Selasa, 16 Juli 2013

..........raising issues of cost, safety?? ..Uranium processing facility faces delay,..>> .....In a December 2009 interview, Darrel Kohlhorst, then the general manager at Y-12, noted plans to spend about $100 million over the next decade to maintain safety systems at 9212 and other old facilities. ''But, even that, that has an end. OK?" Kohlhorst said. "And in that 2018-2020 time frame, I think everybody is saying at that point if you don't have a new facility, you may be out of luck. Because there's going to become a trigger point where the infrastructure, where this facility, is just not safe to continue operating."..>> .........Ormat is a world leader in geothermal power. With headquarters in Reno, Nevada, the firm employs over 1,000 people worldwide, chiefly in geothermal and recovered energy generation...>> ...Officially, China is enthusiastic about geothermal energy. In 2011 the Ministry of Land and Resources announced China would start a geothermal energy exploration and development project, with a target of meeting 1.7% of the country's energy consumption by 2015...>> ....Ellen Carberry of China Greentech outlines five broad themes shaping development in the sector: 1. China market growth is astonishing: in 2010, China invested $54.4bn in clean energy. 2. It is being driven by urgent needs: 1.3 million deaths every year in China are attributed to air pollution. 3. Urbanisation represents a social shift the like of which has never been seen before. And with rates of less than 40%, China has a long way to catch up with other developed nations. 4. China wants global players in every market. In the recent 5 Year Plan, 6 of the 7 priority industries are green tech related. It's estimated they will receive around RMB10 trillion over the next five years. 5. Energy security is a driving concern. China consumes 10% of the world's oil and its energy gap is growing....>> ....Vietnam, Bangladesh or the Philippines – the next stop for some China-based producers – are not options for Caldeira. He believes the concurrent boom years of China and India were a one-off event, never to be repeated elsewhere. "China had the cluster model, the infrastructure, the stability and a steady trade flow," he says. "There's more risk in some of the newly emerging economies. "And the fabrics we use are woven in China – so they would need to be shipped to the other country to be sewn, and then shipped back. Bear in mind that the labour cost on our most expensive cushion might only be 10 to 15% of the product cost." ...>> .... "It's not just about trade between for example China and the U.S. or China and Europe. There are new strands of activity that are growing fast," says Adrian Rigby, Global Deputy Head of Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC in London. "In more difficult economic times, businesses are re-engineering themselves and hunting out new markets." Many of the new opportunities arise in fast-growing emerging market economies, especially those with expanding import and export markets. The trade aspect is important because it indicates a certain level of interconnectedness with global supply chains, as well as a certain threshold of infrastructure and regulatory development to make it possible to do business....>> ...."You can't have network trade without industrialization," says Richard Kozul-Wright, Head of the Unit on Economic Cooperation and Integration among Developing Countries at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), in Geneva. Network trade accounts for more than 75% of total developing country trade, with China responsible for about 60% of that....>> .... Many sectors are seeing a shift from export-driven production to a mix of domestic consumption and exports, says Mr. Kozul-Wright of Unctad. "It will be interesting to see whether these value chains become more self-contained in the developing world rather than depending on technology and markets in the north," he says. "If the developing world would like to maintain the kind of growth its had in the last decade, then value chains will have to have more local content than in the past." The top emerging growth importers between 2012 and 2016 are predicted to be Egypt, with a 10% compound annual growth rate; Panama at 8.8%; Indonesia at 8.5%; Brazil at 8%; Peru at 7.7%; Russia at 7.4%; Argentina and India, both at 6.8%; China at 6.6% and Saudi Arabia at 6.3%, according to "HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast Update," which HSBC published in February...>> ... The top emerging exporters to 2016, according to the HSBC report, are Egypt, with 9.26% growth; Panama at 9.5%; Paraguay at 8.8%; India at 7.5%; Australia at 7%; Colombia at 6.7%; China at 6.6%; Peru at 6.4%; Indonesia at 6.1% and Poland at 5.9%. ..>>


