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Daily Shorts: NextEra EP sells Texas pipelines, US to spend $2 billion on greening buildings, and more

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Pipeline operator Kinder Morgan has agreed to acquire NextEra Energy Partners' natural gas pipelines in South Texas in a $1.82 billion deal. The pipeline portfolio, STX Midstream, comprises seven main pipelines with a transport capacity of 4.9 billion cubic feet per day. The network serves Mexico as well as utilities and cities in South Texas. The deal is expected to close by March next year, and Kinder Morgan has said it plans to fund the acquisition with cash in hand and short-term debt. NEP said it would use the funds to pay off debt associated with the pipelines and other obligations.   

The US government announced it would spend $2 billion to retrofit 150 buildings with materials that minimize carbon emissions. Officials said they would look for asphalt, concrete, glass and steel produced with emissions below the usual norms, in a move expected to help create a market for low-carbon materials and incentivize manufacturers. The selected buildings span 39 states, from Topeka in Kansas and Cleveland in Ohio to Salt Lake City in Utah and San Francisco, California. The US government plans for federal buildings to be net zero by 2045.

Virgin Atlantic moved one step closer to launching a transatlantic flight using 100 percent sustainable aviation fuel (SAF). The British carrier has received permission from the UK for such a flight on November 28, and will now approach regulators in the US and Canada. The carrier will operate a Boeing 787 running on Rolls-Royce's Trent 1000 engines. SAF accounted for just 0.5 percent of aviation fuel in 2021, but many airlines are targeting 10 percent use by 2030. SAF, which uses waste such as cooking oils, can reduce emissions by up to 70 percent compared with fossil fuels.

Italian companies Eni and Saipem have signed a deal to develop new bio-refineries and transform Eni's traditional oil refineries. Under the agreement, the companies will study construction of plants to produce biojet, a sustainable aviation fuel, and HVO diesel, a biofuel produced from 100 percent renewable raw materials. Eni, which was the world's first energy company to convert two traditional refineries into bio-refineries, plans to expand bio-refining capacity from 1.65 million metric tons a year at present to over 5 million metric tons a year by 2030. 

Daily Shorts: Singapore’s Sembcorp eyes 25 GW RE capacity by 2028, Orsted cancels projects due to ship shortage, and more

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