Got a spare $111 million lying around? Buy a nuclear power plant!

A business tycoon from the US has recently made history, he became the first ever individual to purchase a nuclear power station. Franklin J. Haney, whom has made his fortune through being an innovative property developer, acquired the Alabama based nuclear power station at an auction on November 14th.

Mr.Haney, has built himself quite the reputation on the journey to attaining his fortune, he’s established a status for ‘innovative financing’ and ‘imaginative acquisitions’, of which the ‘imaginative’ and ‘innovative’ are certainly justified in his latest purchase. However, his initial investment of $111 million is just the start of his spending intentions for this project.

After attaining a number of interested parties from the beginning, the day of the auction only actually saw 2 interested parties battling it out. Jackson Holdings of Alabama LLC, were the competition faced and made a serious challenge of it, bidding up to but no higher than $110 million.

The 75-year-old has vowed to rejuvenate numerous communities in Tennessee and Alabama, pledging that the completion of the plant will create in excess of 4’000 jobs, whilst operating the plant will create 2’000 permanent and highly-paid jobs.

Along with the incomplete 2.6GW power station, which has for years been ransacked for spare parts, Haney will get 1,400 acres of property on the Guntersville Reservoir. To hold him to his promises regarding the site, the seller, state utility Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), stipulated that Haney must invest at least $25m on the property within five years of closing the deal, and he has two years to close the deal. It contains two partially built Babcock & Wilcox pressurised water reactors. When TVA halted construction in 1988, reactor 1 was approximately 90% compete, and reactor 2 was approximately 58% complete. But after years of removing assets from the units, and following subsequent inspections, the reactors were deemed 55% and 35% complete, respectively, in 2009.

As well as the power station and the land, Haney gets switchyards, office buildings, warehouses, cooling towers, water pumping stations and railroad spurs. “The Bellefonte Nuclear Station will help transform communities across the region – many of which have been hit hard by the forced closure of coal power plants over the last decade. This project will bring new life to the region by creating thousands of jobs while providing assured access to reliable, affordable, zero-emission energy.”

 

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Is government intervention hampering private investment into East-African renewables?

Many experts believe the contribution of governments within East-Africa is slowing the speed of growth in the renewable energies sector. Government involvement in the design, development and operation of mini-grids is deterring potential private investments; private investments into East-African renewable energies were predicted to surge in recent years but this has not been the case.
Experts from within the sector are pointing the finger at government agencies that are crowding out the developers using legal and political tools that are in need of reforms. Private companies have indeed shown an interest in investing but they have insisted the power and subsidies given to government companies need addressing if their investment is to be warranted.
Kenya’s ministry of energy has said that overall electricity access has increased within the country from 23 percent in 2009 to 50 percent in 2015; however, the unequal distribution of this electricity is still highly prevalent with much of northern Kenya still deprived of such resource. Regions such as northern Kenya have access of about 5 percent. It says eight out of the 20 poorest parliamentary constituencies “where 74 percent to 97 percent of people live below poverty line” are found in this northern region.
A number of renewable energies companies would happily address this problem, through investment into the northern and other neglected territories of Kenya, however, the unfair position of power given to Kenya’s Rural Electrification Authority (REA), just completely deters these prospective companies.

In countries such as Kenya, which has such vast areas which do not have access to any electricity, mini-grids are definitely a better option to grid extension; it provides better quality and more reliable electricity to remote areas.

How drones are revolutionizing the construction industry

Drones have been one of the fastest growing phenomenon’s in the last few years, both in terms of private and commercial use. To be the expansion into context, back in 2012 the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) estimated that by 2012, 30’000 drones will be operating in US airspace; at this current time (2016) around 2.5 million drones are operational in the United States, of which 500’000 are being used commercially. Unsurprisingly, the FAA has since revised their forecast and now predicts the country will have 7 million drones in the air by 2020.
Many believe drones are the next step in the process of the ‘industrial revolution’. Before the availability of the modern cranes and industrial equipment, we rely so heavily upon today, laborers would be forced to complete every single job on the construction site by hand. Jobs that today take months to complete would have in years gone by taken years, and in maybe 20 years time, the jobs we see today taking months could take weeks, thanks to the use of drones.
Assessing the earth for the foundations of construction is also something that a drone can be considerably more efficient for. Traditional land survey equipment gets the job done and provides accurate results, however, when the apt software is installed into a drone, it will also attain accurate result but it will complete the job in a time 85-percent quicker at a cost of 10 times cheaper than traditional methods.
Furthermore, the job a project manager is also made fundamentally easier through the assistance of drones. In years gone by builders manually assessed project dimensions, which would predominantly be unreliable, timely and costly.  By using drone data tools, the drone can automatically measure essential projects components, such as stockpile volumetric, whilst also sending instant feedback to the project manager who can begin analysis.
Drones are becoming increasingly common in day-to-day life but this is just for leisure, more importantly, drones are becoming more and more prevalent in a variety of industries but none more crucially than construction. Construction is an industry very much built on efficiency, in the sense of cost and time; hence the reason drones potentially have such a pivotal role to play, when the above reasons are taken into consideration.

You would be a brave person to bet against drones being a key player in the next industrial revolution.

