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Chinese to English: 專訪政治大學黃明聖教授 > Interview with Professor Huang Mingsheng of Chengchi University
Source text - Chinese 政治大學黃明聖1985年通過教育部公費考試留學英國，1990年取得博士學位回台後，一直在政大財政系任職，2003~2007年膺選為二任的財政系主任，研究領域為運輸財政、公債理論。
Translation - English After passing the public examination of the Ministry of Education in 1985, Huang Mingsheng studied abroad in Great Britain. In 1990, after obtaining his doctorate, he returned to Taiwan and has been teaching at the financial department of Chengchi University ever since. From 2003~2007 he was elected for the second time as the head of the financial department of Chengchi University, his main areas of research are Transport Finance and Bond Theory.
We are honored that Professor Huang Mingsheng in all his engagement could find the time to accept our interview on July 31 of 97, sharing his experiences and observations regarding the Government Procurement of Long-Term Public Service and providing us with his indispensable opinion.
Chinese to English: 國際BOT案例分析> International BOT Project Analysis
Source text - Chinese 國際BOT案例分析
Translation - English International BOT Project Analysis
The BOT projects all have their common features, but since their flexibility is high, every BOT project also has its own unique points. In analyzing international BOT projects we can infer that their success or failure depends highly on chance.
This article compiles the analyses of several important international BOT projects, especially discussing possession of Risk Responsibility, the symmetry of rights and obligations, distribution of financial structure, and the key elements of applying financial tools etc., providing a thorough investigatory analysis.
1. The Channel Tunnel between England and France
This tunnel beneath the English Channel floor connects the 38 kilometer seabed between England and France. Being 50 kilometers in full span, the main body of the construction project included two special-purpose train tunnels and one car tunnel. The English Channel Tunnel construction commenced in 1987 and was completed in 1993. Its management franchise was valid for 55 years in total, the total construction costs were approximately 12,000,000,000 US dollars, an example of the greatest civil entrepreneur investment in a Public Construction project in this century.
The Channel Tunnel engineering project was organized completely by a civil corporation; Eurotunnel. And because the government did not provide any financial guarantee, the construction risks of the project were completely undertaken by the company. Therefore, the company especially prepared 1,800,000,000 dollars to deal with possible cost overrun. Simultaneously, to control the aspect of the engineering expenses, the part-time land engineering divisions were contracted on a fixed-price contract, if the contractor finishes the work within the timeframe of the fixed-price contract, he may reap the extra profit; otherwise, he will have to accept the money loss.
For example; the part-time engineering division first estimates the cost of the project, then, in case of project cost-reductions, the contractor is allowed to reap up to 50%. But if the actual costs exceed the originally estimated cost, the contractor must pay 30% of the progression costs. Concerning the aspect of financial planning, Eurotunnel promised to both the English and the French government to self-finance 20% of the construction costs’ capital stock, also, the project loan did not require the guarantee of both countries governments; the loan will be repaid by the toll fees for tunnel utilization.
Under the above conditions, Eurotunnel at first borrowed 8,500,000,000 dollars from 209 multinational Bankers Associations, after that it increased the loan amount and the number of banks. In the end altogether 220 banks joined in the participating loan. The debt/equity ratio in this financial structure grew from the original 4 to 1 to approaching 5 to 1. The equity funds were altogether 1,800,000,000 US dollars, including the initial self-provided equity fund of 80,000,000 US dollars. The first time 370,000,000 US dollars of equity funds were raised (first from organization investors). The second time 800,000,000 US dollars of equity funds were raised (when stocks hit the market); the third time as well as the fourth time the finances once again came from the stock market; a total of 2.75 hundred million US dollars.
When the Channel Tunnel started operating in 1994, the cost-overrun counted for the double of the originally estimated costs, moreover, although the English and the French government promised not to construct any similar tunnel within the next 33 years, the tunnel still incurred competition from the fair priced Ferry liners. Viewing the account balance from January to June 1995, the pre-tax deficit was 460,000,000 English pounds; making the company able to only pay 1/3 of the interest.
Looking at the Channel Tunnel operation, Eurotunnel’s project result evaluation was still awaiting inspection, but the responsibilities of both the English as the French government for this BOT project were clearly divided. On the other hand, the English and French governments, especially through some assisting ordinances attempted to smoothen up the project’s progression, for example by offering long-term contract evaluation and the agreement to support traffic flow estimations. Furthermore, Eurotunnel enjoyed operation autonomy of the Channel Tunnel, therefore the tunnel toll fees could be increased or lowered at will. But when it comes to the financial aspect, the government was not completely done yet; chartered corporations and financial organs shared the risk undertaking, thereby conforming to the spirit of BOT to lighten the financial burden of the government and sharing its risks, therefore this BOT project was a success.