Uranium processing facility faces delay, raising issues of cost, safety


The government has confirmed that, based on the latest estimates, the Uranium Processing Facility in Oak Ridge won't become operational until 2025 -- and that's just the first phase of what's now become a three-phase project.
Just a few years ago, the entire project at the Y-12 nuclear weapons plant was supposed to be completed around 2020. According to information contained in the U.S. Department of Energy's newest Stockpile Stewardship and Management Plan, which was submitted to Congress last month, the fully equipped UPF won't be available until 2038.
The delayed timetable raises more questions about the eventual cost of UPF, which previously had a cost range of $4.2 billion to $6.5 billion.
It also raises questions about the safety of extended operations in the plant's World War II-era production facilities -- including the 9212 uranium-processing complex, which has been described as deteriorated, dilapidated and impossible to bring up to modern-day standards.
In response to questions, Steven Wyatt, a spokesman for the National Nuclear Security Administration, a semi-independent part of DOE, confirmed that the 2014 stockpile management plan for the nuclear weapons program "contains the most current estimate on the operational date for UPF. " He added: "This is based on current design and planned funding. The schedule and cost will be fully refined when the formal baseline is completed."
The project's baseline, including a detailed cost estimate, apparently won't be revealed until the design is at least 90 percent completed, and that's not expected until this time next year.

Wyatt would not discuss the current cost estimate for UPF, which reportedly is on the rise, but he acknowledged that the biggest factor in the delayed schedule was the forced redesign of the building because of the "space/fit" issue that became problematic in August 2012. The original design effort would not accommodate all of the needed equipment, and so the design team had to raise the roof by 13 feet and make other adjustments.

''The delay is primarily related to the space/fit issue," Wyatt said via email.

The NNSA did not immediately respond to questions about the impact on worker safety if Y-12 is forced to extend operations at the 9212 uranium complex until 2025.
For years, UPF supporters have pushed for an accelerated schedule in order to get out of 9212 as soon as possible.

The Defense Nuclear Facilities Safety Board has frequently raised questions about current conditions at the Y-12 facilities, which don't meet seismic standards and other safety-related codes.

Some shops in the 9212 complex were constructed during the Manhattan Project and are still used to process bomb-grade uranium for reuse in nuclear weapons and for fuel in the nation's nuclear-powered submarines. There have been repeated equipment failures and inconsistent operations.

In a December 2009 interview, Darrel Kohlhorst, then the general manager at Y-12, noted plans to spend about $100 million over the next decade to maintain safety systems at 9212 and other old facilities.

''But, even that, that has an end. OK?" Kohlhorst said. "And in that 2018-2020 time frame, I think everybody is saying at that point if you don't have a new facility, you may be out of luck. Because there's going to become a trigger point where the infrastructure, where this facility, is just not safe to continue operating."

(Reach Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Frank Munger at mungerf@knoxnews.com. Distributed by Scripps Howard News Service, www.shns.com.)

Read more: http://www.kitsapsun.com/news/2013/jul/15/uranium-processing-facility-faces-delay-raising/#ixzz2ZGzHB8A6
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Rise of emerging economies changes the world trade map


Buyers are looking for complex and structured solutions in the supply chain that provide connectivity globally between themselves and their suppliers.
https://globalconnections.hsbc.com/global/en/articles/emerging-economies-change-the-world-trade-map
 

The evolution of supply chains is forging new trade corridors around the world, creating new opportunities in emerging market economies.

"It's not just about trade between for example China and the U.S. or China and Europe. There are new strands of activity that are growing fast," says Adrian Rigby, Global Deputy Head of Trade and Receivables Finance for HSBC in London. "In more difficult economic times, businesses are re-engineering themselves and hunting out new markets."

Many of the new opportunities arise in fast-growing emerging market economies, especially those with expanding import and export markets. The trade aspect is important because it indicates a certain level of interconnectedness with global supply chains, as well as a certain threshold of infrastructure and regulatory development to make it possible to do business.
Opportunities for new business or growth of existing business may exist in markets that weren't very evident before the crisis
"You can't have network trade without industrialization," says Richard Kozul-Wright, Head of the Unit on Economic Cooperation and Integration among Developing Countries at the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (Unctad), in Geneva. Network trade accounts for more than 75% of total developing country trade, with China responsible for about 60% of that.

