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News Article | December 14, 2016
Site: www.rechargenews.com

Norwegian solar developer Scatec has entered the Malaysian solar energy market in a deal with national electric utility Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). Working in consortium with local firm ItraMAS, three 21-year power purchase agreements have been agreed for solar projects totalling nearly 200MW and worth some $300m. The three projects are expected to generate 285GWh of electricity per year. To be located in Merchang in the north, Jasin in the south and Gurun in the west of Peninsular Malaysia, the three PV parks will see Scatec as EPC contractor expecting to invest about $60m for a 49% equity stake. Led by ItraMAS, the local consortium also includes two other Malaysian companies, Maltech and Cam Lite. Choo Boo Lee, CEO of ItraMAS, said: “This is a significant achievement for Malaysia and the solar industry in the region as these projects will help develop local supply chains and uplift local communities.” Malaysia is already a significant manufacturer of solar modules. Commenting on the agreements, Scatec chief executive, Raymond Carlsen, said: “This is a stepping stone to enter one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions of the world.” His comments follow an announcement in January this year, when Scatec said it expects to end 2018 with 1.4GW-1.6GW of solar capacity online or under construction, the vast majority of which will come in Africa, and has recently inked deals for long-term solar projects in Brazil (150MW) and Mozambique (40MW). Together with the Malaysian development the company’s project backlog now stands at 731MW, it said in a statement.


