5 November 2007German manufacturing company MAN Ferrostaal has launched South Africa’s first fabrication yard for oil and gas platforms at Saldanha Bay near Cape Town, positioning the country to take advantage of booming energy operations along Africa’s west coast.A company statement issued this week reveals that the investment is worth approximately €30-million (approximately R284-million) and forms part of a R1.7-billion investment pledged by the company into the South African oil and gas operations.This commitment is part of an offset deal brokered between the South African government and the company, which has built three new U-206 submarines for the SA Navy.At the official opening of the yard on Tuesday, MAN Ferrostaal chief executive Matthias Mitscherlich emphasised the great local added value in realising the project.“Three-quarters of all firms commissioned were South African companies and half of all expenditure went to companies which promote the interests of South Africa’s black population,” Mitscherlich said.Over 900 people from the Western Cape Region were involved in the nine-month construction period, with nearly all material used in the construction of the yard coming from South Africa.Saldanha Bay, situated about 60 nautical miles north-west of Cape Town, is the deepest and largest natural port in southern Africa, and it is intended that the platform fabrication yard will meet the increasing demand for production platforms triggered by the growing west African oil and gas industry.Complete offshore platforms, as well as components for offshore platforms such as bridges, outriggers, decks, mantles and submarine infrastructure, will be constructed at the 220 000 square metre complex.Until now, offshore oil and gas platforms used in west Africa have been manufactured solely in Europe, the Middle East, the US and south-east Asia, and capacity constraints meant lead times of up to seven years. The new production site at Saldanha Bay will reduce lead times and towing times for platforms to a fraction of the time currently required.MAN Ferrostaal believes that the sharp increase in oil prices will lead to increased demand for production platforms, and is currently in talks to construct a second site for the repair and maintenance of oil platforms in Cape Town.Both projects are of great social importance for South Africa, in addition to their economic significance, as they will lead to the creation of approximately 12 000 new jobs.“Due to the very positive feedback from the international oil industry, a capacity increase is already being planned for the complex in Saldanha Bay,” MAN Ferrostaal said.SAinfo reporter Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Will changes only come with new regulations?For automobiles, it took an EU directive to push the change. This is likely to be needed in the construction industry, since the end-of-life costs are not tied to the same entity doing the new construction.But the market forces of opportunities may continue to lead the way in developing technology, innovative builders who are pushing the envelope. Cradle to Cradle, (still) a new way of thinking. Designing homes for a nomadic populationThe benefit is easily defined. For while we are enamored with the image of a permanent domicile, the average American will move 11.7 times during his or her lifetime. We are a nomadic population, only we don’t bring our tipis with us. Instead, we leave old behind and expect our “new” homes is to have updated technology and style.If buildings were built with isolated components, they could be more easily refurbished. There is also a strong market demand for temporary housings – for mining or natural gas extraction sites, for Granny Pods, emergency housing for natural disasters. What if these could be sent out as a kit, assembled in a week and used for up to 5 years before they are reconditioned and re-used?Questions of “if” can generally be resolved. If there is a will, there is a way. Already in 1908, Sears showed us how houses can be designed, shipped and built from a “kit,” the IKEA version of house building. One has only to look at the pre-assembly of roof trusses, advances in panelized construction, and the prefab home industry to see that many of the components are already in place.But rather than prefabricating the entire home, and then shipping the assembled shell – a very expensive and unwieldy proposition – a kit can be sent out for site assembly. This would include one layer which is the “lifetime” structure, perhaps designed to look like timber framing, only built out of engineered wood. Then an envelope layer, similar to a SIPs, with cam-lock gaskets to pull it all together. These can be prefinished both on the interior and exterior, and stacked on a truck. Cabinetry