Tuesday, April 16, 2019

Cameron LNG reaches final stage of startup process - Houston Chronicle

Cameron LNG reaches final stage of startup process - Houston Chronicle


Cameron LNG reaches final stage of startup process - Houston Chronicle

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 07:55 AM PDT

The first production unit at Sempra Energy's Cameron LNG export terminal in Louisiana has reached the final stage of the startup process known as commissioning.

Working in a joint venture, general contractors McDermott International and Chiyoda International Corp. have started introducing natural gas from a pipeline feeding the facility into Train 1 of the liquefied natural gas plant.

The introduction of feed gas into the production unit signals the end of the construction phase of the project and is regarded as a precursor of LNG production.

"We are extremely proud of the Cameron LNG project team for this achievement and their remarkable safety performance," McDermott International Senior Vic President Mark Coscio said in a statement. "Their accomplishment is more than just a project milestone; it is an impressive feat of engineering and construction. Once Train 1 is fully operational, it will have the capacity to produce 4 million tonnes of LNG per year."

Midstream Moves: Sempra Energy begins startup process for Cameron LNG

Originally developed by San Diego utility company Sempra Energy as a $900 million LNG import terminal, Cameron LNG began commercial operations in July 2009.

Working with French energy company Total, Japanese industrial company Mitsui and Japan LNG Investment, Sempra later decided to take advantage of record natural gas production from U.S. shale basins to redevelop the Hackberry, Louisiana facility into an export terminal.

McDermott and Chiyoda were awarded an engineering, procurement and construction for the Cameron LNG export terminal project in 2014.

Cameron LNG's three production units, which are known in the industry as trains, are expected to produce nearly 12 million metric tons of LNG per year — or roughly 1.7 billion cubic feet of natural gas per day.

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The Louisiana export terminal is just one of three facilities planned by Sempra as part of a two-coast approach to more export 45 million metric tons of LNG per year by the mid-2020s.

In addition to Cameron LNG, the company is also developing the Energia Costa Azul LNG facility in Baja California, Mexico and is seeking to develop the Gulf Coast LNG terminal near Port Arthur.

Pepsi considers space billboards to project logo across night sky using satellites - The Independent

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 06:54 AM PDT

Soft drinks giant PepsiCo has consulted with a Russian space startup offering brands the chance to project their logos into the night skies via low-orbit satellites.

PepsiCo said its Russian subsidiary agreed a partnership with StartRocket for an "exploratory test for stratosphere advertisements" of its Adrenaline Rush energy drink, though claimed it would not complete the project.

The startup says it will use an array of micro satellites to project companies' logos into low-Earth orbit, with images on its website showing how images might appear floating across the sky.

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"Space has to be beautiful," the site states. "With the best brands our sky will amaze us every night."

Not everyone is convinced by the idea, with some people taking to social media to label it "space pollution", while others calling for a boycott of PepsiCo products

Since Futurism first reported Pepsi's interest in the technology, the soft drinks firm has since claimed the partnership with StarRocket was a "one-time event" and does not plan to test the technology any further at this time.

The space startup says on its website that it will charge companies $200,000 (£153,000) to deploy the orbital advert in the night sky for eight hours, while $500,000 will cover 10 days of the space ad.

Tests of the technology are yet to take place and StartRocket is currently seeking $25 million in funding to make the next-generation advertising platform a reality.

It is not the first time extra terrestrial advertising has been proposed, with one Japanese startup aiming to place billboards on the surface of the moon by 2020.

Tokyo-based Ispace raised $90 million in 2017 to kickstart what it calls the "lunar economy", which involves – at least in part – setting up small advertising hoards on the moon that can be viewed from Earth.

The firm also plans to use the money on a manned mission to the moon, as well as send rovers to Earth's satellite to explore the surface.

A separate Japanese space startup aims to deploy micro satellites to create an artificial meteor shower above Hiroshima in 2020 in the hope of delivering a "whole new level of entertainment".

Three Tips For Maximizing Your Career As An International Software Developer - Forbes

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 04:30 AM PDT

I've hired software developers across the world for multiple startups for over 24 years and have been honored to follow the careers of many offshore developers. Here are the best practices I teach to young developers in my network as they begin their journeys as international software engineers.

1. Think About Time

Do you work with a lot of 45-year-old software developers at your current company? According to a 2015 survey on Stack Overflow (via InfoWorld), the average software developer is 28.9 years old. (Data USA puts the average at 39.7.)

