Groundbreaking for Moretown waste-to-energy facility Tuesday

first_imgGovernor Douglas Announces Landfill Gas To Energy Project at Moretown LandfillMoretown, Vt. September 9, 2008 – A new landfill gas to energy project that will provide renewable energy, create new jobs and enhance the environment began construction in Moretown today, announced Governor Douglas, Interstate Waste Corporation, PPL Renewable Energy and Green Mountain Power.Governor Douglas said the project, located at Interstate Waste Corporation’s (IWS) Moretown landfill, would generate 3.2 megawatts of electricity from methane, a gas that contributes to global warming. Methane is created when refuse in landfills decomposes and is currently being flared at the Moretown landfill.”The impact on the environment of a landfill gas to energy project this size is equal to reducing 21,600 tons of carbon dioxide emissions each year. It is also equal to removing 3,600 cars from the road or eliminating the need for 2.2 million gallons of gasoline,” Governor Douglas said.”The power generated by this innovative energy facility will power the equivalent of 2,600 homes, more than the town of Waterbury,” the Governor added.GMP has committed to purchase the project’s output for 15 years, at a fixed price. This will increase the stability of power supply costs, reducing exposure to future increases in electricity market prices, while giving the project a predictable revenue stream. It will supply between 1 and 1.5 percent of GMP’s annual energy needs.Anthony Farina, CEO of IWS said “With this project, IWS and our partners are committing to a greener Vermont and a brighter future for us all. I want to thank Governor Jim Douglas for his leadership on this issue and his administration’s support for this important project. We can all be very proud of our team and this project’s contribution to a more diverse, secure and affordable energy future.”Paul T. Champagne, President of PPL Development Company said “Methane-to-energy systems at landfills are really a win-win for the environment because they generate electricity from a renewable fuel while also eliminating emissions of methane, a gas that contributes to global warming. PPL is proud to be a part of this effort.”Mary Powell, President and CEO of GMP said, “Committing to purchase a significant amount of renewable electricity from an in-state renewable energy generator is an important way for us to keep a reliable and diverse energy portfolio. Our Company’s energy strategy relies heavily on encouraging the development of Vermont renewable energy resources like this plant, and we are thrilled that this new resource will be coming on-line.”The Moretown landfill has been operated by IWS since 1996.last_img read more

West Africa cable ‘online by 2011’

first_img5 May 2009The US$600-million, 14 000km West Africa Cable System linking southern and western African countries with Europe should be in service by 2011, providing high capacity international bandwidth and further reducing telecommunications costs on the continent.A consortium of leading African and foreign telecoms operators signed a construction and maintenance agreement with manufacturer Alcatel-Lucent last month to construct the 8.84-terabit-per-second, fibre-optic submarine cable and its landing points.Companies that signed the agreement include South Africa’s Broadband Infraco, MTN, Tata Communications/Neotel, Telkom and Vodacom, as well as Angola Telecom, Cable & Wireless, Telecom Namibia, Portugal Telecom, Sotelco and Togo Telecom.“The West Africa Cable System represents a significant telecommunications infrastructure investment through a joint effort of a number of African and global operators,” Vodacom Group CEO Pieter Uys said in a statement last month.The cable system would provide Africa with “faster and better connectivity to Europe and the rest of the world,” Uys said, with “ample capacity to serve the region’s international connectivity needs for many years to come.”Planned landing points for the cable include South Africa, Namibia, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), the Republic of Congo, Canary Islands, Cameroon, Nigeria, Togo, Ghana, Cote d’Ivoire, Cape Verde, Portugal and the United Kingdom.The landings in Namibia, the DRC, the Republic of Congo and Togo will provide these countries with their first connection to a global submarine cable network.SAinfo reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SAinfo materiallast_img read more