Trade by low- and medium-income countries has increased to about 20% of world trade today from about 8% in the early 1990s. The trend of developing economies of the world trading between themselves, often called south-south trade, has picked up speed since the 2008 global economic crisis, says Przemyslaw Kowalski, Economist at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris. Some developed countries still haven't recovered fully from the crisis, while others—mostly emerging market economies—didn't dip as much and have fully recovered in trade.

That means that since the economic crisis, opportunities for new business or growth of existing business may exist in markets that weren't very evident before the crisis, Mr. Rigby of HSBC says. "Corridor creators" are what HSBC calls businesses that seek out the best trade partners to drive competitive advantage, regardless of location.

The crisis just accelerated changes that had already started in global supply chains.
Supply chains consist of four things: a supply source, a destination, an intermediate point and a final product, says ManMohan Sodhi, Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Management at the Cass Business School of the City University London. "Any combination of those is a supply chain," he says. "All of them are changing now."

Destinations are changing—countries that were supply sources have also started buying products, Dr. Sodhi says. Some are actually buying locally goods that also are produced for export, such as clothing made in India, and sold in India and Europe by an international retailer. Warehouses have sprung up to cater to the new supply chains.

Many sectors are seeing a shift from export-driven production to a mix of domestic consumption and exports, says Mr. Kozul-Wright of Unctad. "It will be interesting to see whether these value chains become more self-contained in the developing world rather than depending on technology and markets in the north," he says. "If the developing world would like to maintain the kind of growth its had in the last decade, then value chains will have to have more local content than in the past."

The top emerging growth importers between 2012 and 2016 are predicted to be Egypt, with a 10% compound annual growth rate; Panama at 8.8%; Indonesia at 8.5%; Brazil at 8%; Peru at 7.7%; Russia at 7.4%; Argentina and India, both at 6.8%; China at 6.6% and Saudi Arabia at 6.3%, according to "HSBC Global Connections Trade Forecast Update," which HSBC published in February.

Sources are changing—companies that made their supply chains too lean got burned by disruptions and are switching to a combination of long and short supply chains to reduce risk, Dr. Sodhi explains. They continue to source supplies from low-cost countries around the globe but they may also arrange for nearshoring, with a secondary supplier much closer. "They still have the old supply chain but now they have another one in addition to it," he says.

Stephan Wagner, Professor of Logistics Management at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, known as ETH, also sees a move away from single sourcing, despite its cost advantages, toward diverse sourcing to reduce vulnerabilities. "Companies put suppliers in different regions to reduce risks such as exchange-rate risk or geographic risk."

Another aspect of the sources also is changing: costs. Labor costs in coastal China have risen, prompting some companies to chase lower cost labor farther inland, or in other countries such as Vietnam, Cambodia or Sri Lanka, whose costs haven't risen as much. "There’s a new source and a new trade corridor," Dr. Sodhi says.

The top emerging exporters to 2016, according to the HSBC report, are Egypt, with 9.26% growth; Panama at 9.5%; Paraguay at 8.8%; India at 7.5%; Australia at 7%; Colombia at 6.7%; China at 6.6%; Peru at 6.4%; Indonesia at 6.1% and Poland at 5.9%.

The intermediary point is changing—the Iceland volcano that disrupted air traffic in 2010 made companies look at locations for transshipments of goods. And these intermodal hubs aren't necessarily manufacturing anything. "They say, bring it to my place and I'll route it further," Dr. Sodhi says. Some of these transshipment hubs include Dubai, Singapore, Rotterdam, Panama and Egypt.

"In the future," says Dr. Wagner of ETH, "we will have more intraregional trade and less trans-Atlantic and trans-Pacific trade." Southeast Asia, in particular, is poised for fast intraregional growth.

"As a consequence, logistics firms need to build up strong capacity for regional trade," he adds. "You have to be able to run a logistics operation in China and not just ship parts from Asia to Europe and finished products from Europe to Asia."

The products are changing—most of the sectors forecast to have the fastest growth over the next five years are those that support world trade, HSBC says. Containers, packaging and plastics are expected to register 9% compound annual growth between now and 2016. Binding products for foundries, which are needed for infrastructure projects like roads and railways, are forecast to rise 8.8%. Electrical energy, defined as all non-fossil fuel energy, is expected to be the fastest-growing sector, at 9.1%.

