COMPANY NEWS IN BRIEF

21 September 2021 | Business

Nigeria to incorporate NNPC

Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari on Sunday ordered the incorporation of the state-run oil company within six months and appointed a board for the new firm, his office said.

Last month, Buhari signed a long-awaited oil bill into law after nearly two decades in the works as Africa's largest crude producer aims to attract more foreign investment to its ailing petroleum sector.

The incorporation of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) is also aimed at turning it into commercial and profit-making enterprise, with its shares sold to the public.

"The Group Managing Director of the NNPC, Mr Mele Kolo Kyari, has, therefore, been directed to take necessary steps to ensure that the incorporation of the NNPC Limited is consistent with the provisions of the PIA (Petroleum Industry Act) 2021," Buhari's office said in a statement.

Buhari, who doubles as oil minister, also appointed a board for the new company, it said. For several decades, the NNPC has been plagued by inefficiency, corruption and mismanagement. Under the new legislation, the company will be overhauled to better separate commercial and regulatory roles. -Nampa/AFP

Shell sets sights on sustainable aviation

Royal Dutch Shell plans to start producing low-carbon jet fuel at scale by 2025, in an attempt to encourage the world's airlines to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Aviation, accounting for 3% of the world's carbon emissions, is considered one of the toughest sectors to tackle due to a lack of alternative technologies to jet fuelled-engines.

Shell, one of the world's largest oil traders, said it aims to produce 2 million tonnes of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF) by 2025, a ten-fold increase from today's total global output.

Shell, which at present only supplies SAF produced by others, including Finnish refiner Neste, said on Monday it wants green jet fuel, which can be blended with regular aviation fuel with little need to change plane engines, to make up 10% of its global aviation fuel sales by 2030.

SAF accounts for less than 0.1% of today's global aviation fuel demand, which reached around 330 million tonnes in 2019, investment bank Jefferies said. -Nampa/Reuters

American Airlines, Microsoft join Gates

Several US companies, including American Airlines Group Inc, General Motors and Microsoft Corp, on Monday build on their commitment to clean energy by joining billionaire and Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates' Breakthrough Energy program.

The initiative aims to boost development of technologies to achieve the target of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050. Its catalyst program aims to raise money from governments, philanthropists and companies to make capital investments to bring down the cost of clean technology.

Bank of America Corp, steelmaker ArcelorMittal SA, Boston Consulting Group and the philanthropic arm of asset manager BlackRock Inc have also joined the program, Breakthrough Energy said on Monday.

American Airlines said in a statement it has invested US$100 million. The program will initially focus on four key areas: direct air capture, green hydrogen, long-duration energy storage and sustainable aviation fuel. -Nampa/Reuters

Cathay Pacific lowers capacity forecast

Hong Kong's Cathay Pacific Airways Ltd said on Monday it had lowered its passenger capacity forecast for the remainder of the year to 13% of pre-Covid levels, down from an earlier 30% target for the fourth quarter as travel restrictions linger.

The airline said it continued to target cash burn of less than HK$1 billion (US$130 million) a month for the rest of the year.

Hong Kong lacks a domestic aviation market and has some of the world's toughest pandemic-related travel restrictions.

The city requires fully vaccinated travellers from destinations considered "high-risk", including the United States and Britain, to spend three weeks in hotel quarantine.

Cathay last month said its target of reaching 30% of pre-Covid passenger capacity in the fourth quarter hinged on quarantine rules for passengers and crew being relaxed. -Nampa/Reuters

Vattenfall raises emission targets

Swedish energy company Vattenfall said on Monday it increased its emission reduction goals for 2030 and brought forward its net zero target by 10 years to 2040, by phasing out coal and increasing wind and solar capacity.

"The climate crisis is for real and not only do we have a responsibility to step up and move fast, we also see many opportunities for us at Vattenfall in being a leader in this urgent transition," Chief Executive Anna Borg said in a statement marking the start of the company's capital markets day.

Vattenfall's previous targets aligned with efforts to limit global warming to 2 degrees Celsius, while the sharpened set of goals will match them to a 1.5 C target, it said.

The firm now aims to reduce the emissions from its operations, so-called scope 1 and 2 emissions, by more than 77% by 2030 from 2017, up from a cut of 38%.

It also raised its ambition for absolute emissions from use of sold products, known as scope 3, from a cut of 20% to 33% over the same period. -Nampa/Reuters

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