CenterPoint Energy will use the net proceeds of the deal to repay a portion of its debt CenterPoint Energy to sell CenterPoint Energy Services to Energy Capital Partners. (Credit: Pixabay/Gerd Altmann) US-based electric and natural gas utility company, CenterPoint Energy has agreed to sell CenterPoint Energy Services (CES), a natural gas retail business to Energy Capital Partners (ECP) for about $400m.Headquartered in Houston, CES has around 300 employees. The company provides natural gas sales, storage, supply, and other energy-related solutions to about 30,000 commercial and industrial customers, utilities and cities in more than 30 states.As part of the deal, CES will sign a structured long-term Preferred Supply agreement, where Shell Energy North America (SENA) will deliver gas supply, collateral support and receive equity warrants.CenterPoint Energy interim president and CEO John W. Somerhalder II said: “The sale of our gas retail business further positions CenterPoint Energy to focus on the long-term performance of our core electric and natural gas utility businesses.“At the same time, this sale will strengthen our balance sheet and improve our business risk profile.“When combined with our recent agreement to sell Miller Pipeline and Minnesota Limited, two businesses that comprised our infrastructure services segment, we expect our utility earnings contribution to approach 90% over the next several years.”CenterPoint Energy to use sale proceeds to reduce debtCenterPoint Energy said that it will use the net proceeds of the deal to repay a portion of its debt.Subjected to the satisfaction of closing conditions, which include the expiration or termination of the Hart-Scott-Rodino waiting period, the deal is expected to be completed in the second quarter of this year.For the deal, Goldman Sachs & Co is acting as exclusive financial advisor to CenterPoint Energy, while Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld is serving as its legal counsel.Earlier this month, CenterPoint Energy has agreed to sell Miller Pipeline and Minnesota to PowerTeam Services for $850m.The Miller Pipeline and Minnesota are claimed to be the two of the premier natural gas distribution and transmission pipeline contractors in the US and provide services to customers in 35 states.
By Julieta Pelcastre/Diálogo March 28, 2019 Peruvian Army officers Lourdes Aurelia Barriga Abarca and María Magdalena Dibós Mori were promoted to the rank of colonel in October 2018, becoming the first women to hold that position. The officers belong to the first generation of female cadets at Colonel Francisco Bolognesi Chorrillos Military School in Lima, Peru. The country opened military careers to women in 1996. “In the military, not all officers, and not only women, can reach the highest ranks,” Col. Dibós, head of the Psychology Department at the Peruvian Central Military Hospital, told Diálogo. “You need to keep up a rigorous and constant readiness in different areas, such as daily discipline, physical training, and academic life.” “Here I am with six bronze stripes on my shoulder, after participating with equal opportunities against other male officers in the promotion process. My family has always supported me through this hustle and bustle,” said Col. Barriga, head of the Army’s Science and Technology Institute (ICTE, in Spanish), a position no woman held before. Col. Barriga was also the first woman to enroll at the Peruvian Army War College (ESGE, in Spanish), and was a military observer at the United Nations Organization Stabilization Mission in the Democratic Republic of the Congo. In addition, she participated in an expedition to Antarctica, headed the Peruvian Army General Library, and currently serves as an ESGE professor. Col. Dibós was an instruction officer at the Peruvian Army Technical School and the Chorrillos Military School. “We support service members’ work to strengthen the institution,” Col. Dibós said. “We are part of this great team. We come to contribute, not to change.” Step by step Col. Barriga stressed that the Army was just doing its job and granting the rank to those who deserve it. “My command recognized my efforts and dedication during my 21-year-long career. It’s a short-lived emotion, because the upcoming challenge is harder. The institution trusted me and my capacities to lead ICTE.” In January 2019, Col. Barriga got the institution accepted as a member of the Latin American and Caribbean University Network for Disaster Risk Reduction, based in Guatemala, to exchange experiences and knowledge on prevention and security with other experts. “In April  the institute will conduct a seminar entitled Armies’ Participation in Natural Disasters, in coordination with the Latin American network,” said Col. Barriga. According to the officer, international cooperation with institutions of other countries, such as the United States, fosters scientific, technological, and humanitarian research, as well as knowledge and experience exchanges to contribute to consolidating the institution. “We will do this step by step,” said Col. Barriga. “Challenges are ongoing.” Balance to improve The Peruvian Army presents itself as a modern, professional, and inclusive institution, prepared to take on the new challenges of the 21st century. In addition to guarding and defending the national territory and participating in the country’s social and economic development, “[members of the military] know that defending the nation also means fighting against inequality and exclusion,” Peruvian President Martín Vizcarra told the press. In the quest for balance to improve operations with gender equality, “the Army is becoming part of a trend that supports women’s empowerment,” said Col. Barriga. “We have to adapt to changes, because this is a century of changes,” Col. Dibós added. “What’s important is teamwork, [refining] the military approach, and knowing what we’re here for.” According to Col. Dibós, the main challenge is to change Peruvian society’s mindset, because some people think service members aren’t educated, that they are alienated from the population, and will only protect them in times of war. “The Army is taking part in national security more and more, as well as in the fight against violence toward women,” she said. The Armed Forces fights violence against women with awareness programs to eradicate any form of abuse and promote equal opportunities among men and women in the force. “I want to tell the more than 9,500 women in our military to rest assured that their example, integrity, and strength have only made our Army, Navy, and Air Force greater,” Peruvian Minister of Defense José Huerta Torres told the press. “To strengthen the role of women, it’s essential to not view military career or promotion to higher ranks as things women can’t do. There are no men and women in the Peruvian Army; we are all the same, with the same opportunities,” said Col. Dibós. “Our objective is to move toward the same goal,” Col. Barriga concluded. “The Peruvian military’s values are a mixture of the best values human beings can have, in which dedication dominates.”