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.”

 

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.

Hyperloop One to debut in UAE

Hyperloop One, the firm who have carried and developed the brain-child of tech-innovator Elon Musk, has signed a deal with the Dubai’s head of transport. On the 8th November, the company announced that it’s highly likely the very first version of the futuristic transport system will connect Dubai and Abu Dhabi.
In a promotional video, the company claimed that the journey between the two cities which traditionally takes about 1 and a half hours, will take just 12 minutes inside the Hyperloop. The high-speed transportation system would use electric propulsion to accelerate a passenger or cargo pod through a low-pressure tube at speeds of up to 700mph. The vehicle would levitate above the track, which is likely to be built on stilts above the ground.
Hyperloop One, which hosted its Dubai announcement at the top of the world’s tallest building – the Burj Khalifa – has signed a feasibility deal with the emirate’s roads and transportation agency. The firm has said they will explore the feasibility of testing the technology at Dubai’s Jebel Ali port, where they hope a successful testing period will lead to further confidence from the city and countries officials.

It is important to note that due to the extreme innovation behind the Hyperloop, it’s still very much in the preliminary stages and therefore, the details revealed were very limited and it’s likely to be a considerable amount of time till we see this system get anywhere near public use.

Africa is becoming a renewable energies headquarters!

The West-African country of Senegal has recently begun the construction of a major solar farm in the sub-Saharan desert, it is a 20MW project located in Bokhol and is called ‘Senergy2’. The project is estimated to cost $28 million and is going to be developed by French renewable energy platform – Greenwish Partners, which dedicates much of its work to sub-Saharan projects. Senergy2 was also financially backed by the Senegalese state; with financial support from the UK and Norway through their joint investment vehicle Green Africa Power, according to local news
When completed and operating at full capacity, it’s predicted that 160’000 people will have access to clean power, a move that will drastically increase the countries chances of 20% renewables by 2017. “With no energy, there can be neither growth nor development. With the Bokhol facility, we are now able to take a new step and Senegal comes unreservedly into a new, clean energy period,” said President Macky Sall.

Senegal is eager to attain a position as one of the continent’s leading countries in renewable energy production, as well as positioning itself as the leader in West Africa; currently, South Africa and Morocco are the flagbearers for the continent.

 

UK Approves World’s Biggest Offshore Wind Farm

The UK government has approved the construction of the world’s biggest offshore wind farm, in a $7.8 billion project. Danish utility company ‘Dong Energy’ is going to be the group responsible for carrying out the project, the location will be approximately 89 kilometers off the coast, in the North-West of England.

“Britain is a global leader in offshore wind, and we’re determined to be one of the leading destinations for investment in renewable energy, which means jobs and economic growth right across the country,” Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark.

It’s anticipated that the construction of the farm will generate roughly 2000 jobs and about 600 operation and maintenance posts, proving positive to the British economically as well as environmentally.

300 wind turbines are going to span an area of 480 sq km, when fully operational the turbines are going to provide 1,800MW of low-CO2 electricity to 1.8m UK homes. Greg Clark is keen for Britain’s rapid developments of off-shore wind farms to continue, in order for Britain to be an example to the rest of world in showing it’s possible to be economically sound and environmentally clean.

Iron-air batteries: a cheap and eco-friendly solution for energy storage

After more than 40 after preparing the first prototype of a cheap , rechargeable, high energy density iron-air battery, researchers at the University of Southern California are now finishing the job of the patent-pending design of the battery.

The technical characteristics of the batteries look particularly well-suited to the kind of large-scale energy storage that could accelerate the adoption of renewable energy sources.

lithium-air-battery

Back in the 70’s, researchers were already working on environmentally friendly rechargeable lithium-ion batteries and only recent advances in materials technology have made this technology into one of the most common, high-performing solutions for today’s portable electronics.

Iron compared to other materials has a few advantages: it’s durable, it has a great capacity to pack energy (per unit of mass), it’s recyclable but most importantly it’s cheap with costs around US$1/kg (2.2 lb).

Iron-air batteries were first expected to be used for electric vehicles and military applications after the 1973 oil crisis. However, research stopped abruptly only years later, when scientists realized that iron-air batteries presented a serious  limitation: whenever the battery was being charged, a wasteful process of hydrolysis drained away about half of the battery’s energy.

iron_air_battery

With today’s technology and advanced research, University of Southern California found a solution to this  problem. They learned that adding a small amount of bismuth sulfide into the battery shut down the harmful reaction and reduced the waste of energy more than tenfold, from 50 down to just 4% .

The other good characteristic cost-effective design of its iron electrode. The researchers combined iron powder with a polyethylene binder, heating the mix to obtain a “pressed-plate” electrode that is simple to make and has high specific energy.

The iron-air battery is exhibiting very promising durability, with a target life of 5,000 charge-discharge cycles. Even more importantly, the batteries seem to retain good performance when they are being drained quickly: at a two-hour rate of discharge, the batteries are showing a twenty-fold increase in capacity compared to commercially available electrodes.

Shanghai Metal Corporation encourages the development and innovation of new technologies. You can visit the company’s website , contact us and follow us on twitter and facebook for more information and news on metal.

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Houria // SMC Editor

Keep it Fresh!

As one of the leading manufacturers and suppliers of metal products in China,  one of our most popular products is the shipping containers. We offer shipping containers in different sizes and variations, among which is the Reefer Container, also known as the refrigerated container.

At SMC we ensure that your perishable goods are kept cool and fresh through the long journey of reaching the export market; or as they are being transported from the place of origin, that is the farm to the  market place in our temperature controlled cargo.  Our professional handling of perishable goods in these reefer containers is specifically beneficial to businesses that trade in the horticulture business farming products such as flowers, fruits, vegetables, sea food ,meat and other fresh produce.

Much like a cold room with controlled temperature, our reefer containers have a controlled atmosphere to ensure that the goods being transported remain as fresh as can be, thus quality products is not compromised.

This intense temperature control is particularly useful in ensuring food quality; so it comes a long way as a great benefit for countries that aren’t self sufficient in food production and are dependent on imported fresh produce.

Refridgerated containers are also essential for transporting other sensitive goods such as plants,medicines and vaccines which need to be under certain temperatures all the time.

These containers are also handy in transporting  food products to military personnel living in bush camps and are out of reach of fresh produce.

 

Our reefer containers are equipped with low power consuming refridgeration technology, which is essential for energy saving.

Seasons Greetings! Look no further and contact us for a free inquiry about to get more information about the reefer containers. They are essential for transporting all those flowers and Christmas trees during this peak season!

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Lebo Seopane//SMC Editor

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