2. Australian Sydney Harbor Tunnel
The Australian Sydney Harbor Tunnel has a span of 2 kilometers, constructed by SHTC （Sydney Harbor Tunnel Company）a joint venture company formed by Australia’s largest scale privately operated construction enterprise and the Kumagai Gumi Company under a construction management contract signed in 1986. The construction was completed in 1992, with a management franchise valid for 30 years. The total construction costs of the Sydney Harbor Tunnel were 550,000,000 US dollars, in which the equity fund only accounted for 29,000,000 US dollars; therefore the equity/debt ratio was approximately 1:18. In the liability fund 60% of issued bonds were included; the rest was of the loan provided by the Australian Government. The special characteristics of this project’s financial arrangements are that the company didn’t turn to general Bankers Associations for loans, but instead financed the project through substituting the participating loans by issued bonds and concessional loans from the government. Moreover, these bonds were valid for a 30 year period, relatively long compared to Australia’s capital market’s usual bond period of 10 years or 20 years, also its issuance is restricted only to Australia.
The bond’s require a seasonal payment of interest and capital reimbursement, but because the Rate of return changes according to the inflation rate, the cost of interest was lower during the construction period, causing the degree of adaptability to the cash inflow from the in-service period and the payment of the capital costs to increase, therefore it helped with the allocation of cash capital. Additionally, these kind of long-term bonds which depend on the Rate of return of the inflation rate adjustment also reduce the risk ownership of the investors, thereby increasing the interest of the Australian people regarding the purchase of these bonds.
Other government coordination measures include a lowest operating income guarantee, but don’t include exchange rate or the interest rate guarantees. Moreover, the Sydney Harbor Tunnel Company had no operation autonomy of the transportation volume or toll fee rate. So for example, if the tunnel toll-fee would be 1 Australian dollar, then every time inflation causes a price rise in the future it will be adjusted 0.50 cents up. Still, the Sydney Harbor Tunnel Company through a turnkey fixed-price construction contract provided a performance bond. Under extended costs and project backfall, it wouldn’t be possible to recover the approximate 40.000.000 US dollars of performance guarantees which SHTC provided..
In this BOT project, the Australian Government gave the chartered company SHTC a concessional loan, and especially issued 30 year period bonds to give capital support, additionally providing a lowest revenue guarantee for the operating period it may be said that the degree of support was extremely high; But actually, when it comes to the aspect of risk; interest rate, exchange rate, cost overspending and many other dangers threatening project completion, full risk ownership belonged to the chartered company.
From after the project completion till now, the operating condition doesn’t only demonstrate that it was a successful finance investment plan, it is one of the few really successful BOT projects to the day, besides, the relation between the rights and risks of the BOT chartered company SHTC, was the key to the success of this project.
3. Hong Kong Eastern Harbor Tunnel
The Eastern Harbor Tunnel has been constructed by the New Hong Kong Tunnel Company (NHKTC). The franchise for the motor-vehicle tunnel is valid for a 30 year period. The railroad tunnel 22 started construction in 1985, after bid acceptance, it was completed in September 1989; the total project construction costs were 560,000,000 US dollars. The East Harbor Tunnel includes an 8.6 kilometer long motor vehicle tunnel as well as a 5 kilometer long railroad tunnel. Its operating parts were separated by the New Hong Kong Tunnel Company (NHKTC), responsible for operation of the motor-vehicle road, and by the Eastern Harbor Company (EHCC) responsible for operation of the railroad. The BOT project of the Eastern Harbor Tunnel founded its capital through equity investments, Bankers Association loans, and leasing, but these two companies applied a separate and independent model of financing.
The equity funds of NHKTC accounted for 730.000.000 US dollars, the Bankers Association loans and the leasing funds accounted for 287,000,000 US dollars, the debt/equity ratio was 3.9; the equity funds of the EHCC accounted for 620.000.000 US dollars, the Bankers Association loans and equity funds accounted for 143,000,000 US dollars, the debt/equity ratio was 2.3.
New Hong Kong Tunnel Company formed a joint venture with 7 different companies, including the Japanese Kumagai Gumi (accounting for 50.75%), mainland China International Trust Investment Company (24.5%), the Hong Kong Construction Association Company (6.65%), Japanese Long-term Credit Bank (5.50%), Hong Kong Government (5.0%), the English Leeds Construction Company (4.75%), and the Japanese Marubeni (2.85%). The above companies each provide separate coordination measures. For example; Japan Kumagai Gumi used the fixed-price contract model to share project completion risks and the risk of cost-increase; the Hong Kong Government used tax subtraction, etc., as an important factor for their success. This project demonstrates the importance of the coordination and support from government in bringing a BOT project to a success. It also demonstrated that there are many ways of coordination. By no means is a financial guarantee the only way to assist. In addition, the 5% equity investment that the Hong Kong Government participated in, declares the significance and the important factors for bringing this BOT project to a good end. This is because the financial arrangements of this project surmounted the sovereignty shift in Hong Kong in 1997. Especially the confidence of the investors and the financial setups towards this project were put to the test, the Hong Kong Government's equity participation was therefore of great significance. Besides, although the Hong Kong Government did not make a financial guarantee, next to participating in equity investments it was responsible for many coordination measures as well. For example; responsibility for the acquisition of land, construction of interchanges and the design of interchange approach roads connecting the tunnel with the outer roads. Leaving the tunnel free of duty as well as, especially for this BOT project, legislating the “Eastern Harbor Crossing Ordinance”, serving as the base for professional management “. This ordinance consists of ten chapters, covering the franchise of the construction and management and specifying construction, operation, maintenance and other corresponding items concerning the Hong Kong Harbor Crossing Tunnel construction project. Thanks to the issuance of this law the BOT project of the Hong Kong Eastern Harbor Tunnel was perfectly completed.