Stalled on the Trans-Africa Highway

first_imgRoad transport is an important ingredient for economic growth in Africa and completing and maintaining the Trans Africa Highway will go a long way toward helping Africa build. (Image: Göran Höglund)• Adama DeenRegional Integration and [email protected]• South Africa’s competitive advantage in the developing world • Infrastructure to build long-term regional prosperity • Infrastructure to lift South Africa’s growth speed limit • R44bn for Ethiopia’s infrastructure • Transport investment a must Sulaiman PhilipThere is an old joke they tell in Democratic Republic of Congo: Mobutu Sese Seko, the strongman who ruled the country with an iron fist for three decades, receives a phone call from a fellow African leader. He is under rebel attack and needs advice.”Did they come by sea?” Mobutu asks.”No,” the younger ruler replies.”Did they come by air?” Mobutu asks.”No, they came by road,” his protégé answers.”Tsk tsk, my son, I always told you,” Mobutu says. ”Never build roads.”Transport infrastructure matters. It costs an African farmer about $2 a ton per kilometre to move produce to market. This cost – it’s about half that in North and South America – has restricted farming to within six hours of a major city. Today, according to the World Bank, just 34% of Africa’s rural population lives within two kilometres of an all-season road. This lack of access to infrastructure has restricted trade between African countries to just 12% of total trade; in comparison, trade between neighbours in North America – Mexico, the US and Canada – accounts for 40% of all their trade.The African Union’s Intergovernmental Agreement on the Trans-African Highway Network sets minimum standards for development and maintenance of 57 233 kilometres of road that make up the Trans-Africa Highway today. Designed to connect capitals to centres of production, and connect Africa, it is hoped a well-maintained and fully realised highway will integrate economies and improve social cohesion between African communities.The Trans-Africa Highway was meant to increase trade through built and maintained infrastructure and more harmonious customs procedures. A fully developed, continent-wide road system would aid African food security and lower the cost of feeding a family. Without it, in Africa it costs between 50% and 175% more to transport goods from the site of production than anywhere else in the world.As African economic growth – and the resulting improvements in living standards – has outstripped developed countries, the shortage of infrastructure threatens to put a brake on development. As originally imagined, the Trans-Africa Highway was an impressive web of freeways that would link ports to cities to the hinterlands. It would carry billions of dollars of goods to markets and build self-sufficient continental economies.But Africa’s road network lags behind the global average of 7.6 kilometres per 1 000 people. It is anticipated that the harmonisation agreement and other programmes – such as Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (Pida) run by agencies like New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad) – will help increase the density from the present 3.6 kilometres per 1 000 people.When foreign companies calculate the price of doing business on the continent, they look at figures such as the cost of transportation, and decide to go somewhere else. And transport delays caused by infrastructure limitations cut productivity in Africa by as much as 40%.Improved roads in north and west Africa, and large-scale road building programmes in the Southern African Development Community and East African Community have gone a long way towards connecting and integrating Africa. The largest challenge remains in central Africa, where difficult geography and a lack of road infrastructure have made improvements challenging. The biggest challenge to the completion of the highway is the diversity of terrain, from deserts in the north to dense vegetation in central Africa. (Image: stopmangohome/Flickr)Now, an $8-billion investment through the African Development Bank is driving the goal of a fully connected continent. This investment was made easier by a philosophical change among governments. Africa has come to realise that viable transport infrastructure is connected to the economic, technological and social renaissance of Africa. As Nepad’s Adama Deen explained to a planning conference in 2013, “every country and every region has had its own master plan and priorities, now we can all come together as Africa to have one priority for the continent. By 2030, we will have developed a completely holistic African infrastructure system. If we fail, integration in Africa is impossible.”Africa’s economy is evolving but agriculture, mining and tourism remain the mainstays and they are all dependent on crumbling roads. Economist Jeffrey Sachs has argued that developmental aid to Africa would be better spent on building highways suited to carrying truck cargo than on almost anything else.In 1969, the Japanese government began building a four-lane highway to link Mombasa in Kenya to Lagos, Nigeria. At 7 080km, it was longer than the cross-continental highway linking Boston on the American Atlantic coast to Seattle on the Pacific, and would increase trade among six African nations.But after Idi Amin took control of Uganda and threatened his neighbours, Kenya closed its end of the highway. Today, the east-west Trans-Africa Highway turns into a muddy footpath in the jungles of eastern Congo. “No one would ever have 100 million people in the rich world along a broken down, two-lane, undivided road as we do here,” Sachs says.Dreamed up more than 40 years ago by a UN committee and still being developed by the United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (Uneca), the African Development Bank and the African Union, the Trans-Africa Highway is a network of envisioned highways linking Africa from north to south and east to west. As Africa threw off the shackles of colonialism, Uneca’s ambitious plan was to link Tripoli to Windhoek, Lobito in Angola to Beira in Mozambique. Another planned highway would link Khartoum to Gaborone. None of Uneca’s original plans included routes into South Africa, at the time a pariah state.Like Cecil John Rhodes’ colonial dream of a path of red from Cape Town to Cairo, the Trans-Africa Highway network would make it easier to cover the vastness of Africa, and open the continent to internal and international trade. Spread across nine highways, it is an arterial network of tar, steel and ferries that, if ever completed, will comprise more than 56 000 kilometres of maintained corridors that will allow African farmers and miners to get their product to markets or to ports.For the dreamers who imagined it and the Africans building it, the highway is designed to alleviate the poverty affecting large parts of the continent. By linking every African country it was hoped that the continent will become an integrated bloc, but four decades later that aim remains unfulfilled and construction on large sections stalled. As it stands, there are 10 400 kilometres of rail and 7 000 kilometres of the road corridor missing, and it will cost $32-billion to complete these links. The highway consists of 9 different corridors that are designed to give every African country access to markets and ports. (Image: UNECA)The International Committee of the Red Cross’s distribution hub for eastern Africa is just off the Mombasa highway in Nairobi. It costs the aid organisation $2.88 per 1.6 kilometres to ship aid to the most desperately in-need communities. “The roads are in a desperate state and they are not getting any better,” explains Bent Korsgaard, Red Cross logistics director for the region.African governments have had to balance the use of scarce resources between immediate needs and the maintenance of infrastructure. Roads have fallen down the list of priorities. Yet in the last decade, African governments, the African Union and the African Development Bank have changed their view. Roads –and other linked transport infrastructure – have become a priority. Infrastructure projects are now seen as the best way to improve Africa’s trade with itself and the rest of the world.At present, 40% of Africa’s population lives with two kilometres of a tarred, all-weather road; doubling that access would cost about $32-billion. But spending the money would improve economies and improve food security for Africa’s one billion people. Some governments have begun to prioritise rural road investment based on the agricultural value of land. Instead of investing immediately in building the 1.5 million kilometres of highway needed, an immediate improvement in prospects can be gained by building a network of 600 000 kilometres in rural agricultural areas. Maintaining existing roads is the challenge for governments. In Africa 80% of paved roads remain in fair condition, and 85% of rural feeder roads are in a poor condition. (Image: Jbdodane/Flickr)Since its inception in 2001, the Association of Southern African Roads Agencies (Asanra) has been responsible for planning, maintaining and developing road networks in the Southern African Development Community. Group programme officer Snowden M’madi explains: “Road transport is an important ingredient for economic growth, and this will be achieved in Africa through the Trans-Africa Highway.”For South Africans, especially residents of Gauteng, there is a stretch of the highway that has become a burr in their shoe. Ultimately, it will be a part of a 560km long stretch of the Trans-Africa Highway, but for now the tolled road between Johannesburg and Pretoria has become a source of friction between motorists – who feel they are overpaying for the road – and the South African National Roads Agency (Sanral), which views it as a vital economic artery.It is one of 18 integrated projects – to improve infrastructure and water delivery – identified by the national government that is hoped will change the economic landscape of not just Gauteng but the whole country. Improved service delivery is also a major benefit that improved transport links will bring to South Africans.Sanral’s Nazir Ali pointed out at a CSIR conference as far back as 2012 that the government saw it as important to maintain and improve road infrastructure to unlock the economic power lying dormant in South Africa. “There is no country in the world where [the] government is not involved in any developmental activities. Allowing these assets to deteriorate would be a cost our economy, as well as cost us as individuals.”last_img read more

