Items filtered by date: Wednesday, 26 June 2019
An Aramco oil tank is seen at the production facility at Saudi Aramco’s Shaybah oilfield in the Empty Quarter, Saudi Arabia.
 
Saudi Aramco has signed 12 pacts with South Korean partners worth billions of dollars, the company said in a statement on Wednesday, as part of a long-term strategy for downstream growth and diversification.
 
The agreements, signed with companies including Hyundai Heavy Industries, cover shipbuilding, engine manufacturing, refining, petrochemicals, and crude supply, sales, and storage, it said.
Published in Business
S-Oil, South Korea’s No.3 oil refiner by capacity, said it had signed a memorandum of understanding with its top shareholder, Saudi Aramco, for technical advice on a multi-billion dollar petrochemical plant it is looking to build.
 
S-Oil said in a statement on Wednesday that the cost of the proposed project in the southeast of South Korea was estimated at 6 billion dollars, up from the 4.3 billion dollars it had previously expected.
 
The MOU coincides with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s visit to South Korea this week as the two countries seek to bolster economic ties.
 
Saudi Aramco said in a separate statement on Wednesday that it had signed 12 pacts with South Korean partners worth billions of dollars.
 
S-Oil said it hoped to complete the plant by 2024 as part of a drive to expand its petrochemical business.
 
The South Korean refiner said it was looking to build a so-called steam cracker with a capacity of 1.5 million tonnes per annum and olefin downstream facilities in the plant.
 
The cracker would produce ethylene and other basic petrochemical products, while the olefin downstream facilities would churn out high-value petrochemical products including polyethylene.
 
S-Oil said last August that it was conducting a feasibility study into building the cracker and olefin downstream facilities.
 
Separately, S-Oil last year finished building two other petrochemical plants in South Korea.
 
They began operating in November, producing 405,000 tonnes per year of polypropylene, 300,000 tonnes per year of propylene oxide, and 21,000 barrels per day (bpd) of gasoline.
Published in Business
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 13:33

MTN $2b tax case adjourned till October

Justice Chukwujekwu Joseph Aneke of the Federal High Court in Lagos on Wednesday adjourned until 29 October a case to resolve a $2 billion tax dispute between MTN Group and Nigeria’s attorney general.
 
The attorney general has demanded MTN pay the $2 billion in September. The company has said the tax demand is without merit and the attorney general has exceeded his powers in making the request.
 
Lawyers for the Nigerian government requested the adjournment.
 
Nigeria is MTN’s biggest market, with 58 million users in 2018 and accounting for a third of the South African firm’s core profit. But the Nigerian business has faced challenges, ranging from the tax demand to a fine over unregistered SIM cards.
 
MTN Nigeria, the company’s local unit, listed in Lagos in May in a 2 trillion naira ($6.5 billion) flotation and became the second-largest stock on the bourse by market value.
 
The listing followed MTN Group’s agreement with Nigerian regulators to settle most of its long-running disputes.
 
MTN said it would sell more shares to the public and increase local ownership in MTN Nigeria once the tax row was resolved.
 
MTN agreed in December to make a $53 million payment to resolve a separate dispute in Nigeria after the central bank ordered the company and its lenders to bring back to Nigeria $8.1 billion it was alleged to have repatriated using improperly issued paperwork between 2007 and 2008.
 
The settlement ended a four-month row that had hammered MTN’s share price in Johannesburg.
 
Published in Business
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 13:24

10 migrants dead in Turkey van crash

A van crash has killed 10 migrants in north-eastern Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday.
 
Security forces had tried to stop the vehicle carrying the migrants but the driver tried to speed off, Anadolu said.
 
He then lost control and hit a wall. The crash left at least 30 people injured.
 
The nationality of the dead has not been announced.
 
The province of Edirne where the crash happened borders Greece and Bulgaria.
 
Migrants from the civil war in Syria and also from Afghanistan often try to pass through Turkey to reach the European Union.
 
Turkey has officially taken more than 3.5 million refugees from Syria.
 
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
 
Some 268,000 refugees were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
 
The refugees were mostly from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.
 
 
 
 
 
Published in World
Wednesday, 26 June 2019 13:24

10 migrants dead in Turkey van crash

A van crash has killed 10 migrants in north-eastern Turkey, state news agency Anadolu reported on Wednesday.
 
Security forces had tried to stop the vehicle carrying the migrants but the driver tried to speed off, Anadolu said.
 
He then lost control and hit a wall. The crash left at least 30 people injured.
 