can be hung on wall-mounted hardware with a posi-lock attachment; demising walls can be locked into position and pressure locked into place. Floors might be pre-finished hollow-core pre-cast. In fact, there are pioneering firms who are already exploring this concept, such as Bensonwood in New Hampshire.Off-site manufacturing has the advantages of building in controlled environments, to tight tolerances, and gaining efficiencies of process planning. When combined with computerization and modular design, it also makes it easier to customize and allow for owners to make their own changes throughout the life of the building. But it can also address the bigger question of embodied energy, of effective use of materials, and of addressing market demand for change. How long should a house last?Discussions of end-of-life disassembly bring into question the anticipated service years of a building. This is not currently a design parameter for residential builders. At one point when I was working on a life-cycle analysis problem, I contacted a bunch of production residential builders for their design service life. They hadn’t ever even posed that question. We don’t have any idea how long we anticipate the house to serve in its current configuration, nor do we prepare for eventual adaptive use.Exterior surfaces are now considered dated after 20 years or so, and HVAC equipment wears out or becomes obsolete in around 10 years. But the end of life of the building structure can be anywhere from the mortgage life of 30 years (one would hope) to over 300 years.One NAHB study notes that framing and structural systems were expected to “last a lifetime.” Whose? In “Designing for the Long Now,” we discussed the need for this shorter term service elements to be accessible for easy repair. The same could be said for cars. For example, spark plugs – often a $5 part with a $100 service charge for labor, because they are buried under the windshield wiper fluid tank. But I digress… or do I?Could the wiper fluid tank have been designed in a different place? Or in buildings, could our electricity be designed to NOT be buried inside all the walls? Or the insulation co-mingled with the structure? Could the components be separated? Is there a benefit? An environmental hazard avoided – or a value gained? These are very different design criteria, and could trigger some very innovative solutions. Vera Novak writes the Eco Build Trends blog and is currently earning her PhD in Construction from Virginia Tech. In his seminal book “Cradle to Cradle,” designer William McDonough advocated that objects should be designed with the end in mind. This has been codified by the EU End-of-Life Directive, which has improved upon the traditional recycling of cars as junk, or co-mingled material. Not only does this help prevent pollution and make vehicle dismantling and recycling more environmentally-friendly, but it also provides an incentive to automobile manufacturers to reduce the use of hazardous substances, and clearly label and identify vehicle components for recovery and reuse. Producers cover the costs of collection – i.e., the last owner does NOT pay for the disposal of the car.Imagine if this were the case in construction — even “just” in the residential industry. As with any new idea, there would be immediate pushback: “Can’t do – houses are not cars.” No, indeed, cars have to provide weather protection, lighting, heating, and cooling … within a moving object. Only mobile homes have that stringent a requirement, but the majority of housing is not so constrained.
NEXT BLOCK ASIA 2.0 introduces GURUS AWARDS to recognize and reward industry influencers 2 ‘newbie’ drug pushers fall in Lucena sting The elimination in the Copa quarterfinals was the latest setback for Madrid in what has been a disappointing season.It is fourth in the Spanish league, trailing leader Barcelona by 19 points with a game in hand, and its only realistic chance of a title the rest of the season will be in the Champions League, where it faces Paris Saint-Germain in the last 16.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSWATCH: Drones light up sky in final leg of SEA Games torch runSPORTSLillard, Anthony lead Blazers over ThunderSPORTSMalditas save PH from shutoutThe Bernabeu crowd loudly jeered Madrid after the loss, with Zidane among those criticized the most after fielding second-stringers despite the big gap to Barcelona in La Liga.