Farmers receive less than 20% of Thanksgiving retail food dollar

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest Consumers’ holiday food costs have declined, but farmers still receive less than 20% of the food dollar, according to the annual Thanksgiving edition of the National Farmers Union (NFU) Farmer’s Share publication. The popular Thanksgiving Farmer’s Share compares the retail food price of traditional holiday dinner items to the amount the farmer receives for each item.“It’s important to understand the difference between the price consumers pay for food at the grocery store or restaurant and the commodity prices farmers are paid for their products. Just recently food costs started to drop, but farm and ranch families have been plagued by low commodity prices for nearly three years,” said Roger Johnson, president of NFU. “Comparatively, the costs associated with the rest of the supply chain have a more pronounced effect on consumers’ food prices.”On average, farmers receive 17.4 cents of every food dollar consumers spend, while more than 80% of food costs cover marketing, processing, wholesaling, distribution and retailing. For the 15 items NFU tracks for the Thanksgiving version, farmers received 19.4 cents of the retail food dollar.Turkey growers, who raise the staple Thanksgiving dish, receive about 89 cents per pound retailing at $1.59. Wheat farmers averaged 4 cents on 12 dinner rolls that retail for $3.29. And dairy producers received only $1.44 for the $4.49 gallon of fat free milk.Thanksgiving presents an opportunity to raise awareness about food production, including misconceptions about food costs, Johnson explained. “Farmers and ranchers play the most valuable role in actually producing the food that is served at holiday dinners, yet they make just pennies on the dollar for their products.”The Farmers’ Share is based on calculations derived from the monthly Agriculture Prices report produced by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Agricultural Statistics Service, and compared to price points of common grocery food items at Safeway supermarket.The Thanksgiving Farmers’ Share can be viewed and downloaded here.last_img read more