While there are many reasons for this, the bottom line for many developers is that the window to fully develop your professional network may be limited compared to other industries such as the legal profession, where the average age for U.S. judicial workers (including lawyers) is 46.3. 

Sure, it's tempting to take your excellent pay to go on every available holiday and let your friends know you're living the good life on Instagram, but it also pays to take some risks early in your career. So take risks.

Risk joining a startup, risk starting your own project or company, or risk asking someone you'd like to emulate to mentor you. As the old adage goes, "Fortune favors the brave."

While press headlines may focus on the Zuckerbergs of the world, I know plenty of developers who were early employees at technology companies you've never heard of that were acquired, and who have leveraged such experiences to leapfrog their careers.

So surround yourself with people who embrace risk. You can easily spot these people and organizations because they're the ones who are constantly investing in new experiments.

Believe me, not many developers want to join the ranks of those who thought joining my first startup was "too risky." That company is now worth over $3 billion on the NASDAQ stock market.

I believe the greatest risk for young developers is not taking any.

2. Use IT Outsourcing As A Stepping Stone, Not A Career Destination

In emerging economies, working for an IT outsourcer can be a great place to learn basic skills and get exposure to live commercial projects, but you may not want to think of this as a long-term career prospect. That's because IT outsourcer culture can be one of employment arbitrage and not innovation, and learning to think like an innovator can widen your career opportunities greatly.

A 2016 Deloitte survey (via The Wall Street Journal) indicated that only 21% of enterprise outsourcing contracts had any "proactive innovation" built into their service contracts, although Deloitte found that number had risen to 43% in 2018 (download required). 

Obviously many innovations come from startups, so working on a startup project could be great exposure to innovation culture and give you the opportunity to put your own unique ideas into production code.

As well, I've found that IT outsourcers (especially large ones) tend to work on legacy projects and in legacy languages like J2EE. This can severely limit the types of jobs you can get in the future and rob you of the experience to learn new technologies or frameworks.

A common mistake I see young developers make is thinking it's OK to work in the "safety" of a large outsourcing company because they and a friend are working weekends on their brilliant app idea. It rarely works.

A 2012 study by Harvard Senior Lecturer Shikar Ghosh (via Silicon Valley Business Journal) found that 75% of venture-backed startups fail, although other estimates vary. Think about that for a second -- if founders who are dedicating their lives to their projects with VC money fail three out of four times, what are the chances that your unfunded side project will be successful?

For those that aren't born innovators, developers can nurture an innovation mentality by working for a company whose culture rewards "outside the box" ideas and fosters risk-taking. That can be a fast-moving corporation, a VC-funded startup, or a bootstrapped group of hungry founders.

3. Find A Great Mentor

I've had two mentors that taught me how to grow my two startups to exit. There is no way I could have accomplished either of these feats without the guidance of my mentors. Their operational experience not only gave me best-practice rules for hiring and managing teams but also helped me negotiate the financing rounds for my first company and the sale of my second.

If you don't have a senior coder that can take you under their wing and mentor you, please go ahead and work for someone that can. This is by far the single biggest difference I see between developers who simply survive from paycheck to paycheck and those that continue to increase their opportunities until they decide to retire.

Another common mistake I see young developers make is that they think $500 per month more in the short term is more valuable than working for a good mentor in the long run. In my opinion, they are wrong -- good mentors are as valuable as a top university education. 

Look for mentors who are living the life you want and who espouse the values you hold dear. Just because someone made millions and drives a Ferrari doesn't mean they're a good mentor for you. And a good mentor doesn't have to be someone that makes you feel good about yourself.

Think about your best professor or teacher from your school years. Was the person you learned the most from the nicest teacher? Did they challenge you and at times make you feel uncomfortable, or did they sing your praises on a regular basis?

Mentors come in all shapes, sizes and temperaments. You want to choose those that can most accelerate your career and help you train for your "career black belt."

As Marc Andreessen once said (paywall), "Software is eating the world." Just make sure you get your slice of the pie while your career still has teeth.

How Entrepreneurs Fail at Blockchain Startups - Finance Magnates

Posted: 16 Apr 2019 02:05 AM PDT

The development of a project to completion is a marathon. Unfortunately, in the business world, not everyone makes it.

Presently, there are more failed blockchain projects than there are successes. As a consultant on a number of blockchain projects, I have discovered many of the same patterns will repeat themselves.