The largest traded sectors now are oil and gas, petrochemicals and plastics, cars, electronics, pharmaceuticals and iron and steel. HSBC forecasts continued growth in all these, though it will be outstripped by the standout sectors mentioned above.

On a consumer goods level, products also are changing. The growing middle class in countries like China, India, Thailand and other countries is driving sales of luxury goods. Now these countries, long the world's low-cost suppliers, are becoming the buyers for goods whose supply source might be Italy or France, Dr. Sodhi says.
Sometimes the change presents surprising challenges for companies. Some European machinery companies have found that customers in emerging market economies are willing to settle for quality that's just good enough, if it means a lower price. "This can be problematic for companies that have a culture of high technology and high precision," Dr. Wagner of ETH says. "The customers don't need such high standards and aren’t willing to pay for it."

At the same time, companies in low-cost countries are increasingly engaging in research, development and engineering to develop their own products, rather than simply to manufacture what's been designed in traditional markets, he notes.

"Local or national companies are moving beyond their initial stages of just copying products. They are also investing in engineering in developed markets," Dr. Wagner says. He sees cases of Chinese machinery companies buying medium-size German engineering companies, for example. "It's the next step of the maturity curve," he says.

Foreign direct investment by OECD countries has contracted since 2008, notes Mr. Kowalski of the OECD. But China and India "are heavily investing. Their role in foreign investment has grown dramatically."
That leads to a fifth element—finance—which has evolved in the supply chain, says Dr. Sodhi of Cass Business School. "Money is what makes global trade possible," he says. Global banks are now acting on behalf of buyers and paying suppliers directly.

Companies are looking for ways to manage risk in global supply chains, particularly as they enter new markets, says Mr. Rigby of HSBC. Solutions including trade credit insurance, guarantee structures and collection support are growing strongly.

"Buyers are looking for complex and structured solutions in the supply chain that provide connectivity globally between themselves and their suppliers," he says. "We at HSBC are well-placed to meet that need."
Large buyers are increasingly seeking supply chain solutions, he says. These take a number of forms, depending on where trading partners seek to allocate and retain payment risk. Therefore flexibility of product solution is key.

The risk also has diversified with the supply chain, bringing in more counterparties. "Finance really creates a new diversification point that we didn’t talk about before," Dr. Sodhi says.

Catherine Bolgar is an independent writer covering business and economics.


Alternatives to China Manufacturing


One producer believes more businesses will follow his lead and start to bring the work home.

UK manufacturing as an alternative to China

"If current trends continue, we'll be looking at bringing more back," says Tony Caldeira. China's appeal as a manufacturing base is on the wane. One producer believes more businesses will follow his lead and return to UK manufacturing as an alternative.

Caldeira is bringing manufacturing home to the UK. UK manufacturing is a move that would have been unthinkable to Tony Caldeira just four years ago, when he opened his 25,000 square metre production unit near Hangzhou, on China's east coast.

The Liverpool-based cushion designer and manufacturer has been hit by soaring wages in China. Like other producers, he has had to cope with qualified employees demanding 50% wage rises, and the defection of scores of employees after the Chinese New Year celebrations.
When you factor in the other variables at the top end of quality, the cost difference of manufacturing in the UK becomes more or less neutral
But other factors, such as rising shipping costs and the strong renminbi, have had an equal impact. "The duty on finished products coming from China is 12%; the duty on raw materials is only 8%," says Caldeira. "When you factor in the other variables at the top end of quality, the cost difference of manufacturing in the UK becomes more or less neutral."

Asian alternatives?
Vietnam, Bangladesh or the Philippines – the next stop for some China-based producers – are not options for Caldeira. He believes the concurrent boom years of China and India were a one-off event, never to be repeated elsewhere.

"China had the cluster model, the infrastructure, the stability and a steady trade flow," he says. "There's more risk in some of the newly emerging economies.