President Donald Trump‘s newly sworn-in Secretary of State, recently retired ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, turned heads when he expressed support for an aggressive military stance against China’s actions in the disputed South China Sea during his Senate committee hearing and in response to questions from Democratic Party Committee members. Tillerson’s views on China and the South China Sea territory appear even more concerning against the backdrop of recently aired comments made by Trump’s increasingly powerful chief strategist, Steve Bannon, that the two nations were headed toward war in the next five to 10 years, as reported by the Independent (UK). However, what Tillerson did not reveal in his answers is that Exxon, as well as Russian state-owned companies Gazprom and Rosneft, have been angling to tap into the South China Sea’s offshore oil and gas bounty. “We’re going to have to send China a clear signal that, first, the island-building stops,” Tillerson said at his hearing, speaking of the man-made islands China’s military has created in the South China Sea and uses as a military base. “And second, your access to those islands also is not going to be allowed.” Tillerson, who came under fire during his hearing for maintaining close business ties with Russian President Vladimir Putin, was asked for further clarification on what he thinks the U.S. posture toward China should be in one of dozens of questions sent to him by Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD). In responding, Tillerson spelled out the bellicose stance he believes the U.S. should take toward China, a country Trump has often said should be handled with a metaphorical iron fist. Sean Spicer, White House Press Secretary and Communications Director, echoed this in a recent press briefing, stating that, “The U.S. is going to make sure that we protect our interests there.” “It’s a question of if those islands are in fact in international waters and not part of China proper, then yeah, we’re going to make sure that we defend international territories from being taken over by one country,” said Spicer. While President Barack Obama and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton took a rather hawkish U.S. foreign policy stance toward China known as the Pacific “pivot,” these developments under the new administration appear to take tensions with China to a new level. The Chinese government sees the Trump White House and Tillerson’s recent statements, if carried out, as an act of “war” toward the country, which Beijing says would not be allowed to stand unchallenged. A DeSmog investigation shows that “our interests” (to quote Spicer) overlap suspiciously often with those of ExxonMobil, Gazprom, and Rosneft. Exxon’s offshore oil and gas ties in the region circle the South China Sea from Vietnam and the Philippines to Indonesia and Malaysia. Gazprom also maintains business ties with Vietnam. While most western oil majors have veered away from tapping into this oil and gas, Exxon has not shied away. “Unlike other Western oil majors, which have usually taken a wait-and-see approach when drilling in the disputed waters, ExxonMobil appeared unfazed by the political uncertainty in the region and maintained extensive business links with almost every Southeast Asian country,” wrote the South China Morning Post. A leaked 2006 U.S. State Department cable published by Wikileaks shows that “China began to warn oil majors against conducting oil exploration activities in the disputed South China Sea in 2006, the year Tillerson became ExxonMobil’s chairman and chief executive,” the Morning Post further detailed. According to U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) data from 2013, the South China Sea contains 11 billion barrels of oil and 190 trillion cubic feet of natural gas. As Lee Fang and I recently revealed for The Intercept, while Tillerson served as CEO of Exxon, the U.S. Department of State directly intervened on the company’s behalf to help the company win favorable financial terms to tap into that offshore oil and gas in countries which own offshore oil and gas in the South China Sea in both Vietnam and Indonesia. On January 12, the New York Times became the first news outlet to dig into Exxon’s bounty of South China Sea offshore oil and gas and how it could possibly relate to Tillerson’s hardline views on the disputed territory there. “What is also not clear is the extent to which Mr. Tillerson’s tough stance on the South China Sea springs from his extensive experience in the region during his time as chief executive of Exxon Mobil, when his company became embroiled in bitter territorial disputes over the extensive oil and gas reserves beneath the seafloor,” wrote the Times. “During his tenure, the company forged close ties to the Vietnamese government, signing an agreement in 2009 with a state-owned firm to drill for oil and gas in two areas in the South China Sea.” That agreement was completed with a “quiet signing given sensitivities with China,” according to a State Department cable published by Wikileaks. ExxonMobil Vietnam’s then-President Russ Berkoben told the State Department that “although EM is uncertain of China’s reaction, it is ready if China reacts,” according to the cable. The deal made Exxon the largest offshore acreage holder in Vietnam, with 14 million acres to explore and tap into. In 2008, the South China Morning Post reported that Exxon had “been approached by Chinese envoys and told to pull out of preliminary oil deals with Vietnam.” Vietnam stood its ground, telling China that Exxon and other companies had a right to drill in its territorial sea under its laws. Three years later in 2011, Exxon said it had “encountered hydrocarbons” in the area during its exploratory drilling in a company statement. China reacted with fury, moving its own state-owned oil