Sunday, August 30, 2009

Leading Personalities address Bengal Chamber’s Environment and Energy Conclave

Kolkata, 28th August 2009: The Environment and Energy Conclave, the Bengal Chamber’s signature event and the only event of its reach and dimensions in the environment and energy spheres in the Eastern Region, was organized by the Energy and Environment Sub-Committee of the Chamber on 28th and 29th August 2009 at the ITC Sonar, Kolkata. The Conclave was addressed by speakers who are the “who’s who” of the environment and energy spheres – from the worlds of policy, fundamental and applied research, technology and business. The theme of the Conclave was, ‘Solutions for Building Competitive Advantage’. Shri Shyam Saran, Prime Minister’s Special Envoy; Dr. Bikash Sinha, renowned scientist and Former Director, Saha Institute of Nuclear Physics and Variable Energy Cyclotron Centre and Mr. Sanjay Mark Wadvani, Deputy High Commissioner of UK in Kolkata addressed the inaugural session. Dr. R K Pachauri, Chairman, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Director General, TERI made a video address.

As part of the technical sessions, there was an Industry Academia dialogue, a CEOs’ Roundtable and a Talk Show on the future energy options and whether these would actually increase competitiveness and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the speakers who addressed the Conclave were, Shri Partha S Bhattacharyya, Chairman, Coal India Limited; Shri M K De, IAS, Chairman & Managing Director, West Bengal State Electricity Distribution Company Ltd.; Dr. Prodipto Ghosh, Distinguished Fellow, The Energy and Resources Institute (and former Secretary, Ministry of Environment and Forests, Government of India) and Shri S P Gon Chaudhuri, Managing Director, West Bengal Green Energy Development Corporation Limited.

The CEOs’ Roundtable featured, Mr. Aloke Mookherjea, Chairman, Flakt (India) Limited, Hon. Consul, Sweden, & Past President, BCCI; Mr. Pierre Jonette, CEO, ArcelorMittal Design & Engineering Centre P. Ltd.; Mr. M S Unnikrishnan, Managing Director, Thermax Limited and Mr. Amitabha Mukhopadhyay, President & Chief Financial Officer, Tata AutoComp Systems Limited.

They apart, some of the other speakers included Dr. G D Gautama, IAS, Principal Secretary, Department of Power and Non-Conventional Energy Sources, Government of West Bengal; Dr. N R Banerjea, Chairman, West Bengal Electronics Industry Development Corporation Limited (WEBEL) and Dr. R R Sonde, Chief Technology Officer and Executive Vice President – Research, Technology & Innovation, Thermax Limited.

There were also speakers from Canada (presenting on fuel cell technology) and Germany (speaking on energy management by radio). There were many other topics and senior speakers from all over India addressed the Conclave. 

The focus of this Conclave was to create a forum for the best minds in environment and energy to meet and brainstorm on issues that were critical for industrial production and sustenance of business and the economy. Through such deliberations the Chamber endeavoured to create an awareness on global environmental issues, discuss the importance of energy conservation and increase process efficiency as well as minimize the climatic impact of industrial operations while not deviating from the profit motive.

Indeed, the Conclave was a most necessary event for industry, Government and academia in the context of the present realities. The world is in the throes of a recession never before seen since the Great Depression of 1929. To make matters worse, the threat of climate change is very real and its impact would be most severely felt right here in Kolkata, one of the world’s most vulnerable regions. In every crisis there lies an opportunity and the present-day environmental threat too is giving rise to technologies, practices and innovations, which, if applied appropriately, can have an immense impact on increasing the competitive advantage of firms. This year, the event was designed such that delegates would have the greatest takeaways in the areas of environmental / energy management, which would also benefit business operations and organizational strategy in the context of environmental threats and compulsions. Simultaneously, the Chamber also discussed Climate Change, which would be the most dominating issue in the immediate future and threaten the very existence of our children and future generations, unless we do something about it now.

The Conclave enabled participants to brainstorm together and learn from thought leaders how to harness the new opportunities, stay away from the ecological threats and build capabilities within the organization to create competitive advantages.

The Conclave was attended by delegates from manufacturing entities; power utilities; heavy engineering industries; electronics sector companies; infrastructure and real estate companies; consultants; universities, training institutions and business schools; think tanks; leading NGOs and various Government agencies. There were a number of participants from neighbouring States and also from Bangladesh.

Volkswagen Group India holds a positive outlook

- Prof Dr Jochem Heizmann highlights the commitment of Volkswagen to the Indian market during SIAM Annual Convention 2009 –

Mumbai, 28th August 2009 – During his participation in SIAM Annual Convention 2009, Prof Dr Jochem Heizmann, Member of the Management Board, Volkswagen AG presented a positive outlook for the automotive industry in India in the coming years. Speaking as one of the panelists for the topic “REVIVAL – The Current & Future State of the Global Automotive Industry & Positioning of the Automotive Industry in India”, Prof. Heizmann said, he sees a growth especially for passenger car market. He also mentioned that the growth can further be enhanced through various government incentivised initiatives such as vehicle replacement program.

According to Prof Heizmann, year 2009 has seen a marginal growth and India is going to play a vital role to keep up the momentum and reviving the industry globally. During his presentation, Prof Heizmann also highlighted Volkswagen Group’s ambitious plans for the India market as the company is targeting capturing 8-10% of market share within the next four to six years. He also talked about the investments that Volkswagen has made through Skoda’s plant in Aurangabad and recently opened Volkswagen’s plant in Chakan, Pune. 

The Chakan Plant will be producing the soon to be launched the 5th generation Polo in India. With an investment of 580 million Euro (i.e. around 38 billion rupees, or 3,800 crores INR), it has a capacity of producing 1, 10,000 cars /year.

Speaking on the occasion, Prof Heizmann said, “Volkswagen Group is present in India since 2001 when Skoda entered the market. Since then, we have launched 15 different models across Group brands, which is a unique success even compared with other manufacturers in India. This strategy has been successful, a clear sign of which is our positive year-on-year growth.”  

Taking into consideration on Volkswagen’s focus on growth markets, India assumes an important position since the automobile market here will go from its present 1.1 million vehicles sold per year to 2 million vehicles in 2014. 

Sharing his views on this, he said, “India is a huge market that we believe offers us potential. In India, the passenger vehicle segment has seen a growth despite the current market situation and Volkswagen plans to tap this. With the varied models across our brands as well as the establishments that have been set up we hope to be able to cater to our customers as well as dealers in the best possible manner.”

“Volkswagen is committed to the Indian market, the proof of which is the constant investment and growth that we provide through the various projects initiated. India is one of our key markets and we know that the future harbors a huge potential. One of our biggest commitments is the Polo that we plan to introduce soon.” he further added.

Every year, the Society of Automobile Manufacturers (SIAM) hosts an Annual Convention focusing on issues influencing the Indian automotive industry’s competitiveness and its integration with the global economy. The theme of this year’s Annual Convention was “Auto Industry: Revival, Restructuring & Sustainable Growth”. Prof Heizmann spoke at the plenary session which ended at a positive note focusing on “Revival”. At a time, when the world is facing a recession, he was able to integrate what policies in place would improve the situation as well as how India could see the way forward. 

About Volkswagen Group: The Volkswagen Group with its headquarters in Wolfsburg, Germany, is one of the world’s leading automobile manufacturers and the largest car producer in Europe. The Group consists of ten brands: Volkswagen, Audi, Bentley, Bugatti, Lamborghini, Porsche, Scania, SEAT, Skoda and Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles. Each brand has its own character and operates as an independent entity on the market. The product range extends from low-consumption small cars to luxury class vehicles. In the commercial vehicle sector, the product offering spans pick ups, buses and light trucks. 

Friday, August 28, 2009

Bharat Refractories merges with SAIL

New Delhi: 

Bharat Refractories Limited (BRL), a PSU under the Ministry of Steel, has been amalgamated with Steel Authority of India Limited (SAIL). The merger of BRL with SAIL was approved by the Ministry of Corporate Affairs under the provisions of Section 396 of the Companies Act, 1956 and the order was published in the Gazette of India on 28th July, 2009. As per the order, the merger is effective from 1st April, 2007. The merger order has been filed with the Registrar of Companies on 27th August, 2009. Earlier, the erstwhile Indian Iron & Steel Company Ltd (IISCO) was amalgamated with SAIL in 2006. 

BRL, which produces an assorted variety of refractories used primarily in iron & steel making, was incurring losses over the years due to technological obsolescence, ageing of plant and equipment, low capacity utilisation and lack of necessary capital investment. It was referred to BIFR in August 1992 on erosion of its net worth. Even after implementing three revival packages in 1996, 1999 and 2002, BRL continued to make losses till 2006-07. Since 2007-08, BRL’s financial position has improved and it has started making profits. Its turnover in 2008-09 was Rs. 231 crore. 

With four plants in Jharkhand and Chhattisgarh, BRL presently produces about 95,000 tonnes of refractories against its installed capacity of 185,500 tonnes per annum. At present, SAIL consumes about 85% to 90% of BRL’s production. With BRL becoming a captive unit of SAIL following the merger, the steel maker will be able to utilise the excess capacity of BRL for its present and future requirement of refractories. The merger will also provide BRL the right opportunity for its own technological upgradation and resource management. 

Commenting on the amalgamation, SAIL Chairman Mr. S.K. Roongta said: "The captive inhouse refractory making capability would provide SAIL with strategic advantage at a time when the company is expanding its production capacity." 