"And the fabrics we use are woven in China – so they would need to be shipped to the other country to be sewn, and then shipped back. Bear in mind that the labour cost on our most expensive cushion might only be 10 to 15% of the product cost."

Home thoughts - UK Manufacturing
For Caldeira, it makes sense for more cushions to be produced at the company's base. "The UK is a leader in home fashion. Our big Commonwealth markets, such as Australia, Canada and South Africa, tend to look for products that were in demand in Britain six to 12 months earlier."

Caldeira's Chinese base, established as a joint venture, continues to run but with only a third of the one-time 200 workforce. So far, 20 new jobs have been created in Liverpool's production lines and warehouses.
"If current trends continue, we'll be looking at bringing more back," says Caldeira. "I think we may find many businesses with Chinese production following in our footsteps."

'Half chips, half rice'
Caldeira started the process by buying out his Chinese business partner. Unused factory space should not be an issue: "The financial situation in China means a lot of SMEs there are looking to rent space, because they can't get long-term finance."

Tony Caldeira counsels other businesses to take a similarly cautious approach. "There are so many 'known unknowns' in the current economy that flexibility is the key. The companies that will be around in 10 years' time are those with a flexible outlook.

"We will certainly be taking it step by step in terms of moving production. It will be a 'half chips, half rice' approach for the foreseeable future."

Green technology opportunities in China


The macro trend in the green technology is clear - China will emerge as a global champion.

The macro trend in the green technology is clear - China will emerge as a global champion. But underlying this are two implications. The China technology sector is not there yet, and in getting there, it wants to promote its companies as global leaders.

Ellen Carberry of China Greentech outlines five broad themes shaping development in the sector:

1. China market growth is astonishing: in 2010, China invested $54.4bn in clean energy.
2. It is being driven by urgent needs: 1.3 million deaths every year in China are attributed to air pollution.
3. Urbanisation represents a social shift the like of which has never been seen before. And with rates of less than 40%, China has a long way to catch up with other developed nations.

4. China wants global players in every market. In the recent 5 Year Plan, 6 of the 7 priority industries are green tech related. It's estimated they will receive around RMB10 trillion over the next five years.
5. Energy security is a driving concern. China consumes 10% of the world's oil and its energy gap is growing.

With these as a given, Carberry outlines ten recommendations for customers in setting their future China strategy. Chief among these is the need to localise your China decision making, customise your solution to the China market, lower your operational costs and use china as a test bed for innovation.
But in chasing these growth targets, there's a note of caution. China's policy of national champions will be disadvantageous to incoming companies. Yet deals still get done, and there are many ways to partner with Chinese players to develop mutually advantageous strategies, such as reciprocal access to Western markets.

Companies should also mange the IPR risk aggressively. It's a perennial issue, but as the China technology sector develops its own global tech champions, it's starting to care more.
"Don't overlook the risks," Carberry concludes, "but don't not come here for fear of them."


China’s Renewable energy plan - A hot topic


China's new five-year plan promises carbon reductions and an expansion of renewable energy.

China‘s Renewable and geothermal energy plan

China's new five-year plan promises carbon reductions and an expansion of renewable energy. That might prove to be an opportunity for companies such as Ormat Technologies.

Ormat is a world leader in geothermal power. With headquarters in Reno, Nevada, the firm employs over 1,000 people worldwide, chiefly in geothermal and recovered energy generation.

Ormat designs, builds, owns and runs power plants, around 80% of which are in the US. It also manufactures and sells power units and other equipment for geothermal and recovered energy-based electricity generation - this part of the business is mainly centred on exports.

Listed on the New York Stock Exchange, the company has annual turnover of around $400m.

Officially, China is enthusiastic about geothermal energy. In 2011 the Ministry of Land and Resources announced China would start a geothermal energy exploration and development project, with a target of meeting 1.7% of the country's energy consumption by 2015.

But while the political will may exist, CEO Dita Bronicki explains: "It's not yet clear whether there is substantial potential for electricity generation from geothermal energy in China.

"The most active resources are in the so-called 'Ring of Fire', bordering the Pacific Ocean. China is very rich in resources generally, and it already exploits geothermal energy for heating in the south-west. But any major expansion would depend on having the right geology and the right power market nearby."

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