Such issues can serve as red flags that a project is doomed from the start, even with the best idea that could change an industry for the better.

Generally, a successful blockchain platform starts from a well-crafted idea. This leads to the majority of startup companies beginning their initial efforts with the best of intentions.

Entrepreneurs are meticulous in discussing their ideas and visions within their own group. The hours spent at coffee shops has made them galvanized and energetic towards completion of their dreams.

However, since dreams do not guarantee success, here are some issues that should always be addressed by any blockchain startup.

Organizational Structure

Meeting a new blockchain startup group is always insightful right from the beginning. It amazes me how often I sit down with a group of blockchain entrepreneurs and have to ask, what is your business entity?

This is when I get a group of confused looks pointed in my direction. Whether it is an LLC, C-Corp, or even just a partnership written on a short contract, you need a business structure.

A business entity needs to establish who owns it, who contributed to it and what are rules for its operation. Often overlooked is also the details as to when the entity will end. There are major tax and governing consequences to the business entity chosen which varies by jurisdiction.

Such a decision needs to be made by the blockchain startup group and with the correct information before venturing out into the business world at large. Very often the response I am told is, "we have a handshake agreement." In professional terms, that means as a group of people you have no organizational structure, aka – nothing.

Family and Friends Will Equal Conflict

When it comes to family and friends starting a business, it is not uncommon to discover that one family member of the group supplied all the capital while the other holds all the power and ownership.

Also, it is common that family members of a group operate on faith that everyone will be honest. If people were generally honest, I wouldn't have a career.

Family and friends have a higher potential to cause conflict for a project because they do not operate within normal business parameters. In other words, they know where you live and telephone calls don't stop at 5pm.

This situation can be avoided by having everyone's role spelled out in contract form along with rights and responsibilities listed under the organization's governing documents. It also helps to avoid litigation down the road. Trust me, family members sue one another regularly and the conflicts are epic.

Understanding Professionals

For consultants, tax professionals, lawyers, programmers, or other professionals, we serve in a limited capacity. Our job is to assist with the blockchain startup endeavor in a very specific role.

As someone contributing to the project with a specific task, it is not my job to serve in a managerial or ownership role. When dealing with young entrepreneurs in particular, this becomes important as a distinction.

I often experience the situation where a member of a group is calling me because there is a conflict among the members in the blockchain startup group. Also, there are complaints because milestones to a project are being missed and the head of the group is not leading the others or ensuring work is completed.

For professionals with a limited role on a project, it is not our job to break up conflicts. As individuals without any ownership or managerial roles in the business entity, we have no authority to break up conflict and take over a project outside of the scope of our engagement, even if we could do so based on our age and experience.

Our job is to complete our contractually assigned tasks. Whether the project is a success or not, we still are entitled to our payment for services. Like Evel Knievel, we get paid for the attempt.

Lead or Get Out of The Way

I worked on a number of projects whether the principal owner of the startup company did not know how to lead others. It reached a point that major decisions needed to be made and the owner was paralyzed to make them.

Weeks would be lost to inactivity because the principal owner did not know how to deploy the individuals working on a project or to ensure others were completing their assignment tasks. If you are going to be the principal on a start-up blockchain project, you need to be prepared to lead others.

If you are not comfortable in that role, there is no shame. However, you need to decide to bring on others to lead the project or reconsider why you started a blockchain entity in the first place.

Is Your Project Legal?

This may seem like a simple question, but with all good blockchain ideas, there needs to be a compliance view perspective of the activity.

On a number of occasions, I reviewed a potential white paper or business plan and had to ask questions such as whether the group was licensed or approved by a government entity for their particular blockchain project.

In an extreme situation, a rookie entrepreneur may ask, "Are you saying I need governmental approval to use our blockchain platform to sell plutonium on the open market?". You need to research your blockchain idea and how the industry you wish to apply to may require additional regulatory compliance, licensing, government approval or even insurance bonding.

In Conclusion

While these are not the only problems that start-up blockchain companies face (let's not forget about the SEC regulations, investors and funding), these are easier problems to solve with advanced planning.

Remember to research your idea to see what the legal and regulatory requirements are or will be. Create a business entity and get all the principal owners signed with a contracts and business governing documents that details as much as possible.

Hire the right professionals to assist your project and know how to lead everyone towards completion of milestones on the road to success.

Disclaimer: The content of this article is sponsored and does not represent the opinions of Finance Magnates.

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