“We clearly failed,” Zidane said. “And I’m the one responsible for it.” Trending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles00:59Sports venues to be ready in time for SEA Games01:29Police teams find crossbows, bows in HK university01:35Panelo suggests discounted SEA Games tickets for students02:49Robredo: True leaders perform well despite having ‘uninspiring’ boss02:42PH underwater hockey team aims to make waves in SEA Games01:44Philippines marks anniversary of massacre with calls for justice01:19Fire erupts in Barangay Tatalon in Quezon City Alaves forward Ruben Sobrino, who scored in both matches, missed the decisive penalty by sending the ball over the crossbar at Mendizorroza Stadium.Rodrigo, Santi Mina and Jose Luis Gaya all converted from the spot for the visitors, with their only miss coming from midfielder Geoffrey Kondogbia after a save by goalkeeper Antonio Sivera. Alaves’ goals in the shootout were scored by Tomas Pina and Munir El Haddadi.El Haddadi put Alaves in front with a header into the top corner after a long cross by Rodrigo Ely in the 73rd, and Santi Mina equalized in a breakaway four minutes later after a making a run from near the halfway line.Sobrino netted the winner from close range following a free kick into the area. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Slow and steady hope for near-extinct Bangladesh tortoises Brace for potentially devastating typhoon approaching PH – NDRRMC Leganes’ players celebrate their victory against Real Madrid at the end of the Spanish Copa del Rey quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Real Madrid and Leganes at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2018. Leganes won 2-1. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco)MADRID — Real Madrid followed its biggest win of the season with its most embarrassing defeat on Wednesday, and the pressure is back on for coach Zinedine Zidane and his players.After routing Deportivo La Coruna 7-1 to give fans a glimmer of hope after a series of poor results, Madrid crashed out of the Copa del Rey with a shock 2-1 loss to Leganes at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium.ADVERTISEMENT San Miguel Beer still unscathed; Meralco defense junks KIA LATEST STORIES Playing without Cristiano Ronaldo and other regular starters, Madrid was unable to defend its 1-0 win from the first leg, being eliminated on away goals after a 2-2 draw on aggregate.“We were not supposed to be eliminated like this after having won the first leg,” said Zidane, calling the defeat the worst moment of his coaching career with Madrid. “I’m upset. It’s a big disappointment. I know it’s a difficult night for the fans.”It’s the second consecutive year Madrid has been eliminated in the Copa quarterfinals, having lost to Celta Vigo last season.Leganes, based just south of Madrid, was playing in the last eight of the Copa for the first time in the team’s 89-year history.“The key was that we believed we could achieve this, even after the loss last week,” Leganes coach Asier Garitano said. “We played a great match and everything went well.”ADVERTISEMENT The visitors provided the bigger threat at the Bernabeu, opening the scoring with Javi Eraso’s curling shot into the top corner of the net. Eraso picked up the loose ball just outside the area after a bad exchange of passes between Madrid defenders Achraf Hakimi and Nacho Fernandez. Hakimi’s pass was too short and Fernandez couldn’t control the ball under pressure from Eraso.After being jeered at halftime, Madrid came back strongly after the break, with Karim Benzema scoring early with a close-range shot over the goalkeeper after a through ball by Lucas Vazquez. The goal ended Benzema’s six-match scoreless streak that dated back to November.However, Leganes stunned the home crowd again less than 10 minutes later, when Gabriel Pires scored with a header from a corner taken by Eraso.Benzema nearly scored an equalizer that would have allowed Madrid to advance in the 81st, but his shot from inside the area was saved by goalkeeper Nereo Champagne. The goalkeeper also stopped Sergio Ramos from scoring with a header in the 85th.Madrid, which won the Spanish Super Cup and the Club World Cup earlier this season, endured a three-match winless streak at home before trouncing Deportivo in Sunday’s league match.On Tuesday, Sevilla advanced to the semifinals after eliminating Atletico Madrid 5-2 on aggregate. Three-time defending champion Barcelona hosts city rival Espanyol on Thursday to try to overcome a 1-0 first-leg loss.WIN ON PENALTIESTwo penalty saves by goalkeeper Jaume Domenech helped Valencia defeat Alaves 3-2 in a shootout.A 2-1 win by Alaves in regulation time of the second leg evened the series at 3-3 on aggregate. Domenech then stopped shots by Alfonso Pedraza and forward Hernan Perez to send Valencia through to the last four for the second time in three seasons. 