The 5 Best Sliders to Pair with Mirrorless Video Cameras

first_imgLooking to add smooth, cinematic motion to your videos? Here are 5 of the best options to pair with your mirrorless camera.If I had to rank my favorite camera moves, I’d probably have to list the slowly moving camera slide (or dolly) as my favorite. It can be such a powerful effect, and it can transform even the most boring shots into something much more cinematic.If you’re working with a mirrorless camera and looking to upgrade your cinematography, a reliable slider can be a great investment for adding smooth motion — for a variety of shots.And while you can always create a DIY slider for a weekend project, or look into heavy-duty cinema, camera-level offerings, let’s review some other options to pair with your mirrorless camera.1. edelkrone SliderONE v2Image via B&H.The edelkrone SliderONE v2 is one of the smallest, most compact sliders out there, but it’s surprisingly great for those minor camera moves — which can be very cinematic and powerful. At 10.6 inches long (with 7.9 inches of travel space), the SliderONE v2 is compact, easy to move, and easy to set up in a variety of spaces.It’s also capable of vertical moves at ninety degrees (but only with rigs up to five pounds). I highly recommend combining it with edelkrone’s app (Android and iOS), so you can use your smartphone as a monitor for setting up time-lapse and stop motion effects.Compact motorized slider with backlash-free gearsSupports up to 20 lbs. horizontallyIncreased vertical support of up to 5 lbs. at 90°Improved, steadier speed control throughout the sliderQuieter operation with step motor driver designConnects wirelessly to HeadONE and HeadPLUS componentsLANC port for remote camera control7.9″ of camera travel, 10.6″ total lengthiOS and Android control app with time-lapse and stop-motion effects2.5 mm shutter trigger socket3/8″-16 camera and tripod threadsRobust aluminum and stainless steel buildUses widely available LP-E6-type batteriesBuilt-in Wi-Fi module for future updatesPrice: $4992. Rhino RŌV PRO TravelerImage via B&H.The RŌV PRO Traveler is a bit longer but also a solid lightweight option at 16-inches of movement (25-inches actual length). The RŌV PRO Traveler (like its name implies) is great for travel and run-and-gun videography, with folding all-terrain legs and a handy quick release ball head carriage — perfect for supporting a mirrorless camera and rig up to five pounds.It also features wireless smartphone connectivity, with its iOS Bluetooth app for controlling its motorized movements — great for time-lapses and slow, cinematic slides.Lightweight, portable slider supports up to 5-lb. cameras25″ track length, 16″ travel distanceMotorized control via free, downloadable iOS appUse with a separately available shutter-release cable to create time-lapse movesCreate cinematic looks with the included variable ND filterIntegrated battery provides motion for up to 24 hoursCarriage with built-in ball headFolding all-terrain legsBelt tension can be adjusted with a 1.5 mm Allen keyIncludes a smartphone mountDurable aluminum buildPrice: $4003. iFootage Shark Slider S1 BundleImage via B&H.The iFootage Carbon Fiber Shark Slider S1 is a full bundle that includes extension rails and a much longer, more durable drive belt. The Shark Slider S1 by itself (which includes the flywheel) is 31-inches long (with 25-inches of sliding length) — although with the extension rails, it can reach 47-inches.This modular slider can handle fifteen pounds — perfect for mirrorless, DSLR, or even small cine cameras and rigs. The S1 can partner with several wireless motion controllers, as well as the Motion X2 system, for a full 360-degree range of capture.31″ slider + extension rails and longer drive belt47″ total sliding lengthFlywheel11 lb payload (15 lb without extension)1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 tripod mount holesIncludes padded carrying bagPrice: $6384. A&J PRO Moving Dolly Track Camera SliderImage via B&H.The A&J Moving Dolly Track Camera Slider is one of the longest, most durable sliders on our list. With up to 40-inches of travel space (39.4-inches to be exact), this option features adjustable feet, wheels for tracking and free-form shots, and five tripod mounting positions.It also offers up to 22 lbs. of payload support. So if you’re pushing a heavy-duty mirrorless camera and rig, this is one of the sturdier options. It also has a very smooth glide with its roller bearing track. However, it’s a little less run-and-gun and better for when you have time to really set your cinematic shots.The track bed features five distinct 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threaded tripod mounting holes, allowing you to mount the slider onto a tripod, then use the head to create shots that can vary from horizontal to vertical.The feet enable you to set up the slider track on a surface; you can adjust the height of each foot to level the track.The wheels are removable from the track, and you can use them to create curved moves on a flat, smooth surface.The carriage features a 1/4″-20 threaded stud for mounting your camera directly to the carriage. You can also mount a ball head, or use the included 1/4″-20 to 3/8″-16 bushing for mounting larger accessories to the carriage.The carriage also incorporates a bubble level and two each 1/4″-20 and 3/8″-16 threaded accessory mounting holes.Price: $1095. Sevenoak Time-Lapse SliderImage via Sevenoak.One of the high-end options to consider is the Sevenoak Time-Lapse Slider. This motorized, belt-driven slider can work with cameras and rigs up to 22 lbs. (and even up to 8.8 lbs when used vertically). The track has 31.5-inches of travel space.The motorized drive is perfect for cinematic time-lapses and tightly controlled motion. All of which you can access from a smartphone with a downloadable iOS device or a 2.4GHz remote control.Adjustable feet mount to the end of the track, for use when using the slider directly on relatively flat surfaces. The carriage incorporates a bubble level to help you balance the slider. The removable motor supports time-lapse, motion control, and stop motion via the included remote control, or by a downloadable app for iOS devices.Tripod mountable, or set up on a flat surfaceAdjustable legs allow you to level the slider on uneven surfacesControllable by included 2.4 GHz remote control or via Bluetooth by the downloadable iOS appProgrammable functions, including camera control with appropriate cablePrice: $629Cover image by Jan Faukner.For more videography tips and tricks, check these out:DSLR Slider Guide For Solo Shooters6 Filmmaking Tutorials for CinematographersAwesome Cinematography: Achieving a Jib Shot with a Slider7 Easy Ways to Improve Your CinematographyLone Operator? Make Your Next Purchase a Motorized Sliderlast_img read more