Appointment Of Jimmy Wilson As President, Energy Coal28 August 2009

BHP Billiton announced today that it has appointed Jimmy Wilson as President, Energy Coal, effective from 1 September 2009.

Mr Wilson has had an extensive career in the mining industry. In his 17 years with BHP Billiton, Jimmy has held key managerial and operating roles in the organisation, including President of Stainless Steel Materials (1 January 2007 to 31 August 2009). Prior to this he was President and Chief Operating Officer Nickel West, President and Chief Operating Officer Samancor Chrome, and General Manager of Billiton's Bayside Aluminium.

BHP Billiton Chief Executive Ferrous and Coal, Marcus Randolph today welcomed Mr Wilson to the Energy Coal executive team.

PM’s address at the Presentation of National Awards to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises

The Prime Minister, Dr. Manmohan Singh, gave away the National Awards to Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises for their outstanding entrepreneurship in New Delhi today. Following is the text of the Prime Minister’s address on the occasion: 

“I am very happy to be in your midst in this National Awards Function for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises. This is an occasion to recognize excellence of entrepreneurs and institutions and individuals in this very important segment of our economy. I greet and heartily congratulate today’s awardees. Their accomplishments bear testimony to their sustained hard work and great business acumen under difficult economic conditions. 

Let me once again state what I have said on a number of occasions earlier: Our Government attaches the highest priority to the development of MSME sector. This was the reason why we had created a separate Ministry for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises in the year 2004. I am very happy that the Ministry has done well after its creation. I compliment and congratulate Shri Dinsha Patel, Minister for Micro, Small and Medium Enterprises and his talented team of officials for their continuing hard work for the promotion, development and expansion of the MSME sector. 

This important sector is an important component of our national economy. It provides employment to nearly 60 million people and contributes over 45% of the total manufactured output and 40% of our exports earnings. The growth and good health of these enterprises is therefore not only crucial for our economy as a whole, but also for protecting the livelihood and well being of a very large section of our people. 

The MSMEs have also have an important role to play in developing the skills of our youth and thereby empower them to lead a life of dignity and self respect. Apart from producing technical manpower, this sector has trained a very large number of young people to become in due course of time successful entrepreneurs and contribute to the growth of disbursed industrialization in our large country. 

A large segment of micro and small enterprises lies in the unorganized sector. The establishment therefore of the National Commission for Enterprises in the Unorganized Sector under Dr. Arjun Sengupta was a serious effort of the previous UPA government to look after the requirements of this sector and the well being of those working therein. This Commission has made a number of very useful recommendations and we have already implemented some of them. The examination of the remaining recommendations will be completed very soon. 

As you all know, the recent global economic slow down has had an adverse impact on the growth of our economy. Micro, small and medium enterprises have also not remained unaffected. But I can say with some satisfaction that the Government has been alive to the needs and concerns of the sector. Following my interaction with the representatives of this sector in December 2008, I had issued instructions for the careful examinations of the demands put forward at that conference. I am happy that the stimulus packages that the Government announced in coordination with the RBI contained many measures, which have been of help to this sector. These measures have been taken forward in the Union Budget of 2009-10. 

But I do recognize we need to do more to realize the full development potential of this very important sector. It is in this pursuit that I have had the benefit of taking a meeting with the representatives of this sector two days back and I have issued directions for constitution of a Task Force that would look into the remaining difficulties still being faced by this sector. After the recommendations of the Task Force are available within a time bound period of three months, we will decide on how to further move ahead on this road to provide relief and support to this important sector. Let me assure each one of you that your concerns will continue to receive our government’s very serious and honest consideration. 

At this meeting two day’s ago, it was pointed out and rightly so that credit is the lifeline of any business more so for businesses in MSME sector. Our government is committed to double the flow of credit to MSMEs in five years. I note with some satisfaction that loans outstanding to this sector from the public sector banks have registered a growth of close to 25% during the one year. Today we have felicitated some public sector banks for their commendable role in providing credit to MSMEs. I would urge other banks also to ensure higher flow of funds to these enterprises. Greater availability of credit can contribute to the faster modernization and expansion of these enterprises and the augmentation of their productivity and competitiveness. I would urge MSMEs to also explore new and emerging sources of finance such as venture capital and private equity. 

The effort of our government is to enable entrepreneurs in the MSME Sector to get one-stop access to facilities for capacity building and skill development, credit, marketing support and quality technology. This would, I believe, enable them to execute their projects speedily and achieve better results. To this end, 2000 clusters have been identified across the country and specific interventions are being carried out in 500 of them to start with. I am told that response of entrepreneurs and other stakeholders to these initiatives has been encouraging. I am also very happy to know that a programme of comprehensive reforms in the Khadi sector is planned to be launched with assistance from the Asian Development Bank. And I congratulate Kumud Ben for the leadership that she has provided to this very important segment of our economy. I would urge the State governments and banks to work hard for the success of these programmes in active collaboration with various development agencies of the government. 

In order to improve the competitiveness of MSME sector, the National Manufacturing Competitiveness Programme will have to be implemented in the right earnest with the cooperation of Industries Associations, technical bodies and all other stake holders. I am sure, with the implementation of schemes for lean manufacturing, Mini Tool Rooms, the Design Clinics, business incubators and ICT applications the competitiveness of these units will increase considerably. This will require of course sustained efforts of all the stakeholders. I urge the industrial associations to take full advantage of these programmes. 

It is important to get a clear picture of the opportunities available to and the constraints faced by the MSMEs. This requires more accurate data. I believe that the fourth All India Census of this sector will provide detailed information about the MSME sector. This will in due course of time help in formulating new policies and strengthening the existing ones for more effective implementation of development and promotional plans. 

Let me conclude by reiterating once again our governments’ commitment to support to nurse and to encourage this very important segment and sector of our economy. I once again congratulate today’s award winners and I hope that they will serve as an inspiration for others and role models for guiding more people to come in this vital area of national economy”.

Shri Prasada returns with successful NELP VIII & CBM IV Road Shows at Houston and Calgary



The Minister of State for Petroleum & Natural Gas has returned from highly successful visit to US and Canada in connection with chairing Road Shows for promoting the 8th round of offers under New Exploration Licensing Policy (NELP-VIII) and 4th round of offers under Coal Bed Methane(CBM-IV). Speaking at the road shows Shri Prasada invited E&P companies to be part of the highly attractive offers in the Indian basins. He also emphasized that over two dozen foreign companies like British Gas, British Petroleum , Shell, ENI, Gaz de France, BHP Billiton, Santos, Gazprom, Nafotgaz, Cairn Energy, Niko Resources, Hardy Exploration & Production etc. The Minister further informed that over 70 oil and gas discoveries have been made in the blocks offered under NELP. He expressed hope that the E&P companies would take the advantage of the attractive investment opportunities offered in NELP-VIII and CBM-IV. 

A total of 94 delegates from more than 50 companies/Organisations including some the leading E&P companies and service providers participated in the successfully held road show at Calgary. These included 17 E&P companies, 29 oil and gas field service providers and 10 other organizations, including investors. Some of the main E&P companies which participated in the Roadshow were Canoro Resources, Alberta Oilsands Inc, Pengrowth, Husky Energy, Oil India Limited, BG India, GAIL India Limited, Niko Resources Limited, TransGlobe Energy, Plan Energy Inc, Crew Energy Inc, etc. 

The Road Show at Houston (US) on August 20, 2009 was attended by 52 companies and organizations which also featured an investors’ round table on the sideline. These included 27 E&P companies/Organisations including the leading E&P companies and 25 non E&P companies. Some of the main E&P companies which participated in the Roadshow were Conoco Philips, Noble Energy, Exxon Mobil, Petrotel, BHP Billiton, Devon Energy, Hess Corporation, BP, BG, Apache, TOTAL, RIL and ONGC etc. The concerns of US companies were clarified by the Indian Delegation. 

To facilitate data viewing by Exploration and Production companies, the Government of India has opened a data centre at Noida , India, and at other centres at Houston, London, Calgary and Perth, the data centres will be available for access on request. The data for NELP-VIII &CBM-IV can be viewed by companies at any of these centres as well as online through website and thereafter interested companies may purchase data. 

Promotional Roadshows for NELP-VIII and CBM-IV have been planned also at London ( 8-9 September 2009), Perth ( 22nd September 2009) and Brisbane ( 24-25 September 2009). 

The bid closing date for NELP-VIII and CBM-IV is 12th October, 2009. It is expected that NELP-VIII and CBM-IV bid rounds would result in a very good response from E&P companies and prospective investors as they are likely to avail of the excellent investment opportunities being offered through NELP-VIII and CBM-IV. Government is committed to complete evaluation, award and signing of production Sharing Contracts in a reasonable time frame and the whole process would be completed in a transparent manner as demonstrated in past rounds of NELP &CBM.

Railways : Performance of production units during April - July 2009

Chitranjan Locomotive Works (CLW) produced 45 electric locomotives against the target of 48 electronic locomotives and Diesel Locomotive Works (DLW) produced 86 diesel locomotives against the target of 83 diesel locomotives during April-July 2009. Rail Coach Factory (RCF) produced 515 coaches against the target of 515 coaches where as Integral Coach Factory (ICF) produced 403 coaches against the targets of 407 coaches during the same period. Rail Wheel Factory (RWF) produced 63266 wheels and 24898 axles during the same period against the target of 62099 wheels and 20037 axles during April-July 2009. 