Hotel developments to lead the way for growth in African tourism

A number of the world’s largest hotel chains are betting on Africa being their next big investment opportunity. Africa’s tourism sector is already on a momentous upwards slope and this is the obvious trend that has caught the attention of some of the world’s most renowned hotel names, such as, The Hilton, Fairmont and the Jumeirah group. Starwood, Marriot and the Four Seasons have also publically stated they intend on investing heavily across North, South and Central Africa in the five-years between now and 2021 that experts predict will be one of the largest periods of hotel growth in the continent’s history.
Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) in Africa is currently rising at an astronomical rate; last year, the global growth rate of FDI was 1%, whereas in Africa they experienced a 7% growth. Paul Frimpong, Investor Analyst at international business facilitation experts Naseba, said: “The enormous potential of the African continent cannot be emphasized enough. Africa is the fastest growing region for FDIs in the world. Aggregate household consumption will reach $1.4 trillion with collective GDP hitting $2.6 trillion in 2020 alone. These facts show that with the understanding of the growth momentum, combined with the right strategies, presents handsome rewards for current and prospective investors in the region.”

Not only does the hotel boom in Africa provide more opportunity for the tourism industry but it also presents an abundance of opportunity for the continents architects, interior designers, real estate developers, buyers and engineers working on not only hospitality, but retail, commercial and residential developments.

 

“GUNS, GERMS AND STEEL”: A PERSPECTIVE OF PROGRESS BY JARED DIAMOND

Guns, Germs and Steel is a famous Pulitzer Prize-winning book written by Jared Diamond, an American scientist and author of other well-known science books like The Third Chimpanzee (1991) or Collapse (2005).

Guns, Germs and Steel serves to answer to why some civilizations, like the Europeans, have survived and conquered others.  Jared Diamond explains that this hegemony is primarily based on their technological and intellectual superiority. To sum up everything, the success of a civilization is essentially a question of environmental luck.

The title of this book sums up the general theory of Diamond’s ideas: farm-based societies conquered and spread influences on other populations of other areas and maintained their dominance. By using weapons and technology (guns), these elements serve immediately as a form of military superiority. Diseases (germs) – can be seen indirectly as a form of biological weapon- weakened and reduced local populations, therefore making it easier to maintain superiority over them. The last “ingredient” of power concerns steel which means the development of basic infrastructures and transport and therefore enabled imperialism.

Hence according to Jared Diamond, the success or the fall of human societies are determined by geographical luck and it’s technological means. The ideas written in this book essentially describes different factors that could contribute to a better development of any civilization. Although this book provides a different perspective of development, it is also subject of various critics.

As an international corporation, we too share the same idea that steel is an amazing material that contributes to the development of every progressing society. It is both economic and sustainable. Steel for a very long time, is a material that represents progress and innovation. Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures and distributes a large range of Steel products of high quality all over the world. For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Maria // SMC Editor

Aluminum, Metal of choice for sustainable cans

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crashed soda cans

the Aluminum Association and Can Manufacturers Institute (CMI) new report states that aluminum cans are the most recycled beverage containers in the market, they have the highest recycling rate. A can usually contains 70% of recycled content, which is 3 times more than plastic or glass containers all this while being around 300 percent more valuable than other materials. A can is generally turned into a new can and back on store shelves within 60 days.
In addition aluminum cans have become lighter by 38 percent since 1972 in the United States, with a weight of 12.99 grams approximately. Aluminum cans are more than 15 times lighter than standard 12 oz. glass bottles, which makes it easier to transport bigger quantities of beverage and optimizing their transportation costs.

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An Aluminum can goes through several steps during its life span from one recycling process to a new one

Stage 1 : Can Shredding

In this step cans are shredded into pieces the size of a walnut. The shreds are then passed through a double magnetic drum separator to remove any steel that may have been mixed into the bale.

Stage 2 :  De-coating

Any paint or other chemical coating on the aluminum is removed by blowing hot air (around 550°C) through the shreds on a slowly moving insulated conveyor. The exhaust gases from this process are first passed through an afterburner and then used to heat incoming process air via a heat exchanger, minimizing the energy requirements of the system

Stage 3 : Melting

After the de-coated process, the aluminum shreds are put into a melting furnace containing submerged stirrers that create a vortex in the pool of molten aluminum and drag the shreds quickly down into the melt.

Stage 4 : Aluminum Casting

The molten metal is transferred into a furnace to remove impurities and start the casting process then Ingots are cast from the remaining pure metal.

Once in the mold, cool water is sprayed around and through the base of the mold. The aluminum ingot ten solidifies for the next three hours. The finished 18-ton ingots, each containing approximately 1.5 million used cans, are shipped to a mill for rolling into the sheet from which aluminum can makers subsequently produce new cans and the whole process begins again.

source: www.aluminum.org and homeguides.sfgate.com

Shanghai Metal Corporation offers a wide range of aluminum products and is conscious about ecology and sustainable business . You can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Houria // SMC Editor

Metal industry driving force behind fast growth in dry bulk shipping demand.

According to MarketReportsOnline.com the demand for steel in 2015 will grow at a tremendously fast pace. This fast paced growth will consequently send the dry bulk shipping sector a boost that will drive up the demand growth for that industry. In the research report of 56 pages published by MarketReportsOnline.com it states that Iron ore and coal will be the driving forces behind the anticipated growing demand for dry bulk shipping.

The dry bulk shipping industry is predicted to have a much better year in 2015. Growth rates for the first quarter of this year are expected to be higher than they were in 2014. The global dry bulk shipping industry holds an essential place in maritime transport, carrying large volumes of unpacked products. These products are carried in 20 feet bulk containers, that can carry up to 192 tons of bulk goods.

The latest innovation on these containers, like the one designed by Shanghai Metal Corporation, offer fast and efficient ways to load the bulk goods via the roof and unload through the latch on the bottom of the front door.
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Contact us for an inquiry on our newest solutions for bulk shipping or for more info go to our website.

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By Youssef el Issaoui//SMC Editor

Credits: SMC website, Google Images