The nationality of the dead has not been announced.
 
The province of Edirne where the crash happened borders Greece and Bulgaria.
 
Migrants from the civil war in Syria and also from Afghanistan often try to pass through Turkey to reach the European Union.
 
Turkey has officially taken more than 3.5 million refugees from Syria.
 
Turkey has been the main route for refugees trying to cross into Europe, especially since 2011 when the Syrian civil war began.
 
Some 268,000 refugees were held in Turkey in 2018, according to the Interior Ministry.
 
The refugees were mostly from war-torn countries such as Afghanistan, Syria, Iraq and Pakistan.
 
 
 
 
 
Published in World

Proposed magnetic levitation train could make ground travel faster than traveling by air in certain circumstances.

A sleek prototype of a high-speed train unveiled recently in China is designed to carry passengers at a speed of 600 kilometers per hour, or 370 mph. That’s more than 150 mph faster than the world's fastest passenger trains now in regular intercity service, which touch 217 mph on runs between Beijing and Shanghai.

The new train, under development by the state-owned China Railway Rolling Stock Corporation (CRCC), is designed not to run on rails but to float above the track using a technology known as magnetic levitation, or maglev.

Given the train’s tremendous speed, a trip by train could be even faster than traveling by air under certain circumstances, Ding Sansan, the head of the team developing the new train, told the Chinese newspaper Qingdao Daily. He said a trip from Beijing to Shanghai that might take four and a half hours by plane could be completed in about three and a half hours by the new maglev train.

Some media outlets reported that the train would begin service in 2021, but the company didn’t give an exact date — and rail experts say years of testing will be required before the train is ready to carry passengers.

“The Chinese maglev is very much a research project at this stage,” Chris Jackson, editor-in-chief of London-based Railway Gazette International, said. “There are no firm plans to develop a commercial route.”

Maglev train technology has been in development for decades. It uses powerful electromagnets to levitate train cars just above the track and provide forward propulsion, eliminating the friction from the metal wheels used by conventional trains.

In addition to being faster than conventional trains, maglev trains produce less noise and vibration, a boon for people living or working near the tracks, as well as for passengers and crew aboard the trains. Maglev trains also have fewer parts and thus promise greater reliability.

The new Chinese train won’t be the world’s first maglev train. Since 2002, a maglev demonstration train has been carrying passengers at speeds of up to 267 miles per hour on 19-mile runs between the outskirts of Shanghai and the city’s main international airport.

Japan is working on a maglev train that could begin service between Tokyo and Nagoya in 2027, carrying passengers at about 370 mph — the same speed projected for China’s new train.

A 300-mph maglev train has been proposed between Washington, D.C., and Baltimore, but Larry Blow, a maglev consultant in Arlington, Virginia, said the high cost of building it — estimated at $10 billion to $12 billion — is likely to scuttle that project.

But Blow said maglev trains could still find a place in the United States for urban transit systems, over short distances and at moderate speeds — perhaps around 60 mph. "That would be the much more popular application, if only for cost reasons," he said.

The fastest passenger train currently in regular intercity service in the United States is Amtrak’s Acela Express, which reaches a top speed of 150 mph on runs between Boston and Washington, D.C. — but only for 34 miles of the 450-mile route.

 

Credit: nbcnews

Published in Engineering
The Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Governor, Godwin Emefiele, on Monday said his second term would witness the recapitalisation of the banking system.
 
Emefiele made the promise in Abuja on Monday during a press briefing on his policy road map for the next five years as governor of the CBN.
 
He said that recapitalisation which was last last done during the days of Prof Charles Soludo as the governor of the apex bank in 2004, was long overdue and would reposition the banks.
 
“We will pursue the programme of recapitalisation of our banks in the next five years to ensure they are among the top 500 in the world.
 
“It is Soludo that did the last recapitalisation of banks in 2004 from two billion naira to N25 billion.
 
“If you relate N25 billion to present exchange rate, you realise is lower than 75 million dollars.
 
“The then recapitalisation has been weakened and there is need to recapitalise and reposition the Nigerian banks,” he said.
 
Emefiele also said that in the next five years, the CBN under his leadership would work with deposit money banks to enable Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises (MSMEs) have access to credit.
 
He said that MSMEs constituted about 90 per cent of businesses in the country, hence the need for this group to have access to credit facilities.
 
According to him, this group of businesses are essential to the growth of the country’s economy.
 
Emefiele also pledged to ensure lower lending rates by banks during his second term.
Published in Bank & Finance
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