During the month of July 2009, CLW, DLW, ICF, RCF and RWF have produced 19 electric locomotives, 25 diesel locomotive, 118 coaches, 140 coaches, 19501 wheels and 8135 axles respectively against the target of 21 electric locomotives, 21 diesel locomotive, 110 coaches, 140 coaches, 19094 wheels and 6284 axels. 

Railways have realized an amount of Rs. 28.75 crore approximately during the month of July 2009 through ticket checking.

Water quality monitoring at major river basins

Central Water Commission (CWC) under Ministry of Water Resources monitors water quality at the key locations covering all the major river basins of the country. It has a three-tier laboratory system for analysis of the parameters for monitoring.

The Level – I laboratories are located at 258 field water quality-monitoring stations on major rivers of India. The physical parameters such as temperature, colour, odour, specific conductivity, total dissolved solids, pH and dissolved oxygen of river water are observed in these laboratories. 

The Level-II laboratories located at 24 selected divisional headquarters to analyse 25 physico-chemical characteristics and bacteriological parameters of the river water. 

The Level–III/II+ laboratories are located at 4 places namely Varanasi, Delhi, Hyderabad and Coimbatore. 41 parameters including heavy elements/toxic parameters and pesticides are analysed periodically in these laboratories. 

CWC computerizes the data generated in the Data base system and disseminates in the form of Hydrological Year Book and Status Reports. Water Quality yearbooks are published and water quality bulletins also issued regularly.


New Delhi : 05 Bhadrapada 1931
27 Aug 2009
Chief of Army Staff equivalents from 26 countries and senior staff officers from 31 countries around the Pacific and Indian Ocean regions participated in Pacific Armies Chiefs Conference VI and the Pacific Armies Management Seminar XXXIII in Tokyo, Japan. PACC is a biennial, multi-national, executive defense forum and fosters military-to-military cooperation, develops interpersonal relationships and contributes to regional dialogue and stability. 
PAMS is a multinational military seminar that provides a forum for senior-level officers from the Asia Pacific's regional ground forces to exchange views and ideas. It provided an opportunity for the future leaders of the region's armies to establish and cultivate a set of strong interpersonal relationships. Catastrophic disasters are currently a major security threat in the Asia-Pacific region, where 40 percent of the world's disasters have occurred in the last 30 years. This year's PACC and PAMS was co-hosted by the Japan Ground Self Defense Force and U.S. Army. The theme for both conferences is Humanitarian Assistance/Disaster Relief in natural and human-induced disasters. The three day conferences facilitated discussion and exchange of ideas to promote peace and stability in the region. Civil-military and interagency cooperation in disaster relief operations, and ways to increase multilateral military cooperation was also discussed.  
Army Chief Gen Deepak Kapoor had bilateral meetings with the Chiefs of countries of Indian Ocean Region namely Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Thailand, Philippines, Indonesia, Sri Lanka and Nepal. Apart from the above Gen Kapoor also had meetings with Chiefs of various countries of strategic interest like Canada, Chile and South Korea.

First Data in Turkey Renews its Agreement with Akbank

ISTANBUL - August 27, 2009 - First Data, a global leader in electronic commerce and payment processing services, has announced it has renewed its contract with Akbank for its global issuing and consumer finance solution.

Akbank, Turkey's largest bank in terms of market capitalisation, has been using First Data's issuing and consumer finance platform for the management of its loyalty card brands such as Axess, Wings and Fish since 2001. Under the terms of the new agreement, Akbank will continue to use the First Data solution to grow its credit card customer base.

Mr. Alpaslan Ozlu, executive vice president of Akbank, with responsibility for information technology, said, "Compared to other European countries, Turkey is one of the fastest growing markets. This rapid growth was one of the reasons for Akbank's decision, in 2001, to migrate its card management system to First Data's solution. The relationship with First Data has allowed us to rapidly bring new products to market to meet the fast-changing customer demand." 

Ms Sevilay Ozsoz, executive vice president of Akbank, with responsibility for operations, said, "First Data's global issuing and consumer finance solution brings together an advanced processing platform and a fully integrated suite of market-leading, value-added services. It has also provided Akbank with the speed and flexibility it needs to compete and win in the Turkish market."

Soner Canko, managing director of First Data's operations in Turkey, said, "We are delighted to expand our business relationship with Akbank, one of the leading banks in the Turkish market. We continue to strengthen our position in Turkey and look forward to rapid further growth in what is a key emerging market for First Data."

First Data opened a regional office in Turkey in 2007 to meet the growing needs of local banks, financial institutions and retailers in the region. In June, the company also announced the opening its printing centre, providing specialised print and electronic mail solutions for clients in the financial services sector. 

About Akbank
With a strong and extensive distribution network throughout Turkey, including over 870 branches and 15,000 employees, Akbank is a leader in the consistently growing Turkish banking Industry. Akbank's strong capital base, stable deposit structure, ability to generate low-cost funding and robust growth in total assets have positioned Akbank as the most valuable bank in Turkey in terms of market capitalisation. Akbank's local subsidiaries include Ak Securities, Ak Asset Management and Ak Lease. 

Believing that a nation's enlightenment depends on gaining new perspectives across diverse areas, Akbank is a prominent supporter of social responsibility, art, education and innovation in Turkey.

About First Data
First Data powers the global economy by making it easy, fast and secure for people and businesses to buy goods and services using virtually any form of electronic payment. Whether the choice of payment is a gift card, a credit or debit card or a check, First Data securely processes the transaction and harnesses the power of the data to deliver intelligence and insight for millions of merchant locations and thousands of card issuers in 36 countries

WTO: China Firstly Surpassed Germany in the First Half of This Year to Be the Largest Export Country in the World

Based on Wen Wei Po, the data released by World Trade Organization (WTO) during this time indicated that China goods export surpassed the global largest export country, Germany, for the first time in the first half of this year. 

The figures showed that in the first 6 months of 2009, China’s goods export stood at USD521.7b, exceeding USD521.6b of Germany. 

The analyst expressed this signifies the two countries are very close to each other, but it is difficult to predict whether the whole year’s export of China can exceed that of Germany to be the largest export country in the world. 

(Mofcom news)

Transcript of a Press Briefing by Caroline Atkinson, Director, External Relations, IMF

MS. ATKINSON: Good morning. I am Caroline Atkinson, Director of the External Relations Department at the IMF. I'd like to welcome you and the journalists contributing and participating via the Media Briefing Center to our biweekly press briefing. This is the first one we've had for a couple of weeks or a few weeks because of the recess.

Let me start with a couple of announcements. First, on the Managing Director and his travel, he will be in Berlin on September 4 where he will deliver a speech on sustainable growth and a stable international monetary system at a Bundesbank event. It's scheduled for 11:00 a.m. local time, and is an invitation-only event, but we hope to distribute an embargoed copy of the speech ahead of time to the press.

The Managing Director will then travel to London for the G-20 Ministerial Meeting on September 4 and 5, and we will give you further details about his press availability closer to the time. But please also contact Media Relations Division if you have any specific questions or requests. He will then be going to Brussels for a seminar and returning back here. We're not sure whether there will be prepared remarks, but of course if there are we will release those to you.

On the operational side, you've got used to talk about SDR allocation and we want to let you know that tomorrow, August 28, the IMF will officially implement the recently approved general allocation of special drawing rights, equivalent to about $250 billion. This was the allocation initially pressed for at the G-20 meeting in the spring in London. It was formally approved by the IMF's Board of Governors on August 7 and is designed to provide more global liquidity to the world economy by supplementing our members' foreign exchange reserves. And it is of course a prime example of the quick multilateral response to the financial crisis.

The equivalent of nearly $100 billion of this $250 billion will go to emerging markets and developing countries, and over $18 billion to low-income countries. This general allocation is made in proportion to members' existing quotas and will count immediately toward their reserves. Members can choose either to hold them in their reserves or if they wish to, sell all or part of their allocations to others in order to finance immediate hard currency imports. That is possible, and likewise it's possible to enter into an agreement to buy these SDRs from another member.

Separately, we are about to implement on September 9 a special allocation, a one-time allocation, of 21.5 billion SDRs, about US$33 billion. This allocation, which is sometimes called the Fourth Amendment Allocation because it required an amendment to the Fund's Articles of Agreement, will mean that every member country has an SDR allocation. Until now, countries—which is about a fifth of the membership which had joined the Fund after 1981, had not received any allocation, so now this will rectify that imbalance. More information and background on these two SDR allocations is available on our website at, and there are also fact sheets and Q's and A's there.

Lastly, on the Annual Meetings which of course as you know are going to take place in Istanbul in late September and early October, just to remind you that online press registration is open. A link to the registration feature is available on the home page of our website and on the journalist page. And we have also just this week put up a Road to Istanbul webpage.

Let me now turn to questions and ask people to submit questions also at this time.

I have a question here on Latvia asking for any more guidance on when the Latvia release will be distributed. Just to let you know that the Latvia review, as you know, is being discussed today by our Executive Board and we will let you know later today whether there will be a press release today or tomorrow morning. We plan a conference call tomorrow morning as we had done after the staff-level agreement and we will make all of those timing arrangements available to you as soon as we know them. Are there other questions?

QUESTIONER: I was looking at the Board agenda and there is something next week about an exercise with the Financial Stability Forum. Is there any way to know what's going on, what type of exercise it is?

