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.

 

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.

The China – EU steel conflict goes on…

After it was announced on Friday that the EU had set higher import duties on two popular steel products from China, the country has hit back labelling the investigation methods as ‘unfair’. China’s commerce ministry have led the protests against the decision, labelling it “unfair and unreasonable” and “seriously damages the interests of Chinese enterprises”, due to it being a method commonly used against non-market economies.
The duties have been imposed after recent outcries of concern over the declining state of European steel industry; Britain alone has seen 5’000 jobs axed this year, primarily down to the collapse of Tata Steel UK. The EU has largely blamed China for the declining European Steel market, accusing them of dumping ludicrously cheap steel on the market, which doesn’t give competitors the opportunity to compete.
However, China who is the suppliers of 50% of the world’s steel and the largest consumer of steel, have claimed that the accusations are unjust, considering Chinese steel products represent just 5% of the European Market and have said weak economic growth is the reason behind said problems. “China hopes the EU will strictly respect relevant World Trade Organization rules and fully guarantee Chinese companies’ right to protest,” the ministry said.
The EU’s duties are set at between 13.2 and 22.6 percent for hot-rolled flat iron and steel products and at between 65.1 and 73.7 percent for heavy plate steel.
The war of trade between the EU and China doesn’t look like ending any time soon, considering the EU are still debating whether to grant china ‘market economy’ status, something China firmly argues is a given right considering in December they will have been a member of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) for 15 years. The commission has said that China is not a market economy and that it would not recognize it as such, but would adopt a new method to set duties that would abide by WTO rules.

Distribution Poles: From Wood to Hot Dip Galvanized Steel

With the increasing demand of eco-friendly ans sustainable products from both the public and private sector, the main sector to improve is the energy sector itself.
Distribution pole are the main vectors of electricity and have become over the century a common view of our roads and fields. 

images
wood distribution pole

Steel poles are becoming increasingly popular among utility companies for building  distribution lines or for replacing the traditional wood poles. Many reasons push these companies to use steel ans invest in the new distribution poles. In this article we will try to summarize the benefit of hot dip galvanized steel mainly reported from linemen who have worked with both wood and steel

distribution-pole-blue-sky-asset
distribution pole – source: wikipedia.org

Wood pole VS Steel pole

Lighter

For similar strengh, a steel pole is 30 to 60% lighter than a wood pole. This makes them easier to lift, load, install and  handle in general.

Cheaper: Thanks to continuous improvement of quality and manufacturing process of steel poles the cost of steel poles come down to a point where they became competitive with wood. 

Flexible:  

Unlike wood poles which can only have a certain maximum size determined by the size of the tree taken from,  the size of wood poles can be determined freely according to the need. Steel poles can be made to handle virtually any load and in any length and can also be made as single piece poles or in sections if that would help handling them in the field.

More Sustainable

Galvanized steel poles were a response deforestation issues steel is one of the most recyclable materials around so there is never any environmental concern over disposing steel. an old pole will be recycled to make a multitude of other products. Also , the protective system that is required to cover steel poles is made of zinc which is also an environmentally friendly material and virtually 100 percent recyclable. In addition. The coating systems have been improved so much over the years that it has reduced  the maintenance needed and improved their life expectancy of the poles.

Safer:  

The steel structures do not require a full-length copper grounding wire. They are already self conducting for grounding purposes. As a result, no installation of a ground wire is required.

pole 4
lineman on distribution pole source: wikipedia.org

source: steel.org,  smdisteel.org

Shanghai Metal Corporation manufactures hot dip galvanized steel products because it believes in its potential and encourages its use for a more sustainable industry and a clean environment.
For more information, you can visit the company’s website or contact us for any inquiry.

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Houria // SMC Editor