Business Recorder, April 24, 2012 – The scheme, which will require more than $21 billion in private and public investment, was unveiled at a seminar organized by the powerful Federation of Sao Paulo State Industries (FIESP), the 12-nation Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) and the Brazilian government. It calls for the construction of 2.4 kilometers (1.6 miles) of bridges, 14 kilometers of tunnels, 57 kilometers of ring roads, 360 kilometers of transmission lines, 379 kilometers of river dredging, 1,500 kilometers of gas pipelines, 3,490 kilometers of waterways, 5,142 kilometers of highways and 9,739 kilometers of railway lines…..Noting that a key challenge for Brazil was to defend its domestic industries in the face of aggressive Asian competition and a “currency war” waged by rich countries, [Brazil’s deputy minister] Simoes said South America, with its 400 million people, offered the best outlets for Brazilian goods.
[Doesn’t this sound like the Keystone Pipeline and North American Highway system? Similar efforts are underway in the ASEAN region, SAARC, the Arab League, the GCC and the African Union.]
UNASUR Countries Commit to Advance in Energy Pact – Prensa Latina, March 16, 2012 – On behalf of his country, which holds the pro tempore presidency of UNASUR, Paraguayan Minister of Public Works and Communications Cecilio Perez said a fundamental value has been granted to energy as a key element of regional integration… He added that this takes, above all, the political will of all 12 member countries, as well as trust and full exercise of sovereignty over the valuable resources of each and every nation.
Three Ocean Passways in UNASUR Plan – Prensa Latina, April 25, 2012 – The construction of three Ocean passways to join the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans are included in a 31-work plan the Union of South American Nations (UNASUR) will present on Wednesday to the 12 member nations of the regional bloc. The project is expected to join the two oceans through roads, railways, and/or seaways.
Unasur Sees Financing From Multilaterals, China For Infrastructure – Wall Street Journal, Dec. 13, 2011 – The Unasur group is a political and economic alliance. It was formed in 2008 and is composed of Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay and Venezuela.