MS. ATKINSON: I'm afraid I'll have to get back to you on that one. I'm not sure what it is. The exercise that we're doing with the Financial Stability Board of course is concerning early warnings, but I'm not sure if that's at the Board and I apologize. I'll get back to you on that one.

QUESTIONER: When the Managing Director will be in Europe at the upcoming G-20, is he going to present any paper there to the ministers, and what type of message is he going to give about growth or the economy in general?

MS. ATKINSON: He will be as I said giving a speech on September 4 which will lay out his key messages at the start of that process leading into the Annual Meetings. I don't want to scoop him on that. As you know, for the ministers there will of course be discussions on the outlook and I think that as John Lipsky and others have said recently and made clear recently, the global economy is of course improving and that's welcome, and today's U.S. GDP numbers I think support that. The outlook is improving, but we do feel that it's very important to stress that it's no time for complacency and that we expect that there are still vulnerabilities and policy support that is very important in cutting short or lessening the severity of the recession remains important. So it's a message that we do believe the recovery is in sight and is going perhaps to be a little better than we had at one time thought, but we expect a rather muted recovery. Obvious the Managing Director will have more details on that when he's talking to the ministers, and as I said, there will be some press availability around the G-20.

QUESTIONER: Exactly what you were talking now about, the signs of recovery and the last data on the U.S. GDP, could you articulate more? If I heard correctly you said something like it's important that the measures taken will be kept in place so there is no complacency. What are the main measures and efforts that the IMF believes it's important that the different governments will keep in place to assure a smooth recovery?

MS. ATKINSON: As we stressed before, the support in three areas where governments have taken measures on the financial system, the fiscal policy and monetary policy. And of course, going forward, at some point these extraordinary measures will need to be unwound and it be time to thinking about that now, but we don't believe it's quite yet time to be implementing exit strategies.

I might just refer you on these issues of the recovery. You may have noticed or you may have been informed that we have begun a blog called IMF Direct, and this week John Lipsky has been and is blogging including on topics like this, so you may well be interested in seeing what he has been saying about that.

I have a question online about Jamaica. It's asking, "In Jamaica there are protests about what's seen as the IMF dictating cuts in government spending as a condition for a loan. Please confirm what changes are being requested."

As you know, there are discussions that have been underway with the IMF and the Jamaican authorities. The authorities themselves are designing their macroeconomic program and that is something that they are very much in the lead on. I don't want to go into discussions about particular issues and I think that we've been having good discussions with the authorities. We are impressed by the fact that they are taking measures and considering measures and have committed as it is very important as we've been stressing recently to a program that will be very much their program.

Are there any other questions?

QUESTIONER: Just an agenda question. I hope I didn't miss it, but have you already started putting out an agenda or releasing documents on Istanbul for us journalists located here? Is everything going to happen there or are you going to release some report and prepare us here during the month of September?

MS. ATKINSON: Yes, all of that information will be available through Media Relations. There will be a run of certain let's say non-Istanbul-related reports such as discussing Latvia and there will be other country matters. Then the particular issues to do with Istanbul, we have a number of press availabilities and particular papers that will be released like the Managing Director's speech at the Bundesbank, and the Managing Director will also be speaking later in September on low-income countries, on September 17. Then of course there will be press availability in London and then again prior to his going to Istanbul, and in Istanbul there will be a major press conference and then various remarks that will be released.

So we have a number of things, and our Media Relations Division can tell you what the timetable of those will be. Thank you all very much indeed, and I look forward to seeing you in this intensive period going forward.

DOE Announces More than $8.4 Million for Regional Sequestration Technology Training Projects

Selected Projects Will Advance U.S. as Leader in Technology to Address Climate Change
Washington, D.C. — U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu today announced more than $8.4 million in funding to develop regional sequestration technology training projects. The seven projects will facilitate the transfer of knowledge and technologies required for site development, operations, and monitoring of commercial carbon capture and storage projects.

Today’s funding, which includes $6.9 million from DOE as part of the Recovery Act, will advance the United States in its position as the leader in technology for addressing climate change and for developing near-zero emission technologies to significantly reduce carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions from power plants. 

"These projects will train workers for a clean energy economy and help position the United States as a leader in carbon capture and storage technologies for years to come," said Secretary Chu.

The training activities will focus on the applied engineering and science of carbon capture and storage for site developers, geologists, engineers, and technicians, providing a technology transfer platform for CO2 sequestration. The selected awards will produce the workforce necessary for the CCS industry with skills and competencies in geology, geophysics, geomechanics, geochemistry and reservoir engineering disciplines. The projects selected successfully addressed five activity areas:

Implement an Organized Sponsorship Development Program – development of a self-sustained long term technology program, without federal government support 

Short Courses on CCS Technologies – work with experts in the field to identify and develop training materials for professionals 

Regional Training—Outreach and Networking – conduct training of carbon capture and storage technologies 

Perform Regional/Basin Technology Transfer Services – transfer technology with various outreach materials and coordination of regional/basin efforts 

Plan and Manage the Recipient’s Regional Program 

The total funding value of the projects is approximately $8.47 million over three years. The work will be managed by the Office of Fossil Energy’s National Energy Technology Laboratory. The projects selected under today’s announcement include:

Regional Sequestration Technology Training Projects:

Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois (Champaign, IL)—Create the Midwest Geological Sequestration Consortium Sequestration Technology Training Center. Training will utilize a modular multi-track approach allowing different professional participants to customize individual programs. Training will benefit the Illinois Basin region by providing curriculum, outreach, and networking on five focal areas for carbon sequestration technology development. 

DOE share: $994,991; duration: 36 months.

Environmental Outreach and Stewardship (EOS) Alliance(Seattle, WA) —Facilitate development of a carbon capture and sequestration workforce through regional CO2 sequestration technology training in the northwest, focusing on 12 – 14 key topics related to long-term underground CO2 storage. EOS will implement an organized sponsorship program; develop short courses on CCS technologies; provide regional training, outreach and networking; perform regional technology transfer services; and plan and manage the regional program. Courses will also cover the intricacies of storage in basalts since they are found in the region. 

DOE share: $995,000; duration: 36 months.

New Mexico Institute of Mining and Technology (Socorro, NM) —Develop the Southwestern U.S. Geologic CO2 Sequestration Training Center. A holistic approach will be utilized to conduct outreach and training for current professionals, inclusive of industry, non-governmental organizations, the general public and media. The training will also engage students at all levels in life, from K-12 to college students, and provide training and tools to secondary education teachers. 

DOE share: $994,219; duration: 36 months.

Petroleum Technology Transfer Council (Tulsa, OK)—PTTC Regional Technology Training Program will focus on the development and delivery of technology training for the Permian Basin. Multiple methods to transfer knowledge include regional workshops, an extended CCS course, research-oriented workshop, online certificate program, and webinars/e-symposia. 

DOE share: $994,998; duration: 36 months.

Southern States Energy Board (SSEB) (Norcross, GA)—The Southeast Regional CO2 Sequestration Technology Training Program will develop short courses on CCS technologies, participate in regional training and other activities through outreach and networking, and perform internet-based and electronic regional/basin technology transfer services. The training will address the most promising sequestration options in the southeast region; various sources of CO2; regional transportation infrastructure; and legal, regulatory and institutional frameworks. 

DOE share: $994,368; duration: 36 months.

The University of Texas at Austin (Austin, TX)—Create an alliance for Sequestration Training, Outreach, Research and Education (STORE), as part of the Gulf Coast Carbon Center, to promote the transfer of scientific knowledge and applied engineering technologies related to CO2 storage in the Gulf Coast region. The focus will be on four primary objectives needed for emerging CCS industry in the Gulf region including sequestration workforce training, public outreach, research and technology dissemination, and workforce pipeline education. 

DOE share: $994,702; duration: 36 months.

University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY) — Develop the Wyoming CCS Technology Institute (WCTI) to implement training and technology transfer in the Wyoming and Rocky Mountain regions. The WCTI will utilize an industry-wide model to train a professional workforce; provide pathways for graduates and professionals from allied fields; and create a vehicle for communicating regional CCS knowledge and technology within the growing industry. 

DOE share: $994,910; duration: 36 months.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bangladesh: Who migrates overseas and is it worth their while?

In 2008 around 5.8 million workers were employed overseas.
Migrant households spend significantly more on modern agricultural inputs.
Migration is mostly to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait, and UK

August 26, 2009 - Bangladesh is among the top ten remittance-receiving countries globally. Globalization of labor markets has provided a unique opportunity for the poor and unskilled people in Bangladesh to improve their lives. In 2008 around 5.8 million workers were employed overseas, remittance flows amounted to around 10% of GDP.

But who benefits from this and to what extent?

A World Bank paper, “Who migrates overseas and is it worth their while? An assessment of household survey data from Bangladesh”, takes a closer look on who and how people migrate abroad, where the remittance is used and whether the benefits from migrating are greater than the costs. The migrant focused survey during 2007 helps to understand to what extent the potential for migration is realized.

The analysis shows that typical Bangladeshi international migrant tends to be:

Young males with seven years of education on average;
They migrate mostly to Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and UK to work for about 6 years;
The probability of an individual migrating increase with age, peaking at 44; and
Migration probability increases with education level, equivalent to 9 years of schooling

How do they migrate for overseas employment?