Jamaicans Encouraged to Get Familiar with OSH Bill

first_imgStory Highlights Jamaicans are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Bill.The legislation addresses safety and health in the Jamaican workplace within a framework that balances the competing interests of employers and workers.Minister of State in the Ministry of Labour and Social Security, Hon. Zavia Mayne, made the call during a forum observing World Day for Safety and Health at Work, held at the Jamaica Conference Centre in downtown Kingston, on April 27.Mr. Mayne said the OSH Bill, which was tabled  in Parliament in February of this year, is a game-changing piece of legislation.“I believe that going forward, we should not just use this Bill as a compliance tool, but certainly we should use it for the purposes of education,” he said.Mr. Mayne noted that the forum, which also targeted youth, would equip them with the knowledge required to transition from school to the world of work.“It therefore means that occupational safety and health has to find its way into the syllabuses of our secondary and our tertiary institutions, and while I am mindful that there are institutions that make occupational safety and health a part of their curriculum, that is not widespread enough,” the State Minister said.Mr. Mayne informed that occupational injuries have negative impact on the country’s labour market, especially when the injuries occur at a very early stage in a young person’s life.“This is that we want to reduce or eliminate, so preparing persons for the world of work in respect of occupational safety and health is (very) important,” he said.Under the Bill, a worker is defined as a person who carries out work in any capacity for another person conducting a business or undertaking, including work; an employee; a contractor or subcontractor; an employee of a contractor or subcontractor; and a person whose service is procured or arranged by a company, which is in the business of supplying workers for other businesses, and who has been assigned to work in the person’s business or undertaking.The Bill also introduces a new concept of a ‘person conducting a business or undertaking’ (PCBU), who is the principal duty bearer in the regulatory framework.The Bill requires a PCBU to notify the Director of Occupational Safety and Health immediately after becoming aware of the occurrence of a notifiable incident, such as the death of a person, a serious injury or illness of a person, or a dangerous incident.It also makes provision for the involvement of workers in the decision-making process in relation to their ability to carry out work safely.The Bill also treats with the issue of discrimination in respect of occupational safety and health outcomes.World Day for Safety and Health at Work is observed annually. This year’s theme was:  ‘Generation Safe and Healthy’, and represented a joint campaign with World Day Against Child Labour.The forum aimed to increase public awareness, in order to reduce occurrences of child labour and ill health due to occupational injuries and diseases. Jamaicans are being encouraged to familiarise themselves with the provisions of the Occupational, Safety and Health (OSH) Bill. World Day for Safety and Health at Work is observed annually. This year’s theme was:  ‘Generation Safe and Healthy’, and represented a joint campaign with World Day Against Child Labour. Under the Bill, a worker is defined as a person who carries out work in any capacity for another person conducting a business or undertaking, including work; an employee; a contractor or subcontractor; an employee of a contractor or subcontractor; and a person whose service is procured or arranged by a company, which is in the business of supplying workers for other businesses, and who has been assigned to work in the person’s business or undertaking.last_img read more