4. Thai Bangkok Second-Stage Expressway
The span of the Thai Bangkok Second-Stage Expressway is 42 kilometers, total construction costs were approximately 1,000,000,000 US dollars, in which land levy accounts for 45% of the total construction costs. The complete project was carried out by the “Bangkok Expressway Public Co. Ltd.” (BECL), established in Thailand by the Japanese firm Kumagai Gumi. The construction commenced in March, 1990 and was completed in 1995. This construction model was first progressed through the turnkey model and entrepreneur contracts, later on, entrepreneurs offered fixed-price subcontracts to other contractors. Because the project didn’t have any financial guarantee from the government, BECL had to undertake all constructing and investment risks. The dissimilarity of this project with other projects lies in the fact that BECL had to willingly bear more than 670,000,000 dollars of land administration costs.
On the other aspects of coordination procedures provided by the Thai Government, it by no means offered any supporting loans or any lowest operating income guarantee to BECL, nor did it offer a remittance or interest rate guarantee. Additionally, when it comes to the aspect of the expressway toll fee, referring to the inflation rate of the past 5 years, the Thai Government set the general toll for each vehicle on 1.2 dollars, even though in the last 15 years the toll adjustment hasn’t didn’t exceed 0.8 dollars. Because of this the operating autonomy of BECL was affected as well. The property rights of the expressway will shift to the Expressway
Japanese to English: 酸化還元反応の第一原理計算 >First-principles calculations of redox reactions General field: Science
Source text - Japanese MANA／ナノ材料科学環境拠点 環境拠点計算グループ 館山 佳尚
光触媒や燃料電池・太陽電池など、環境・エネルギー問題解決の切り札と目されている技術の中心プロセスは“酸化還元反応”すなわち化学結合変化を伴う電子移動反応（例えば水素生成2H 2e- H2, 酸素還元／水分解 O2 4H 4e- 2H2Oなど）によるエネルギー授受から成っています。この酸化還元反応の定量的シミュレーションを行うためには、電子移動過程とそれに伴う構造変化の高精度な記述が必要です。私たちはこの酸化還元反応に関する自由エネルギー変化、反応径路を定量的に求めるための密度汎関数理論をベースにした第一原理分子動力学手法の開発・実証を行ってきました。その結果、電子移動に関する代表的理論であるMarcus理論と調和した、非常にユニバーサルな計算手法の構築に成功しました。最近は触媒や電池の主要な反応場である固体－液体界面における酸化還元反応に向けた拡張に取り組んでいます。そして界面構造を変化させることにより、水や有機物分解の酸化還元反応効率がどのように変化するかを半定量的に見積もることができつつあるところです。将来的には、これらの計算手法をもとに界面酸化還元反応の理論的設計が可能になることが期待されます。
Translation - English Mana - Innovative Center of Nanomaterials Science for Environment and Energy,
Computational materials science group Tateyama Yoshitaka
The central process involved in photocatalysis, fuel cells and solar batteries; technologies perceived as the last resort in solving energy and environment issues, are “Redox Reactions", i.e., energy exchanges resulting from electron transfer involved in chemical change (e.g., hydrogen production 2H 2e- H2, oxygen-reduction / water-splitting O2 4H 4e- 2H2O, etc.). An accurate description of the structural changes accompanying the electron transfer process is necessary to perform a quantitative simulation of redox reactions.
In order to quantatively assess the reaction path of free energy exchange correlated to these redox reactions, we performed development and verification of the first-principles molecular dynamics method based on the Density Functional Theory.
As a result, we have successfully constructed an extremely universal calculation method in accordance with the Marcus theory, a representative theory on electron transfer. Recently, we are working on expanding the Solid/Liquid Interface, which is the main reaction field of batteries and catalysis, for the redox reactions. And at present, the changes of the efficiency of redox reactions in water and organic matter decompositions, resulting when altering the surface structure, continues to be semi-quantitatively estimated.
It is anticipated that in the future, based on these calculation methods, the theoretical design of surface redox reactions will be feasible.
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