54 percent of the migrants rely on friends and family, while 41 percent are dependent on employment agents based in Bangladesh;
The total upfront cost averages Taka 161,345(~ $2300) - almost five times Bangladesh’s per capita income; and
To finance this upfront cost, 28 percent of the migrants rely on their own cash savings, 21 percent are supported by friends and family and a significant 12 percent need to sell off assets

This is indicative of a significant potential demand for loans from the formal sector to finance the upfront cost since migrants are able to pay it off in a year and a half to two years.

What are the household level impacts of remittances?

Migrants on average remit Taka 101,579 per annum (2.4 times per capita GDP) in 4-5 installments;
Monthly per capita expenditures are significantly higher for migrant households compared with non-migrant households;
Migrant households eat better (more fish and meat), dress better, buy more household appliances, and save a good part of their remittance receipts;
There is no significant difference between migrant and non-migrant households in terms of per capita expenditures on health and education, vehicles, jewelry or pots and pans and land acquisition;
Migrant households also spend significantly more on modern agricultural inputs (fertilizer and seeds) than non-migrant households; and
Migrant households have larger outstanding loans

Public policy promoting access to migration opportunities for the poor can contribute to accelerating the pace of poverty reduction. On the whole, financing for migration is difficult for the poor. This is an area in which microfinance institutions can play a vital role in providing financial service to make migration accessible to those who are otherwise constrained.

There is also a need to better regulate domestic manpower agencies. Active information campaigns on the costs of migration, the risks, overseas job conditions, and migrant rights are vital to explicitly target at promoting migration from all regions of Bangladesh.

Robert Andersson to head Nokia Corporate Alliances and Business Development, leaves Nokia Group Executive Board

Espoo, Finland - Nokia announced today that Robert Andersson, who currently heads Finance, Strategy and Strategic Sourcing in the Devices unit, will leave the Group Exective Board as of September 30, 2009 in connection with his transfer to new duties in the Corporate Development Office as of October 1, 2009. He will head the Corporate Alliances and Business Development function, which includes responsibility for company-wide strategic partnerships and alliances, including the recently announced cooperation with Microsoft. 
About Nokia

Nokia is a pioneer in mobile telecommunications and the world's leading maker of mobile devices. Today, we are connecting people in new and different ways - fusing advanced mobile technology with personalized services to enable people to stay close to what matters to them. We also provide comprehensive digital map information through NAVTEQ; and equipment, solutions and services for communications networks through Nokia Siemens Networks.

Saving Dhaka’s Watershed through Reducing Industrial Pollution

Dhaka’s population is projected to reach 22 million people by the year 2025. The dense population, high industrial growth, increasing pollutant loads and a lack of wastewater infrastructure – all have jointly created a serious threat to the city’s sustainability. The industrial wastes caused severe degradation of the watersheds. 60% of the total pollution load comes from around 7,000 industrial units located within the Dhaka watershed and the remaining 40% from untreated domestic wastes. The heavy contamination of surface and groundwater sources is threatening the safety of water resources for municipal supplies. 

The Government is committed to improving the quality of Dhaka’s watershed and has emphasized the acceleration of the preparation of the Dhaka Integrated Water Resources Management Project (DIEWRMP) to support improved management of water resources and water quality in Greater Dhaka through a series of measures in selected industrial hot spots with US $ 70 million funding from the World Bank. The project is now renamed as Dhaka Environment and Water Program (DEW Program) instead of Dhaka Integrated Water Resources Management Project (DIEWRMP).

The project would provide infrastructure investments for industrial waste treatment. Further, DEW program would provide technical assistance for (i) improved environmental policy and management framework and institutional capacity, (ii) water quality monitoring and early warning systems and (iii) the promotion of pollution prevention, abatement and control measures in selected industrial clusters, including the construction of Common Effluent Treatment Plants.

The Local Government Division (LGD) of the Ministry of Local Government, Rural Development and Cooperatives will be involved in implementation. Dhaka Water Supply and Sewerage Authority (DWASA) and the Department of Environment (DOE) are jointly leading the feasibility studies on water/wastewater and environmental management issues respectively.

Recognizing the alarming level of pollution, the Government is undertaking key measures to strengthen DOE’s environmental compliance capacity in adopting “Polluters Pay Principle”. The project will also focus on raising awareness amongst industries in selected industrial hot-spots and would enhance their commercial incentives to participate fully in the pollution prevention and abatement program. The second phase of the project would then finance the construction of common effluent treatment plants (CETPs) in industrial hot-spots based on the willingness of industries to participate.

The Local Government Division held a workshop last week where the key stakeholders including members of the Project Preparation Committee (PPC) along with senior government officials, representatives from autonomous bodies, research organizations, industrial associations and development partners participated. The workshop discussed options to enhance industries’ incentives to adopt pollution prevention and abatement measures. This workshop launched the preparation of a new study “Designing an integrated package of PPP options for wastewater treatment and reuse”. The business associations showed keen interest in project initiatives, especially in developing public-private engagement towards achieving sustainable improvements in the water quality of the greater Dhaka watershed. To save Dhaka’s watershed, it is important to have correct incentives for successful Public Private Partnership (PPP). 

Martin Krauss to become new CFO of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies

With effect from October 1, 2009, Martin Krauss will become CFO (Chief Financial Officer) of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH & Co. headquartered in Linz. Mr. Krauss succeeds Werner Auer who took over the position as CEO of Siemens VAI Metals Technologies GmbH & Co. on July 1, 2009.
Krauss began his career at Siemens as a trainee in industrial business administration before going on to work first in the Procurement organization and then in the Project Management organization of the former PG (Power Generation) Group. He then studied business economics at the University of Erlangen-Nuremberg and at Aston University in Birmingham, Great Britain. After gaining his degree, Krauss returned to Siemens, joining the former TS (Transportation Systems) Group in 1994. Following various posts in Strategy and Marketing, in Project Management as well as in Sales and Product Management for multiple unit trains, he worked in the Group for 5 years as Head of Business Administration for the Locomotives Subdivision. From December 2004 up to now, Krauss acted as CFO of Siemens Sanayi ve Ticart A.S. in Turkey.

SMS Meer’s fourth L-SAW pipe mill in China successfully commissioned

A large-diameter pipe mill, supplied by SMS Meer, Germany, has been successfully commissioned at Zhongyou BSS Petropipe Co. Ltd. in Qinhuangdao about 300 km east of Beijing, China. The company is a JV between the Malaysian UMW group and Baoji Petroleum Steel Pipe Co. Ltd., a subsidiary of CNPC, China's largest oil and gas producer and supplier.

The new JCO® mill has an annual capacity of up to 150,000 t and is the most modern of its kind in China. It will be used to produce longi¬tudinal submerged arc welded (L-SAW) steel pipes with diameters from 508 up to 1,422 mm and wall thicknesses up to 40 mm in lengths of max. 12.2 m and material grades up to X100.

SMS Meer supplied and installed the key machines for the plant in¬cluding a plate edge milling machine, the technological components of the crimping press, a JCO® pipe forming press, a hydraulically adjustable tack welding machine and a mechanical expander.

The JCO® pipe forming press is designed as a short-stroke version and operates with a maximum press force of 65 MN. The plate with milled and subsequently crimped edges is stepwise formed over its whole length by a patented forming tool. This results in an open-seam pipe with parallel longitudinal edges offering optimum precon¬ditions for pipe welding.

In the roller cage of the tack welding machine the gap between the two longitudinal edges of the open-seam pipe is continuously ad¬justed parallel and tack welded under inert gas. This tack weld serves during the subsequent submerged arc welding process as a weld pool backing. To ensure that the plate longitudinal edges are brought optimally together the roller beams of the roller cage are individually adjustable servo-hydraulically even under load, if necessary. This hydraulic machine concept is being delivered for the first time to China.

The main tasks of the mechanical expander are sizing and straight¬ening of the pipes. Through gradual cold forming with an expanding head the pipes are straightened over their whole length and given an accurate roundness with an exact inside diameter. This simplifies the later laying of the pipes in the field as the cross-sections fit perfectly together, even when cut in the field as the pipes are sized uniformly over their full length. During the deformation of the pipe the yield strength of the material is exceeded by plastic deformation between 1 and 1.5 %. Thus the mechanical properties are improved by strain-hardening and compensation of residual stresses created during the forming process.

Crucial aspects for the placement of the order in 2007 were the ad-vantages offered by the JCO® pipe forming press as main forming aggregate. The JCO® process developed by SMS Meer has established itself on the market worldwide in competition with the UO process and three-roll bending process due to its higher flexibility with the highest product quality and lower investment costs. It has been employed in many pipe mills in recent years and is the most suitable process for also being able to produce small pipe diameters with high wall thicknesses. Therefore, the market segment for offshore pipe¬lines can also be served.

Following erection and commissioning of the key machines, the acceptance tests were carried out smoothly and on schedule. All guaranteed contract values could be achieved, thus Zhongyou BSS Petropipe Co. Ltd. successfully started pipe production beginning of June 2009.

The commissioned equipment is suitable to produce pipes that meet all the relevant international standards such as API, ISO, DNV. The pipes will be applied i. a. in pipelines transporting oil and gas from Chinese rigs in the northeast of the country to the major cities in the east and southeast.

