Netherlands

Unions protest vs unbundling plan in Nepal Electricity Authority (2006)

Electricity Unions Protesting against the Governments Unbundling Plan in Nepal Electricity Authority (March 10, 2006) -- In Nepal, Nepal Electricity Authority Employees' Association (NEAEA) a strong enterprise level union of UNI affiliate Nepal Inter Corporation Employees Union (NICEU) has started series of protest programmes to oppose the Government decision of fragmenting the various divisions of the Nepal Electricity Authority jointly with other two unions namely NEAEU and NEAEC.

Dutch pension cuts damage mental health

The Netherlands recently decided to change the pension rules for public employees so that those born in 1950 or later get worse pensions when they retire. A study found that after this change, depression rates among those born in 1950 or later were about 40% higher than among those born earlier and retiring under the old rules. Most of those affected reacted by working longer or saving more to try and restore the lost benefits.

Singapore is first in Asia to join Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC)

Singapore has just joined countries like the United States, Germany, Netherlands and France in an exclusive water research network. Singapore is the only Asian country to be invited to join this prestigious water alliance which will allow Singapore to tap on valuable knowledge and expertise about water from the various countries. PUB, the national water agency, represents Singapore in the Global Water Research Coalition (GWRC), joining 13 leading organisations in water research from the European Union and the United States. GWRC first became interested in PUB after learning about its efforts in water reuse and its success in NEWater at the GWRC Water Reuse Research Needs Workshop held in the Netherlands in April 2005. Further boosting Singapore's efforts to be a hydrohub is a Memorandum of Understanding that PUB signed Nov 2005 with Kiwa Water Research of the Netherlands, a leading international research institute. PUB has started on a joint research project with Kiwa; areas of interest include water disinfection, water distribution systems and technologies that can produce water for multiple uses. Kiwa Water Research is an internationally respected research centre in the field of drinking water and related environmental issues. Kiwa Water Research is an independent organisation, owned by the water utilities in the Netherlands. Joining GWRC and partnering Kiwa will enable PUB to exchange knowledge and expertise with other leading water organisations, as well as pave the way for more joint collaborations in water research.

Twinning: Overview and Experiences

Common principles include: Non-profit engagement; Capacity building or mentoring element; Practitioner-to-practitioner exchange; Camaraderie or same “language”; Sharing of new innovations/ technology/systems; Mutual benefits: new experiences + joint effort. Common Structure: (a) Mentoring: a “beneficiary” partner relying on knowledge transfer from a model partner to address a specific problem (b) Equal: partners having similar problems engaging in dialogue to find a solution and advance knowledge.

Electricity takeovers

December 2008: EDF buys 50% of nuclear business of USA company Constellation
December 2008: EDF bid for British Energy cleared by EC
January 2009: RWE buys Netherlands electricity company Essent from municipalities for €9.3billion

The price paid for Essent is high and financed by debt, which most companies find very hard to raise The FT Lex column says all the deals are explicable as attempts by the big electricity companies to buy the few remaining opportunities for market shares - other markets eg France, Germany, Spain, Italy - are already 'consolidated'.

The Constellation deal is that EDF buys 49.99 per cent of Constellation's nuclear business - five reactors with 3,869MW - for $4.5billion; the rest of Constellation remains an independent company; but EDF already owns 9.51% of Constellation as a whole.

FT extracts below.

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