platform, belonging to China National Offshore Oil Corporation (CONOC), to the same area in 2014. U.S. Secretary of State at the time John Kerry called CONOC‘s move “aggressive” and “provocative,” with the Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi telling Kerry to “speak and act cautiously” on the issue. On January 13, PetroVietnam and Exxon announced a $10 billion deal to build a natural gas power plant in the country, set to be sourced with the gas Exxon will tap from the South China Sea via the Ca Voi Xanh offshore field. Exxon will also ship the gas to Vietnam via one of its underwater pipelines. PetroVietnam also has a joint venture with the Russian state-owned company Gazprom; it goes by the name VietGazprom. Together, they operate five offshore blocks in the South China Sea. Gazprom began negotiations to buy a 49 percent stake in Vietnam’s sole oil refinery, the Dung Quat refinery, in April 2015 but walked away from the potential deal in January 2016. Rosneft, the Russian state-owned company which maintains close business ties with Exxon, also has skin in the game for offshore drilling in Vietnam through its subsidiary Rosneft Vietnam. The project is Rosneft’s first international offshore project. “The implementation of projects in Vietnam is one of the priority [sic] of Rosneft’s international strategy,” said Rosneft CEO Igor Sechin, a close ally of Putin, of the project in a March 2016 press release. “The development of offshore fields in one of the most dynamically growing Asia-Pacific region country is a remarkable example of high-tech cooperation with our partners … We appreciate not only the current progress of joint projects implementation in Vietnam, but also the future prospects for their development.” Rosneft and PetroVietnam signed a joint cooperation agreement in May 2016, which includes but is not limited to offshore drilling, that will further bolster the ties between Rosneft and Vietnam in the South China Sea. “The agreement provides for the expansion of cooperation between the parties in Russia, Vietnam and third countries in the area of hydrocarbon exploration and production (including offshore), processing, commerce and logistics, as well as staff training,” reads a Rosneft press release. “The parties agreed to consider potential options for joint projects and define the basic terms of cooperation as well as establish a working group for each of the areas of cooperation.” Rosneft also co-owns the underwater Nam Con Son Pipeline on a 32.7 percent basis through its subsidiary Rosneft Vietnam Pipelines, which is also owned on a 51 percent basis by PetroVietnam. Exxon is a co-owner of the production sharing agreement between Indonesian state-owned company Pertamina and Thailand state-owned company PTT Public Company Limited, the three of which produce offshore gas from the East Natuna field. In recent months, as with Vietnam, tensions have ratcheted up between Indonesia and China over the disputed territory in the South China Sea. Exxon previously had a stake in offshore wells in the Philippines in the South China Sea, which it sold in 2011 to Mitra Energy (now Jadestone Energy). Exxon decided to sell off the wells after it failed to produce commercial-scale levels of oil and gas. “ExxonMobil drilled the four wells to test a new exploration play concept,” Exxon said in a statement in 2011. “While it encountered gas in three of the four wells drilled, non-commercial quantities of gas were found and ExxonMobil will withdraw from [the project] and resign as the operator.” In 2014, Exxon expressed interest in the Philippines’ offshore reserves up for offer once again, according to an official statement made by the Philippines Department of Energy (DOE). But that bid did not go anywhere, with the DOE suspending all oil and gas exploration in the area due to the territorial dispute with China. In 1997 Exxon signed a production sharing agreement with Malaysian state-owned company PETRONAS. Six years later, the two companies began their first major drilling project in the South China Sea at the Bintang natural gas field. A decade later in March 2013, Exxon began production in Malaysia’s South China Sea-based Telok offshore gas basin, a project it co-owns on a 50-50 basis with PETRONAS. Exxon began phase two of Telok with PETRONAS in 2014, with the two projects together making up 15 percent of the country’s oil production and half its natural gas output. That same year, Exxon signed another $2.6 billion 50-50 ownership stake deal with PETRONAS for an enhanced oil recovery project in the South China Sea. “Exxon’s Malaysian subsidiary operates 34 platforms in 12 fields and has an interest in another 10 platforms in five fields in the South China Sea,” reported the Houston Chronicle, putting the enhanced oil recovery project deal into context. “Those fields supply about 20 percent of Malaysia’s crude oil output and condensate and 50 percent of Peninsular Malaysia’s natural gas needs.” Today, Tillerson has sold all of his Exxon stock, which normally would have been deferred to him over a period of time post-retirement. Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA) recently said he worries Tillerson will see the world through “oil-coated glasses,” given Exxon’s multicontinental reach to every continent on the planet besides Antarctica. But as the South China Sea shows, even if not dealing directly with oil and gas reserves, “black gold” can still loom large when considering geopolitical and foreign policy negotiations. Some believe Tillerson, from that vantage point, is a fatally flawed choice. “The proportion of Tillerson’s job that would have the appearance of conflict is just enormous,” David Arkush, managing director for Public Citizen’s climate program, recently told Bloomberg. “If someone has to recuse himself from that many matters, he has no business being in that role.”