Carbon Sequestration Documentary Wins Coveted Aurora Award

Washington, D.C. — A film about carbon sequestration produced with support from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) has received a 2009 Gold Aurora Award in the documentary category for nature/environment. Titled Out of the Air – Into the Soil: Land Practices That Reduce Atmospheric Carbon Levels, the documentary discusses the effects that proper landscape management can have on carbon absorption. Documentaries such as this are an important tool in educating the public on steps being taken to mitigate climate change.

 Co-produced by Prairie Public Broadcasting, Fargo, N.D., and the Plains CO2 Reduction (PCOR) Partnership, which is led by the University of North Dakota’s Energy & Environmental Research Center, Grand Forks, N.D., the documentary was a deliverable under Phase II of DOE’s Regional Carbon Sequestration Partnerships program. 

The 30-minute documentary, which premiered on Prairie Public Television on September 26, 2008, is the third in a series of documentaries being produced by the PCOR Partnership and Prairie Public Broadcasting. Out of the Air – Into the Soil also won a 2009 Communicator Award for its high level of quality and excellence in communications.

The Aurora Awards are an international competition designed to recognize film and video excellence. Judging of entrants is performed by panels of working film and video professionals, mostly previous award winners. 

The PCOR Partnership includes more than 90 public and private partners and covers all or part of nine states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Wyoming, Nebraska, Iowa, Missouri, and Wisconsin) and four Canadian provinces (British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba).

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Resource Capital Research – September Quarter 2009

Equity research report : Global uranium companies

Key Points
Uranium Market:
• The uranium spot price is currently trading at US$47.50/lb, down 8% from 3 months ago (US$52.00/lb).
• The Fund Implied Price (FIP), a key leading price indicator is currently US$47.50/lb (same as the spot price) indicating there is no significant price change anticipated by the market near term.
• Since the beginning of July, the FIP has traded in a range from ~US$44/lb to ~US$52/lb. This is up from US$35/lb at the end of March.
• Traders are focused on the uranium supply side with the possibility of increased DOE liquidations leading to modest downside pressure.
• The long term contract uranium price is US$65.00/lb down from US$70/lb Dec ’08, and relatively stable since peaking at US$95/lb from May ’07 to March ‘08.
• There are 413 new nuclear reactors planned or proposed globally as of Aug ’09, up from 318 (+95 units, +30%) Aug ‘08.
• There are 436 nuclear power reactors in operation and 49 under construction (4 more than last

• Strong uranium production increases continue in Namibia and Kazakhstan.

Uranium Companies:

• The Merrill Lynch Uranium Equity Index is down 4% over the past month, down 6% over 3 months and up 125% from the recent low reached 27 Oct ’08.
• The market valuation of Australian companies with one or more uranium projects is up 11% over the past month, up 24% over the past 3 months, and down 6% over the past 12 months.
• This compares with Canadian companies with one or more uranium projects, up 9% over the past month, up 19% over the past 3 months, and down 26% over the past 12 months.
• Australian uranium juniors are moving toward production 2H09 (White Canyon, ASX:WCU, Utah, USA) and 1Q10 (Alliance Resources, ASX:AGS, South Australia).
Resource Capital Research (“RCR”), an equity research company which focuses on small and mid size resource companies, today launched its major quarterly research report covering 19 global uranium exploration and development companies.
The quarterly report typically reviews companies listed in Australia, Canada, USA and UK and active in established uranium districts globally, including Australia, Canada, USA, Argentina, Peru, Mongolia, Zambia, Tanzania and Namibia.

Equity market performance

The market valuation of Australian companies with one or more uranium projects is up 11% over the past month, up 24% over the past 3 months, and down 6% over the past 12 months. This compares with Canadian companies with one or more uranium projects, up 9% over the past month, up 19% over the past 3 months, and down 26% over the past 12 months.
In the past 1 month, the majors have had mixed share price performance: Cameco (CCO) is up 10% (3 month performance +4%), Denison Mines (DML) is down 10% (3 month performance -21%), Uranium One (UUU) down 2% (3 month performance -28%), Energy Resources of Australia (ERA) up 6% (3 month performance +4%) and Paladin (PDN) down 8% (3 month performance -7%).
The Merrill Lynch Uranium Equity Index is down 4% over the past month, down 6% over 3 months and up 125% from the recent low reached 27 Oct ’08 (195).

Uranium price outlook

The uranium spot price is currently trading at US$47.50/lb, down 8% from 3 months ago
(US$52.00/lb) and compares with US$52.50/lb at year end December 2008. The Fund Implied Price (FIP) is US$47.50/lb (same as the spot price), which compares with US$41.40/lb at year end. The FIP has generally been a good leading indicator of near term spot price performance.
No significant direction change in price is anticipated near term and RCR’s price outlook is flat. With the end of the northern hemisphere summer near, there is potential for the return of buyers and an uptick in demand, though traders are focused on the supply side with the possible impact of increased DOE liquidations, as it exercises a provision to exceed the 10% cap, with modest concerns of downside pressure.
The FIP at US$47.50/lb, level with the spot price, suggests market expectations for no significant direction change in the spot price. Since the beginning of July, the FIP has traded in a range from ~US$44/lb to ~US$52/lb recently. This is up from US$35/lb at the end of March.
The long term contract uranium price remains at US$65.00/lb. It is down from US$70/lb Dec ’08, though has been relatively stable, compared to the more thinly traded spot market price, since peaking at US$95/lb from May ’07 to March ‘08. The gap between spot and contract prices is currently US$17.50/lb, having increased slightly over last quarter, due to the decline in the spot price.
Industry fundamentals remain strong, underpinning support for the contract uranium price, with anticipated growth in nuclear reactors and risk of supply shortage mid term (4-8 years).
World planned and proposed nuclear power reactors Currently there are 436 nuclear power reactors in operation and 49 under construction (4 more than last quarter). There are 413 new nuclear reactors planned or proposed globally as of Aug ’09, up from 318 (+95 units, +30%) Aug ‘08. A total of 71 new reactors are expected to be commissioned by 2015.
Events of the past 3 months include:
- China indicates it may review upwards its nuclear energy production target to 86 GWe by
2020 (up from 60-72 GWe target previously). This would require 75 new reactors, up from
the 11 in operation. 15 reactors are already under construction and the balance (64) would
need to commence construction by 2016.
- Continued growth of uranium production in Africa: Namibian uranium production increased 52% in 2008 to 5,149t U3O8 (11.35mlbs) up from 3,395t in 2007. Production in Niger fell slightly (-3%) in 2008 to 3,576t U3O8 (7.88mlbs) from 3,697t in 2007. South African production increased 22% to 772t U3O8 (1.7mlbs).
- Official figures from Kazakhstan indicate a significant increase in uranium production: production increased 28% in 2008 to 10,049t U3O8 (22.15mlbs) from 7,827t in 2007. KazAtomProm reported 1H09 production of 6,000t, up 57% over 1H08. Production target for 2H09 is 8,000t, taking 2009 production to 14,000t U3O8 (31mlbs). Target production 18,000t U3O8 (40mlbs) in 2010.
- Kazakhstan – construction of two sulfuric acid plants underway – sulfuric acid is used in Kazak ISR uranium extraction. Zhanakorganskiy region plant (capacity 500ktpa) – commissioning expected 2011. Stepnogorsk plant (capacity 180ktpa) – commissioning expected 2010.
- Extract Resources (ASX:EXT), Namibia: Scoping study indicates Rossing South mine production of 14.8mlbpa U3O8 - could dwarf neighbouring Rossing mine (RIO, 9.1mlbpa).
Estimated opex US$23.60/lb, capex US$704m. Rossing South resource upgrade at Zones 1 and 2 to 267mlbs U3O8 grading 0.049%. RCR site visit June ’09.
- White Canyon Uranium (ASX:WCU): Daneros mine, Utah – ore shipments are expected to commence Sept ’09. Annual production is targeted at 500,000lbs U3O8, with sale or toll
treatment to Denison Mines (TSX:DML) mill at White Mesa, 100km away by road.
- Alliance Resources (ASX:AGS): Four Mile Project (25% AGS), South Australia, ISR mining
permit granted July ’09. Production expected 1Q10 – 3mlbpa U3O8 with potential to increase
to >4mlbpa.
- Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN): confirmed third stage expansion at Langer Heinrich, Namibia,
increasing production to 5.2mlbpa U3O8 expected from 4Q10, up from 3.7mlbpa (Stage II).
Stage III expansion downsized from 6mlbpa due to water allocation constraints. RCR site visit
June ’09.
- Forsys Metals Corp (TSX:FSY): The company was advised August 19th that the proposed
plan of arrangement with George Forrest International Afrique will require review and
approval of Industry Canada prior to closure. FSY owns the Valencia alaskite uranium project
in Namibia.
“The uranium price is expected to remain flat over the next 3 to 6 months. Our leading indicator, the fund implied price is US$47.50/lb, which is currently level with the spot price. Traders have
expressed concern about the potential of modest downward price pressure from the US Department
of Energy (DOE) increased uranium sales, with the price risk partially offset by the potential for
increased seasonal demand.”
“We expect equity performance in the sector will be driven by broader equity market trends in the coming months, and in relation to specific stocks, the achievement of significant project milestones.
Indeed, there are a number of companies moving to production, including Alliance Resources and
White Canyon within the coming months, and others set to release significant resource upgrades and economic studies which could result in project rerating.” John Wilson, Managing Director of RCR said.
About Resource Capital Research
Resource Capital Research (“RCR”) ( was founded in 2004 and is based in Sydney. RCR provides investors with in-depth reports on current investment opportunities in the mining sector both in Australia and globally. The focus is on small and mid cap resource companies, within the gold and uranium sectors, ranging from exploration stage through development and production. John Wilson the principal of the firm and analyst has over ten years’ experience analysing mining companies in Sydney and on Wall Street including for major investment banks.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Demand growth for steel to cross 10% soon: Steel Secretary

 Steel Secretary Shri P.R. Rastogi has said that the growth steel demand in the country will soon cross 10 percent as soon as the effects of global economic slow down are over. He said consumption grew by 8.9 percent in July and production grew by 5.9 percent. During April-July 2009, production grew by 3.8 percent while consumption grew by 5.8 percent. The steel Secretary was speaking at the third meeting of the Inter-Ministerial Group on Steel. 

