SPL WorldGroup has opened new offices in Hong Kong and Singapore. Samson Chan has been appointed Director Business Development for Greater China. He was previously with Oracle, and will be based in Hong Kong. Alvin Loh becomes Director Business Development for South-East Asia. He was previously with SAP, and will be based in Singapore. Claus Etienne, who has had more than 20 years’ experience at SPL and has worked on many large projects for the company, has been appointed Services Director, Asia.

The International District Energy Association (IDEA) has announced the election of Cheryl L. Gomez as chairperson for 2005-2006. She is director of energy and utilities at the University of Virginia. Gary Rugel of Baltimore Aircoil Co. was elected IDEA vice chair. The 800-member IDEA comprises district heating and cooling and combined heat and power executives, engineering, consultants and equipment suppliers from 12 countries. Visit www.districtenergy.org

US President Bush has nominated Joseph T. Kelliher to be chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) which oversees wholesale electricity markets. The nomination must be confirmed by the Senate. Kelliher has served on the commission since November 2003; he was previously senior policy adviser to Energy Secretary Spencer Abraham.

Consulting and engineering firm R W Beck has appointed Russell J. Stepp as the new President/CEO with effect from 1 November. He was previously the National Director of the Water/Waste Resources practice of R W Beck.