News Article | December 13, 2016
Site: globenewswire.com

Oslo, December 13, 2016: Scatec Solar has entered the Malaysian large-scale solar energy market by joining forces with a local ItraMAS-led consortium that has signed three 21-year Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) with the country's largest electricity utility, Tenaga Nasional Berhad (TNB). The partnership covers three solar projects totaling nearly 200 MW and involves a total investment of close to USD 300 million. Located in Merchang in the north, Jasin in the south and Gurun in the west of Peninsular Malaysia, the three photovoltaic solar parks cover more than 200 acres each. Scatec Solar expects to invest about USD 60 million through preference shares partly convertible to a 49% equity ownership in the projects. The investment expects to provide long term stable cash flows and to meet Scatec Solar's investment hurdle rates. The agreement with the Malaysian consortium includes Scatec Solar acting in its well-known integrated role, including undertaking the turnkey EPC for the projects. "This is a landmark opportunity to bring our wide-ranging expertise to realize the largest solar energy portfolio in South East Asia. For Scatec Solar and our partners, this is a stepping stone to enter one of the most dynamic and fast growing regions of the world'' said Raymond Carlsen, CEO of Scatec Solar. Headquartered in Kuala Lumpur, ItraMAS, a Malaysian LED lighting and traffic management and construction engineering company, is the lead sponsor of the three solar projects and signed the PPA on behalf of the local consortium that includes two other Malaysian companies, Maltech and Cam Lite. CIMB, Malaysia's second largest commercial bank, has been appointed to arrange the non-recourse project debt financing for the three projects. All development, financing and project implementation preparatory activities are currently underway to reach timely financial close with the construction expected to begin immediately thereafter. Welcoming the co-development of the projects by Scatec Solar, Choo Boo Lee, CEO of ItraMAS said ''This is a significant achievement for Malaysia and the solar industry in the region as these projects will help develop local supply chains and uplift local communities''. Malaysia is already a major manufacturing hub for Chinese solar energy equipment. The three solar projects are expected to generate 285,000 MWh of electricity per year. The clean solar electricity will avoid 210,000 tons of carbon emissions per year, taking Malaysia closer to achieving its promised emission cuts under the Paris Climate Agreement. Scatec Solar is a leading developer and owner of large scale solar in Africa, Europe, Middle East and the Americas. Over the last few weeks the company has secured a 20 year PPA for 150 MW in Brazil and a 25 year PPA for a 40 MW solar plant in Mozambique. With the announcement of the partnership in Malaysia, Scatec Solar's project backlog now stands at 731 MW, and is well on track to reach its target of having 1.3 - 1.5 GW in operation and under construction by the end of 2018. For further information, please contact: Mr. Mikkel Tørud, CFO                          tel: +47 976 99 144       mikkel.torud@scatecsolar.com For Media: Ms. Julie Hamre, Communications       tel: +47 920 20 854        julie.hamre@scatecsolar.com About Scatec Solar Scatec Solar is an integrated independent solar power producer, delivering affordable, rapidly deployable and sustainable source of clean energy worldwide. A long term player, Scatec Solar develops, builds, owns, operates and maintains solar power plants, and already has an installation track record of close to 600 MW. The company is producing electricity from 426 MW of solar power plants in the Czech Republic, South Africa, Rwanda, Honduras, Jordan and the United States. With an established global presence, the company is growing briskly with a project backlog and pipeline of close to 1.6 GW under development in the Americas, Africa, Asia and the Middle East. Scatec Solar is headquartered in Oslo, Norway and listed on the Oslo Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol 'SSO'


Ong B.L.,University Putra Malaysia | Ngeow Y.F.,University of Malaya | Razak M.F.A.A.,Peninsular Malaysia | Yakubu Y.,University Putra Malaysia | And 5 more authors.
Epidemiology and Infection | Year: 2013

A cross-sectional study was conducted from 10 January to 9 April 2012, to determine the seroprevalence of tuberculosis (TB) of all captive Asian elephants and their handlers in six locations in Peninsular Malaysia. In addition, trunk-wash samples were examined for tubercle bacillus by culture and polymerase chain reaction (PCR). For 63 elephants and 149 elephant handlers, TB seroprevalence was estimated at 20·4% and 24·8%, respectively. From 151 trunk-wash samples, 24 acid-fast isolates were obtained, 23 of which were identified by hsp65-based sequencing as non-tuberculous mycobacteria. The Mycobacterium tuberculosis-specific PCR was positive in the trunk-wash samples from three elephants which were also seropositive. Conversely, the trunk wash from seven seropositive elephants were PCR negative. Hence, there was evidence of active and latent TB in the elephants and the high seroprevalence in the elephants and their handlers suggests frequent, close contact, two-way transmission between animals and humans within confined workplaces. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2013.