Emphasizing the need for raw material security, Shri Rastogi said, Government has so far allocated 12 coking coal and 51 non-coking coal blocks, thereby ensuring 2700 million tonnes and 7000 million tonnes of non-coking coal for captive use by the steel industry. He said, only 4 coal blocks have been made functional and that it a matter of concern. He urged the industry to expedite the opening of coal reserves concurrent with commissioning of their steel production unit. He said, the union cabinet has recently approved the rehabilitation programme of Jharia coal fields, where nearly 12 billion tonnes of coking coal reserve is available. Shri Rastogi said, linkage for 3.75 MMSCMD gas has also been allocated in June this year to three producers – Essar Steel, Ispat Industries and Vikram Ispat. 

The Steel Secretary urged steel producers to give their feedback on the draft National Mineral Policy circulated by the Ministry of Mines. He said the priority allocation of mines for the steel producers and value adders should remain an important criterion in the new Act. 

Representatives of the Ministries of Mines, Shipping, Environment and Forests and Railways attended today’s meeting, besides a number of primary and secondary steel producers including Arcelor Mittal, Tata, SAIL, RINL, NMDC, Essar and Ispat Industries. During the discussion, the producers pointed out that delay in Environment and Forest clearance, allotment of iron ore mines and coal blocks, lack of infrastructure, insufficient railway rakes and law and order issues in the eastern region as the primary reasons for delay in the projects. The Steel Secretary assured them that the law and order issue will be taken up at the appropriate forum.

Selja to leave for Oslo, Norway on 26 August, 2009 to attend UPFI meeting and Tourism Road Shows

The Union Minister of Tourism and Housing & Urban Poverty Alleviation Kumari Selja is leaving for Oslo, Norway on 26 August, 2009 to attend Meeting of the Board of Governors on Urban Poor Fund International (UPFI) and Road Shows to promote India as a preferred tourist destination. Before returning to New Delhi on 30 August, 2009 Kumar Selja will also attend International Workshop on safety and security on Slum. 

The Ministry of Tourism, in association with the PATA India Chapter and the local PATA Chapter in Scandinavia will be organizing a series of Road Shows in Helsinki (Finland), Stockholm (Sweden) and Oslo (Norway) from August 25-28, 2009 . The objective of the Road Shows is to promote India as a preferred tourist destination so as to increase tourism from Scandinavia to India. 

The Road Shows will include Presentations on India, meetings with buyer delegates from the Scandinavian countries as well as interactions with the international media. These road shows provide an effective platform for showcasing the tourism products, facilities and services of the country to a select target audience. Approximately 25-30 leading travel trade representatives from India, including Tour Operators, Airlines, Hoteliers are expected to participate in the Road Shows. 

The countries in Scandinavia are very important source markets for India. With the introduction of Finnair services between India and Finland, tourist arrivals from this region has started showing steady growth. The Ministry of Tourism has therefore decided to capitalize this trend, by making itself visible in the region. The proposed road shows with PATA will leverage PATA’s reach in the region, as also the positive impact of the PATA Travel Mart 2008 hosted by India in Hyderabad. 

During the road shows, the Ministry of Tourism would also be projecting the investment opportunities available in tourism sector in India. There is 100% FDI allowed in the hotel sector and this would be conveyed to industry leaders in these three countries. The development in the fields of Medical and Wellness tourism in the country will also be showcased to professionals and tour operators specializing in the medical and wellness sectors in the region. Similarly, there is great potential for development of the MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Conventions & Exhibitions) segment in India, but there is little awareness about the potential of this product in the overseas markets. A major thrust will be given to this sector, during interactions with the Conference and Incentive Organizers and Opinion Makers 

This is the first time such a large event is being organised in Scandinavia and the Union Minister of Tourism would be participating in the road show organised in Oslo, Norway.

Statistical data vital for assessing impact of policy measures and identifying gaps : Sriprakash Jaiswal

Minister of State for Statistics and Programme Implementation (I/c) Shri Sriprakash Jaiswal has said that statistical data plays a vital role in assessing the impact of policy measure and also helps to identify the gaps. Addressing a gathering of distinguished and eminent statisticians of the world the 57th session of the International Statistical Institute in Durban in South Africa recently, he said that measurement of the achievements on ground is possible through the flow of information from the grass root level to national level and to the policy makers at the apex level. 

The Minister also gave away the 4th International Award in Statistics to Prof. Pedro Alberto Morettin from Brazil for his outstanding contributions in various aspects of statistics in his capacity as Chairman and Dean, Institute of Mathematics and Statistics, University of Sao Paulo. Prof. Morettin has worked actively in Brazil and Latin America for the development of statistical discipline and has developed statistical literature in Portuguese. Congratulating the awardees, Shri Jaiswal said that better appreciation and recognition of statistics as a science today has come about with widespread and variegated use of statistics made possible by the lifetime contributions of a galaxy of great statisticians all over the world. 

The award has been instituted in memory of Prof. P.C. Mahalanobis by the Ministry of Statistics and Programme Implementation in 2003 in collaboration with International Statistical Institute to identify and recognize eminent statisticians from the developing countries for their lifetime contribution. It aims at attracting, inspiring and motivating promising statisticians from across the developing countries.

Parity and Sonata Software announce Strategic Agreement further strengthens position for Microsoft mid-tier clients

Mumbai, August 25, 2009: Parity Group plc, the IT and business solutions company, and Sonata Software Limited, the leading IT and consulting services company, have announced a strategic partnership to share knowledge and experience across their R&D centres and practice teams.  

Through this agreement, Sonata will set up a Global Delivery Centre for Parity that will deliver high quality, cost-optimised, scalable solutions for Parity’s clients. Parity and Sonata will also share knowledge and best practices developed through their R&D centres and practice teams to jointly go-to-market, whilst also utilising alliances with technology majors, which include Microsoft. 

The alliance will benefit UK organisations in both the public and private sectors. Sonata’s technology competence in delivering business focussed IT solutions together with Parity’s in-depth knowledge and expertise in working with varying sectors will enable customers to leverage best of breed IT Solutions.

Alwyn Welch, CEO of Parity Group plc commented on the partnership: “Collaboration and Information Management solutions are key offerings for Parity and resonate with our own business culture so it seems natural that we would want to collaborate with Sonata. Both organisations share a common view of the market strategy and have similar positions and reputations in their respective markets. Our complementary skill sets mean we are able to combine technical experience and resource to help solve customer issues and business needs even more effectively.”

B. Ramaswamy, President and Managing Director of Sonata commented: “Sonata’s solution-based approach and investments in cutting edge technologies, combined with Parity’s inherent understanding of end-user requirements, cater well to customers looking for the best IT solution to match their business vision.”

The agreement covers Parity R&D centres in London and Belfast and Sonata’s centres in the USA, Germany, the Middle East, Asia-Pacific and India.


About Parity


Parity is a business and IT solutions company with over 40 years' industry experience. Parity delivers a range of recruitment and business and IT solutions to clients across the public and private sector.

Parity works with its customers to bring out the best in their businesses, drawing on vast personal experience to help organisations meet the challenges they face. Strong relationships with customers make Parity a trusted partner for hundreds of clients across the UK and Ireland, including; BT, Ofgem, The Cabinet Office, Ministry of Defence, BAT, Northamptonshire County Council and The Charity Commission.

Through specialised IT recruitment for contract, interim and permanent resources, especially in the public sector, Parity provides decision makers with the best candidates to drive strategies forward and focus on results. 

Through Collaborative Information Management, coupled with Web 2.0, Parity helps their customers harness the power of information. Helping their clients to increase efficiencies, reduce costs and maximise customer service. 

Listed on the London Stock Exchange, Parity recorded a turnover of over £148m in 2008.

Rio Tinto welcomes Mongolian Parliament approval of Oyu Tolgoi Investment Agreement

Rio Tinto has welcomed the Mongolian Parliament’s approval of amendments to four laws that clear the way for the finalisation of the Investment Agreement for the Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold complex in Mongolia’s South Gobi region. Rio Tinto and Ivanhoe Mines Ltd, the development partners for the project, expect to formally sign the agreement with the Government of Mongolia in the near future..

Investment in the Oyu Tolgoi project through its shareholding in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd is consistent with Rio Tinto’s strategy of focusing on large scale, long life, low cost assets. Production is expected to commence as early as 2013 with an approximate five-year ramp-up to full production. Average production capacity of the mine over its lifetime is expected to be 450,000 tonnes of copper per year and 330,000 ounces of gold.. 

Tom Albanese, chief executive, Rio Tinto said “This is an incredibly important milestone in bringing onstream one of the finest undeveloped copper-gold projects in the world. The Investment Agreement is also a landmark for the future development of Mongolia’s resources industry. 

