The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) recently awarded $375,000 to The University of Notre Dame Initiative for Global Development (NDIGD) to conduct research on the MCC’s water project in Ghana. The MCC is an independent U.S. foreign aid agency founded by Congress in 2004. The MCC designed its program in Ghana with the intention of using water projects to alleviate disease and poverty in the country. Michael Sweikar, managing director of NDIGD, said the blank purchase agreement, reached in June, will enable NDIGD to monitor MCC’s project and to evaluate the initiative’s overall effects. “The contract with them provides assistance in monitoring and evaluation to help measure the impact of one of their water interventions in Ghana,” Sweikar said. NDIGD monitoring and evaluation specialist Lila Khatiwada said the project aims to reduce diseases and widespread health problems, such as diarrhea, in some of the poorest areas of Ghana. “MCC implemented water interventions in 30 districts in Ghana for [the] poorest of the poor,” Khatiwada said. “They provide water points, water holes and water systems to extend to newer communities.” Khatiwada said comparing communities that receive MCC water treatments with those that do not will be NDIGD’s primary method of assessment. “We will be using rigorous study,” he said. “One community receives the [MCC’s] water treatment, and this is called the ‘treatment community.’ Similar communities we call ‘control communities’ did not receive the treatment. We will compare the outcome between the two communities.” Khatiwada said NDIGD collected baseline data for the relevant communities in 2010. It will compare that data to post-treatment statistics that it will collect sometime in 2014. “The hypothesis is that there will be a reduction in disease [in the treatment community],” Khatiwada said. “It could be untrue, partially true, but we are testing that.” Sweikar said the involvement of Notre Dame faculty is an important aspect of the project. Edwin Michael, professor of biological sciences and a member of Notre Dame’s Eck Institute for Global Health, and Joe Kaboski, professor of economics, are working with Khatiwada and NDIGD monitoring and evaluation specialist Juan Carlos Guzman to design the study and complete the research. “The faculty has the chance to analyze the data and future publication,” Sweikar said. “Interdisciplinary strengths in global health add a diverse array of subject area knowledge that is beneficial to the team.” Contact Katie McCarty at email@example.com
SMART LNG, a joint venture of Russia’s majors Sovcomflot and Novatek, signed an agreement with compatriot development corporation VEB.RF Group for lease financing of four Arc7 icebreaking LNG carriers intended for the Arctic LNG 2 project.In addition, SMART LNG signed long-term time charter agreements for these tankers with Arctic LNG 2 LLC, a Russian based limited company focusing on the Arctic LNG 2 Project, the second large onshore conventional natural gas project led by gas major Novatek on the Gydan Peninsula.The four vessels will be constructed at Zvezda Shipbuilding Complex in the Russian Far East and the construction process will be supervised by the Russian Maritime Register of Shipping (RS). Once completed, the ships will sail under the Russian flag.The Russian shipping company SCF said that the design of the series draws upon the experience of operating Christophe de Margerie, the world’s first icebreaking LNG carrier, introduced in 2017.As explained, the insight from operating Christophe de Margerie led to the integration of various advanced engineering solutions into the design.“These will provide the new ships with higher icebreaking capabilities and maneuverability, when operating in the challenging conditions across both the Western and the Eastern sectors of the Russian Arctic, compared with Arc7 gas carriers serving the Yamal LNG project,” SCF added.The deal comes on the heels of financing and long-term time charter agreements for the lead vessel in this series signed by SCF back in October 2019.Sovcomflot and Novatek agreed to establish SMART LNG LLC in September 2019, its aim being to own and operate a fleet of LNG carriers serving the Arctic LNG 2 projects, as well as other current and prospective Novatek projects.