The Shaw Group has agreed to be bought by CB&I in a cash and stock transaction valued at $3 billion, creating one of the world’s largest engineering and construction companies focused on the global energy industry. Under the terms of the deal, CB&I, also known as Chicago Bridge & Iron, will pay $46 a share in cash and stock, about $41 in cash and $5 in CB&I equity, representing a premium of 72% over Shaw’s closing price on Friday. CB&I plans to operate Shaw as a business sector under the brand name CB&I Shaw, where it will retain Shaw’s brand equity and allow the combined organization to recognize synergies and capitalize on both companies’ resources and capacity.
“Prediction is very difficult, especially if it’s about the future,” quipped Niels Bohr. And so it is with the uranium industry. Some uranium companies and several nations with an interest in the sector are bullish, while some analysts strike a more cautious note. Despite lacking a crystal ball, it is possible to offer a reasonably confident analysis of how the industry will fare going forward.
All such predictions are guided by one fact: The effects on the nuclear industry of the Fukushima accident in Japan-whose one-year anniversary is March 11-is less than some pundits had feared, and in turn this will have less of a negative impact on the uranium market overall. According to a report in the Washington Post last October, for example, the Czech Republic is planning to sharply increase its nuclear power production. That nation currently relies on six nuclear reactors for 33% of its total electricity, and the government hopes to at least double that output by the year 2050. In its decision to pursue nuclear power, the Czechs are not alone: Slovakia is currently building more nuclear facilities, and Poland has engaged in talks with companies in France, Japan and the U.S. about technology for its first nuclear plant to be completed by 2030. Keep reading →
The leading U.S. solar-industry lobbying group says a tax provision that expires at the end of this year will create some 37,000 additional jobs in 2012 if it is extended by Congress. And if it’s not? In a press conference, Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA) chief Rhone Resch said killing the Section 1603 Treasury Program “would essentially amount to a massive tax increase … that would reduce jobs significantly.”
The 1603 provision allows renewable energy developers to receive a grant for up to 30 percent of the cost of a project, once it goes online, in lieu of claiming an energy tax credit. The grant option was instituted for two years in 2009, as the financial crisis froze up tax equity markets. After heavy lobbying late last year it was extended through the end of this year. Keep reading →