“We pledge to develop the mine in accordance with our strict sustainable development criteria. It will bring significant socio-economic benefits for the people of Mongolia, including thousands of jobs at the mine, in the local community and in related industries. We look forward to working with our partner Ivanhoe to making this promise a reality.”

Under the terms of the Investment Agreement, the Government of Mongolia will hold a shareholding of 34 per cent in Ivanhoe Mines Mongolia Inc. Key terms include a stable and operational tax environment in relation to the development and operation of the Oyu Tolgoi Project and certainty as to the term of the investment.

Rio Tinto initially made a US$303 million investment in a 9.95 per cent shareholding in Ivanhoe Mines Ltd in October 2006 under the terms of a Placement Agreement, and at that time agreed to invest US$388 million for a further 9.95 per cent holding at the conclusion of a long term investment agreement with the Mongolian government. Payment of this second tranche is automatically triggered once the conditions precedent to the signed Investment Agreement have been satisfied.

In September 2007, Rio Tinto agreed to provide Ivanhoe with a convertible credit facility of US$350 million for interim financing for the project. This agreement raised both Rio Tinto’s fixed price conversion and warrants from 33.35 per cent up to 42.2 per cent and restrictions on total Ivanhoe share acquisitions from a maximum of 40 per cent under the Placement Agreement to 46.65 per cent. 

About Rio Tinto
Rio Tinto is a leading international mining group headquartered in the UK, combining Rio Tinto plc, a London and NYSE listed company, and Rio Tinto Limited, which is listed on the Australian Securities Exchange. 
Rio Tinto's business is finding, mining, and processing mineral resources. Major products are aluminium, copper, diamonds, energy (coal and uranium), gold, industrial minerals (borax, titanium dioxide, salt, talc) and iron ore. Activities span the world but are strongly represented in Australia and North America with significant businesses in South America, Asia, Europe and southern Africa. 



Dubai - 25 August 2009 – Dubai-based shipowner, Gulf Energy Maritime, operators of high quality oil and chemical tankers, have completed the implementation of ShipNet’s Safety Management System, a sub section of ShipNet’s Marine ERP. 

GEM’s decision was based on their need to implement a Safety Management System enabling and support their Tanker Management and Self Assessment (TMSA) related KPIs, checklist and extensive audit functionality. They also needed to seamlessly integrate their ShipNet PMS system with a Safety Management System. As a further expansion of GEM’s utilization of the ShipNet Marine ERP solution it was a natural step to roll out this solution in their Marine Safety, Environment and Quality department. 

According to Tomas Hozman, ShipNet’s Regional Manager: “GEM, like most shipowners involved in technical management, were looking for a functional, easy to deploy and effective safety and quality solution. The implementation of this solution is a further validation of GEM’s mission statement.”

About GEM 

GEM is a leading, independent product/chemical tanker company and is rated amongst the top independent tanker owners in the world. GEM’s current fleet consist of 19 trading and newbuilding ships comprising modern Product and Chemical tankers. 

GEM’s mission statement is: To provide flawless marine transportation in an environmentally conscious, safe and reliable manner contributing to commerce but above all safeguarding people and the planet.

About ShipNet

ShipNet, a member of the Inchcape Shipping Services group of companies, delivers Marine Enterprise Resource Planning (M-ERP) solutions to 351 of the leading Shipowners, Charterers and Managers across all trade sectors. 

The M-ERP enables the effective and controlled execution of all Financial and Commercial, Technical and Liner Management business processes, on vessel and ashore.

ShipNet has a global network of offices supporting installations in over 40 countries and managing a combined fleet of over 10,000 vessels.

Molex Announces Advanced Physical Layer Lifecycle Management Solutions

25/08/2009 The Premise Networks division of Molex introduces Advanced Physical Layer Lifecycle Management (APLLM) - a revolutionary new suite of solutions offering enterprises the opportunity to manage their Physical Layer and infrastructure with a level of visibility & integration previously untenable in the structured cabling industry.
Using a combination of software, electronics and structured cabling products, APLLM enables users to track and manage their investment from planning through to design, procurement, installation, moves adds and changes and the eventual upgrade of the infrastructure; lifecycle management in its entirety. 
Chip Baines, Director of Product Management, introduces APLLM; ‘in its simplest form APLLM is comprised of three core product groupings; INSIGHT, MIIM™ and traditional Data Transport. When implemented independently each element benefits a targeted infrastructure need, whereas when integrated into a single, seamless Molex solution befits features and capability advantages to enterprises like never before. This holistic view of the physical network provides for true lifecycle management guided by the notion that “no project is ever complete”’.
INSIGHT is an on-line information management system for the planning, deployment and management of infrastructures and their connected assets. Consisting of 3 core modules; Project Control, Connectivity Management and MAC Management, INSIGHT increases visibility, control, automation and collaboration for the management of any infrastructure to specified stakeholder groups. Some core features include best practice libraries, customised work flows, multi-user permissions and partitioning, and real-time access to information from any global location, combine to drive a powerful uniqueness.
MIIM™ is a comprehensive solution focusing on enhancing network management at the physical layer, network security, asset management, increased productivity and visibility. In addition to MAC & work order management, the solution detects network device connect/disconnects regardless of power or broken cables and Smart polling provides constant information on all network devices connected to work area outlets. Compelling MIIM differentiators include true centralised management of the channel beyond the wire closet out to remote work areas regardless of LAN topology, guided patching impervious to human error and collection/reporting/alarming of real time Layer 1 data registering minimal impact on network resources.
Dennis Curtis, President of the Premise Networks division, comments “The Molex APLLM philosophy was borne as a result of listening to our customers. We’ve strived to understand the issues that face them daily, specifically the overriding impact of an insufficiently managed infrastructure. Through our new disruptive technologies, Molex eclipses traditional industry boundaries and lead with solutions that deliver unprecedented productivity gains, process enhancements and incremental value never imagined afforded to infrastructure stakeholders in their deployment and management processes. More than ever, businesses must do more with less; Molex’s APLLM approach is in place to help businesses worldwide achieve exactly that”.

Automotive Materials Life Cycle Assessment Model Released for Use
Updated model evaluates the total vehicle life cycle impact of materials, powertrains, fuels and their sources, total energy consumed

WorldAutoSteel has released a 2nd iteration of the automotive materials parametric Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) model, which allows for broader evaluations of automotive materials, powertrains, fuels and vehicle total energy consumed. Automakers can now evaluate more comprehensively material selections decisions and their affect on green house gas emissions, with additional options for materials, emerging powertrains and fuel sources. The Phase 2 model was developed under the leadership of Dr. Roland Geyer of the University of California’s Bren School for Environmental Science.

The LCA approach assists automakers in evaluating and reducing the total energy consumed and the lifetime GHG emissions of their products. Regulations that consider only the vehicle use phase, or tailpipe emissions, can encourage use of low-density, GHG-intensive materials that provide somewhat lighter weight components. However, this may have the unexpected result of increasing GHG emissions during the vehicle’s total life cycle.
To investigate the aspects of material selection on automotive LCA GHG emissions, a study entitled The Impact of Material Choice in Vehicle Design on Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas emissions - The Case of HSS and AHSS versus Aluminium for BIW applications (see was conducted at the University of California, Santa Barbara (UCSB) Bren School of Environmental Science and a Phase 1 model for material comparisons was developed. The study’s methodology was evaluated and approved by a peer review committee consisting of OEM scientists, University academicians, and a member of the Aluminum Institute
The Phase 2 LCA model is a successor to the Phase 1 model. Following the same methodology, the Phase 2 model has incorporated many new features and capabilities. Examples:
1) The original model allowed evaluation of three materials: conventional steel, Advanced High-Strength Steels (AHSS) and aluminium. The updated model adds magnesium and several composites to the materials that may now be evaluated for their emissions from manufacturing through use and end-of-life. 
2) Advanced powertrains incorporated into the Phase 2 model are diesel and fuel cells.
3) It is now possible to evaluate the impact of bio-fuels and varying agricultural sources for the production of these fuels.
4) The model is now capable of producing an analysis of total energy consumed over a vehicle life cycle, to compliment the total green house gas emissions analysis.
An example of evaluations that can be conducted using the model are shown in Figure 1 following, which compares green house gas emissions for steel, aluminium and sheet moulding composite vehicle body structures incorporating these advanced technologies. As we move to the right with the comparison bars, total life cycle emissions decrease, which means that material production emissions contribute a greater percentage to the whole. Thus as these technologies are implemented in mainstream vehicle designs, the emissions from material production becomes relatively more important in the total life cycle. This places greater emphasis on the critical decisions required to choose low GHG-intensive materials such as steel to ensure that total life cycle GHGs also are reduced.
A key finding is that with reasonable assumptions and inputs for the specific application and manufacturing processes, the material production phase can be a significant percentage of the vehicle’s total carbon footprint. In fact, it becomes even more important as the vehicle’s footprint is diminished through advanced powertrains and fuel sources.
Regardless of all reasonable inputs, the impact of material production and recycling on LCA GHG emissions are relatively small compared to total emissions, and significant improvements in reducing automotive GHG emissions will not be made by material substitution alone. 
The Phase 2 model is fully parameterized, and developed using a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet, making it very user-friendly. Users can download the model free for use in conducting their own evaluations. Just click the link above right.