News Article | November 28, 2016
Site: www.eurekalert.org

Rich in biodiversity, with a rapidly growing economy, Malaysia exemplifies the tension between conservation and economic development faced by many tropical countries. While recent initiatives have attempted to address conservation priorities at global and national scales, most of these focus on developed countries in temperate regions. There is a need, say experts at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), to develop similar strategies in developing countries, especially in biodiversity hotspot areas. K. Nagulendran (Nagu), a third year PhD student with the School of Geographical and Environmental Sciences, led a multi-stakeholder exercise involving several hundred participants to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia. They have produced a list of 35 ranked conservation issues within seven general themes. The aim is to influence policy-makers, practitioners and researchers and ensure conservation becomes an integral part of the development process. The results - 'A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia' - have been published in the open access academic journal Cogent Environmental Science. The project makes the case for the prioritisation of conservation actions in Peninsular Malaysia guided by science, in consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders. It is also important to focus collective action given the limited resources available for conservation activities. Malaysia is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot and is ranked 12 globally in terms of its National Biodiversity Index. Malaysia boasts a wealth of biodiversity which includes 306 species of mammals, 742 species of birds, 567 species of reptiles and over 15,000 plant species. Although the country has a target to increase terrestrial protected areas from 13.8% of total land area in 2015 to 20% by 2025, economic development has already had an impact on wildlife. The Sumatran rhino has disappeared altogether and the country has seen a steady decline in the number of Malayan tigers. Through a series of workshops and online surveys, the objective of the research was to engage relevant stakeholders in the identification of conservation priority issues in Peninsular Malaysia; produce a list of ranked conversation issues; and test differences in priority perception among the stakeholders involved in the exercise. The results suggest that there should be: improvements to policy and management to champion biodiversity issues; a strengthening of environmental laws and enforcement; recognition of socio-economic issues especially among indigenous and local communities; increases in funding and resource allocation; knowledge, research and development to inform decision making; a greater understanding and protection of the rights of nature and cultural heritage; a more holistic public awareness and participation to bring about change to promote conservation. Balancing the need for economic development Nagu works for the Malaysian Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. He graduated with a Masters in Environmental Management from The University of Nottingham in 2003 and has been recognised by the University for his work in the evolution of Malaysia's policies on the environment and natural resource management. He said: "The country faces important trade-offs in its aim to conserve biodiversity while balancing the need for economic development. The project allowed us to effectively engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders - including those in powerful and influential positions. We hope this exercise can be used as a blue print for conservation priorities and policies in Malaysia and other tropical countries. By making this paper open access, it can be available to all. All of us need to understand that we can make a change and choose a lifestyle that is more harmonious with nature." Malaysia is generally considered an example of success in its smooth transition into modern economy with an ambition to be a high income economy by 2020. Malaysians below the poverty line has been drastically reduced from 52% in 1957 (at independence) to less than 0.6% in 2014. This rapid economic development, however, has come with a cost to the environment. In 1940 almost 80% of Peninsular Malaysia was under forest cover - this figure had dropped to 44% by 2014. While the world is losing biodiversity at unprecedented rate, the first objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992 is to conserve the earth's biodiversity. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets renewed this mandate to address and halt biodiversity loss by 2020. Prioritisation of conservation approaches by identification of issues will assist developing countries with limited resources for conservation in supporting the achievements of Aichi Targets as illustrated in this paper. The senior authors of the study are Dr Campos-Arceiz, associate professor in Tropical Conservation Ecology at UNMC, and Dr Rory Padfield, lecturer in Geography at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Campos-Arceiz said: "To generate ownership of the issues and potential solutions there is a need for inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder participation in the identification of conservation priorities. Although we will have contrasting perceptions of conservation priorities, it is important to have multi-stakeholder support and involvement to pursue our conservation agenda."