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Prime minister Sheikh HasinaPrime minister Sheikh Hasina returned home from Sydney in the early hours of Monday wrapping up her three-day official visit to Australia to join the Global Summit of Women.In the summit, the prime minister was conferred on the prestigious Global Women’s Leadership Award-2018.A Thai Airways flight carrying the prime minister and her entourage members landed at Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport in Dhaka at 12:50am.On her way home from Sydney, the prime minister made a nearly one hour stopover in the Thai capital of Bangkok.Earlier, the prime minister departed Kingsford Smith International Airport in Sydney for Dhaka at 4:00pm local time (12 noon BST).Bangladesh high commissioner to Australia Md Sufiur Rahman saw the prime minister off at the airport.In Sydney, the prime minister received the Global Women’s Leadership Award-2018 on Friday at a gala dinner at International Convention Centre (ICC).The US-based Global Summit of Women conferred the award on Sheikh Hasina for her leadership in women’s education and entrepreneurship in Bangladesh.The prime minister held a meeting with Australian counterpart Malcom Turnbull at his residence on Saturday, while Vietnamese vice president Dang Thi Ngoc Thinh and Australian foreign minister Julie Bishop called on her in the Intercontinental Sydney Hotel.Sheikh Hasina visited Western Sydney University and joined a community event at Sofitel Hotel in Sydney on Saturday.
Heartbroken relatives gathered Friday for the funeral rites of the first victims of a military plane crash off Myanmar’s southern coast, as search teams battled heavy rains and churning waves to find scores more people presumed lost at sea.Most of the 31 dead retrieved from the Andaman Sea so far have been women and children after a fraught search by navy ships, planes and helicopters hampered by sweeping rains.A total of 122 people were on board the Chinese-made Shaanxi Y8 military aircraft when it crashed on Wednesday during a routine flight from the southern city of Myeik to Myanmar’s commercial hub of Yangon.Hundreds gathered in a cemetery outside Dawei town on Friday afternoon to bid goodbye to loved ones whose bodies had been pulled from the water the previous day on San Hlan beach, a two hour drive away.Chanting from Buddhist monks filled a hall used for the ceremonies as 10 flimsy wooden coffins were laid out.One woman fainted and had to be carried out and many others broke down wailing as the service went on.Mourners then moved outside and watched as black smoke from the cremated coffins poured out of nearby towers, drifting across the sky.“My husband identified my nephew’s body. I’m so sorry,” said a tearful Khine Zar Win, who lost her youngest brother, his wife and two-year-old nephew in the plane crash.Another mourner, Aye Aye, said five members of her friend’s family were killed in the crash.“I couldn’t sleep when I heard about them,” she said. “We lived together like a family for 15 years in the military before my husband retired.”“I have no words,” added one woman, whose daughter and grandson were on the plane. “We are so sad.”More than half of the passengers on the aircraft were from military families, including 15 children, according to the army. The rest were soldiers and flight crew.The military said on Friday it had identified 16 of the dead so far.There has been no official explanation for the cause of the crash, one of several deadly incidents involving Myanmar military aircraft in recent years.Monsoon season brings heavy rains and strong winds every year, but there were no reports of major storms along the plane’s flight route when it went missing.Storms hamper search -Fishing boats helped navy vessels and military aircraft as they continued to hunt for the wreckage on Friday, despite tides reaching over 2.5 metres, the military said in a statement.But by the afternoon officials had not announced the retrieval of any more bodies.“We are having difficulty because of the strong winds and tide,” Major Aung Win, police chief of Launglon township, told AFP.The military said the aircraft was flying above 18,000 feet (5,486 metres) when it lost contact with air traffic control at 1:35 pm (07:05 GMT) on Wednesday.The military has described the captain as a “seasoned” pilot with more than 3,000 hours flying experience.Gerry Soejatman, an independent aviation expert based in Jakarta, said initial information indicated something went wrong “not long after or just before reaching cruising altitude”.Myanmar’s former junta bought several Y8s-four-engine turboprop jets used for medium range flights-during their 50 years of isolated rule, when they were squeezed by Western sanctions.The plane’s maker, China National Aero-Technology Import & Export Corporation, has pledged to assist with investigations into the crash.Several pieces of debris that appeared to be from the wreckage, including tyres, life jackets and some luggage, have also been salvaged.