Trudeau defends pipeline project leading to crisis in Canada

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, on an official visit to France in the coming days, defended on Sunday the plan to expand an oil pipeline to the Pacific, causing an oil-related political crisis in his country.

"Canadians and people around the world know that we can no longer choose between what is good for the environment and what is good for the economy. same time, and above all, we must finance the transition to reduce the use of petroleum products, "Trudeau pleaded in an interview published Sunday on the website of the French newspaper Les Echos, on the eve of his visit in France Monday and Tuesday

M. Trudeau is scheduled to arrive in France Sunday after attending the Summit of the Americas in Peru which ended Saturday. But before his departure for France, he was forced to return to Ottawa Sunday and change at the last minute his international agenda to try to resolve this crisis.

His government authorized in 2016 the American company Kinder Morgan to pass from 300,000 to 890,000 barrels per day the capacity of its Trans Mountain Pipeline, which moves the oil sands from Alberta to the suburbs of Vancouver.

But the province of British Columbia – from where this oil should be loaded on ships to Asia, which fears that an accident will pollute its majestic coasts – is staunchly opposed to this and has decided to take the case to court, supported by a coalition of ecologists and indigenous communities.

Alberta, the third largest reserve of black gold planet, threat in return this neighboring province of economic reprisals "very aggressive".

The Kinder Morgan company threatens to abandon the project. The US group's project is currently the only one that in the short term will allow the Alberta oil industry to sell its growing output while Canada's pipeline system is saturated.

M. Trudeau to receive premiers of both provinces in Ottawa on Sunday

"To achieve the objectives of the Paris Agreement (on climate, Ed), Alberta (…) has put an absolute limit on greenhouse gas emissions, because we were able to show that the new pipeline would be supported … ", continued Mr. Trudeau.

"It is certain that people on the left, environmentalists are concerned, but also right-wing people who do not like the idea of ​​carbon taxation, but the vast majority of Canadians understand that to be responsible for future generations, "he said.

Nearly 200 countries and organizations had agreed in Paris at the end of 2015, after intense negotiations, pledging to reduce carbon emissions, up to 2030.

Offshore wind: STX France asserts itself as a leading player

Two platforms delivered since the beginning of the year for offshore wind farms in Europe, three orders ready to be realized in France: young player in the highly competitive marine renewable energies (EMR) market, STX France wants to occupy now a prominent place.

"We did not exist on this market of RME seven years ago and today we make 100 million euros of turnover", welcomed on Thursday the general manager of STX France Laurent Castaing , having delivered to Saint-Nazaire one of the largest European electrical substations.

Intended for the Arkona field in the Baltic Sea, developed by the German group E.ON associated with the Norwegian Statoil, this platform must connect 60 wind turbines with a total capacity of 385 megawatts (MW) to a shore station and thus 400,000 German households will be supplied with clean electricity by 2019.

For the shipyard and its subcontractors, this huge substation – 50 meters long and 35 meters wide – represented "hundreds thousands of hours of work ". STX has yet to install a "big package of 4000 tons, plus another 1500 ton package in the middle of the Baltic Sea" within a few weeks, and will be in charge of maintenance for a year, Mr Castaing said.

Less than two months ago, on January 10, the shipbuilder of Saint-Nazaire delivered another electric sub-station to a wind farm in the North Sea for the Belgian Rentel consortium. [19659002] – 'On the podium' –

"Our ambition was to be one of the three major substation manufacturers, and today, with the deliveries of these two substations, we are on the podium", stressed the managing director of STX France.

The company took the turn of offshore wind turbines in 2010, before the first tenders for French offshore fleets, and while shipbuilding, the core business of STX which manufactures the largest ocean liners, was in trouble.

The Saint-Nazaire shipyard handed over a first electrical sub-station in April 2014 to the Danish company Dong Energy, before garnering in 2015 and 2016 the two major orders for the substations that have just been delivered.

STX has not yet officially won any new contracts in this sector, but its fully dedicated EMR plant, inaugurated in 2015, should not be empty for very long.

EDF Energies nouvelles has announced Thursday to be in "exclusive negotiation" with STX France and General Electric (GE) to build the electrical substations of the three parks that the group is developing off the coast of France, in Saint-Nazaire (Loire-Atlantique), Fécamp (Seine-Maritime) and Courseulles-sur-Mer (Calvados).

"We hope to sign the contract in the coming weeks," said Olivier de la Laurencie, director of the Saint-Nazaire offshore park project, the first to be commissioned in France, but not before summer 2021.

"We have yet to negotiate and finalize the contract with EDF", cautioned Laurent Castaing. Each of the three substations would represent a 100 million euro contract for the STX-GE consortium, he said.

Despite major delays in France, where this sector is still in its infancy and where it is currently more than ten years to establish an offshore park, STX is "among the French leaders of this industry, which is at the export, "said its managing director.

In the rest of Europe, where "the market is between 2 and 3 gigawatts of substation orders each year", STX hopes to land "another order before the end of the year", indicated Mr Castaing.

This could bring to four the number of platforms to be built in the next few years for STX, in addition to the nine cruise ships that the shipyard and its some 2,600 employees are to deliver by the fall of 2022. [19659017]

Thousands of Pakistanis Attend the Cemetery of Leading Human Rights Activist

Thousands of Pakistanis crowded the streets of Lahore city on Tuesday (13/2) to bid farewell to one of the country's most prominent human rights activists, who died of a heart attack on Sunday at the age of 66. [19659002] Friends, family, politicians and human rights activists were among those who attended the Asma Jahangir funeral ceremony at the city's Gadhafi Stadium.

Jahangir is one of the founders of the Pakistan Human Rights Commission, a body that highlights human rights abuses throughout the country. He also serves as the UN special rapporteur on human rights issues. On his website, the international body praised Jahangir for his "contribution to human rights", which earned him numerous awards from home and abroad.

The US State Department said Tuesday that – along with Pakistan and other countries – the departure of democracy and human rights activists. [em/jm]

China's Leading Human Rights Activist Sentenced to 8 Years in Prison

A prominent Chinese human rights activist has been sentenced to eight years in prison on subversion charges.

Wu Gan, a blogger who used the pseudonym "Super Vulgar Butcher", was sentenced on Tuesday No. 2 Intermediate People's Court Tianjin in Beijing.

Wu, who was arrested in May of 2015 in southeastern China, became notorious for mocking Chinese political officials in a long-standing campaign against corruption and abuse of authority. The court ruled that Wu was trying to "overthrow state power and socialist rule" through some criminal acts, including spreading false information and insulting people through the media online .

Wu Gan, one of hundreds of rights activists and lawyers who was captured in a massive government crackdown against criticism called "Action 709" which began in earnest in July 2015. Wu's lawyer said his client would appeal. [gp]