While recent initiatives have attempted to address conservation priorities at global and national scales, most of these focus on developed countries in temperate regions. There is a need, say experts at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC), to develop similar strategies in developing countries, especially in biodiversity hotspot areas. K. Nagulendran (Nagu), a third year PhD student with the School of Geographical and Environmental Sciences, led a multi-stakeholder exercise involving several hundred participants to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia. They have produced a list of 35 ranked conservation issues within seven general themes. The aim is to influence policy-makers, practitioners and researchers and ensure conservation becomes an integral part of the development process. The results – 'A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia' - have been published in the open access academic journal Cogent Environmental Science. The project makes the case for the prioritisation of conservation actions in Peninsular Malaysia guided by science, in consultation with a wide range of key stakeholders. It is also important to focus collective action given the limited resources available for conservation activities. Malaysia is part of the Sundaland Biodiversity Hotspot and is ranked 12 globally in terms of its National Biodiversity Index. Malaysia boasts a wealth of biodiversity which includes 306 species of mammals, 742 species of birds, 567 species of reptiles and over 15,000 plant species. Although the country has a target to increase terrestrial protected areas from 13.8% of total land area in 2015 to 20% by 2025, economic development has already had an impact on wildlife. The Sumatran rhino has disappeared altogether and the country has seen a steady decline in the number of Malayan tigers. Through a series of workshops and online surveys, the objective of the research was to engage relevant stakeholders in the identification of conservation priority issues in Peninsular Malaysia; produce a list of ranked conversation issues; and test differences in priority perception among the stakeholders involved in the exercise. The results suggest that there should be: improvements to policy and management to champion biodiversity issues; a strengthening of environmental laws and enforcement; recognition of socio-economic issues especially among indigenous and local communities; increases in funding and resource allocation; knowledge, research and development to inform decision making; a greater understanding and protection of the rights of nature and cultural heritage; a more holistic public awareness and participation to bring about change to promote conservation. Balancing the need for economic development Nagu works for the Malaysian Government's Ministry of Natural Resources and Environment. He graduated with a Masters in Environmental Management from The University of Nottingham in 2003 and has been recognised by the University for his work in the evolution of Malaysia's policies on the environment and natural resource management. He said: "The country faces important trade-offs in its aim to conserve biodiversity while balancing the need for economic development. The project allowed us to effectively engage a broad spectrum of stakeholders – including those in powerful and influential positions. We hope this exercise can be used as a blue print for conservation priorities and policies in Malaysia and other tropical countries. By making this paper open access, it can be available to all. All of us need to understand that we can make a change and choose a lifestyle that is more harmonious with nature." Malaysia is generally considered an example of success in its smooth transition into modern economy with an ambition to be a high income economy by 2020. Malaysians below the poverty line has been drastically reduced from 52% in 1957 (at independence) to less than 0.6% in 2014. This rapid economic development, however, has come with a cost to the environment. In 1940 almost 80% of Peninsular Malaysia was under forest cover – this figure had dropped to 44% by 2014. While the world is losing biodiversity at unprecedented rate, the first objective of the Convention on Biological Diversity adopted in 1992 is to conserve the earth's biodiversity. The Aichi Biodiversity Targets renewed this mandate to address and halt biodiversity loss by 2020. Prioritisation of conservation approaches by identification of issues will assist developing countries with limited resources for conservation in supporting the achievements of Aichi Targets as illustrated in this paper. The senior authors of the study are Dr Campos-Arceiz, associate professor in Tropical Conservation Ecology at UNMC, and Dr Rory Padfield, lecturer in Geography at Oxford Brookes University. Dr Campos-Arceiz said: "To generate ownership of the issues and potential solutions there is a need for inclusiveness and multi-stakeholder participation in the identification of conservation priorities. Although we will have contrasting perceptions of conservation priorities, it is important to have multi-stakeholder support and involvement to pursue our conservation agenda." More information: A multi-stakeholder strategy to identify conservation priorities in Peninsular Malaysia, K. Nagulendran et al. Cogent Environmental Science, Volume 2, 2016 - Issue 1 Article: 1254078 | Received 17 Aug 2016, Accepted 25 Oct 2016, Accepted author version posted online: 31 Oct 2016, Published online: 21 Nov 2016, www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/23311843.2016.1254078


PubMed | Peninsular Malaysia, University of Malaya, University Tunku Abdul Rahman and University of Malaysia, Kelantan
Type: | Journal: PeerJ | Year: 2015

Background. Two non-tuberculous mycobacterial strains, UM_3 and UM_11, were isolated from the trunk wash of captive elephants in Malaysia. As they appeared to be identical phenotypes, they were investigated further by conventional and whole genome sequence-based methods of strain differentiation. Methods. Multiphasic investigations on the isolates included species identification with hsp65 PCR-sequencing, conventional biochemical tests, rapid biochemical profiling using API strips and the Biolog Phenotype Microarray analysis, protein profiling with liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry, repetitive sequence-based PCR typing and whole genome sequencing followed by phylogenomic analyses. Results. The isolates were shown to be possibly novel slow-growing schotochromogens with highly similar biological and genotypic characteristics. Both strains have a genome size of 5.2 Mbp, G+C content of 68.8%, one rRNA operon and 52 tRNAs each. They qualified for classification into the same species with their average nucleotide identity of 99.98% and tetranucleotide correlation coefficient of 0.99999. At the subspecies level, both strains showed 98.8% band similarity in the Diversilab automated repetitive sequence-based PCR typing system, 96.2% similarity in protein profiles obtained by liquid chromatography mass spectrometry, and a genomic distance that is close to zero in the phylogenomic tree constructed with conserved orthologs. Detailed epidemiological tracking revealed that the elephants shared a common habitat eight years apart, thus, strengthening the possibility of a clonal relationship between the two strains.

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