The Economic Times
India’s Jindal Steel and Power expects to start producing gas in Bolivia in June for export to Argentina, company representatives told the Andean nation’s president here.
Vikrant Gujral, vice president of the steel and energy major, told reporters about the company’s plans after Friday’s meeting with President Evo Morales, saying the gas supplies would come from a processing plant in the eastern province of Santa Cruz.
The company and its Bolivian partners began drilling at the El Palmar gas field at the end of March and have already invested around $7 million in the project.
Gujral said Morales was also informed about the progress in developing El Mutun, a giant iron ore field located in eastern Bolivia near the Brazilian border.
Jindal Steel has been working since 2007 at El Mutun, which is believed to contain some 40 billion tonnes of iron ore, making it one of the world’s largest deposits of the mineral.
The company has pledged to invest $2.1 billion in El Mutun over the next 40 years as part of a joint-venture deal with the Bolivian government.
Technorati Tags: bolivia, jindal steel, natural gas and mining, infrastructure
Crude oil prices in the international markets may have cooled considerably in recent months. But concerned about the earlier record increase in prices and in an effort to go green, Indian Railways is developing technology to run trains on compressed natural gas. In fact, it has set up the Indian Railways Institute of Alternate Fuels to devise technology to tap into compressed natural gas and biofuel.
Two research projects have already been commissioned by the railway ministry for using compressed natural gas to not only run suburban trains, but also to haul trains over long distances. Some 200 diesel multiple units fitted with compressed natural gas engines have already begun trial runs. “If the pilot project is successful, we will launch it commercially soon,” a railway ministry official said.
Meanwhile, the Indian Railways’ research and design arm, the Rail Design & Standards Organisation (RDSO) is also working to modify the existing diesel locomotive engines and adapt them to run on compressed natural gas. “Our plan is to have loco engines that have a retrofit kit, which will allow them to run on compressed natural gas, like it is done for cars,” the official said.
Technorati Tags: railways, CNG, GNC
The Hindu Business Line :
Corporate heads signed the code for ecologically sustainable business growth evolved by the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), in confirmation of their voluntary commitment to work towards conserving natural resources without compromising on high and accelerated growth, in a CEOs meet organised by CII, Madurai Zone, here.
Called the ‘Mission on Sustainable Growth’, the code focuses on 10 commandments to realise the objectives by involving the top management of the companies in setting targets for the use of the resources.
The signature campaign to promote the code, already held in Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkata, Delhi, Bangalore, Hyderabad, Kochi, Pune and Ahmedabad, has secured commitment from 220 CEOs across the country. “The target is to obtain 1,000 signatories by the end of the year,” said Mr S. Raghupathy, Head, CII-Sohrabji Godrej Green Business Centre, Hyderabad, at the meet.
Technorati Tags: sustainability, CII, india
Buying/leasing farmland in Latin America to feed India is something worthy of consideration in this downturn. The secular trend for crop prices over the next 2 decades is up, up. Feeding India is a recession-proof business.
The UN’s World Food Programme warned: “As the global financial crisis deepens, hunger and malnutrition are likely to increase as incomes fall and unemployment rises. The world is at a critical juncture where we risk watching hunger spiral out of control. We cannot afford to lose the next generation.”
The crisis began even before the start of the credit crunch, at a time of record harvests. About two years ago food prices started to rise abruptly, despite the bumper crops, mainly because of the increased use of corn to make biofuel, particularly in the US, and increasing meat consumption – which mops up grain supplies to feed livestock – by the rising middle classes in developing countries such as India and China. Prices of wheat and corn doubled in a year – and rice more than trebled – leading to the first steep and sustained rise in hunger in decades.
A record crop last year did not help much. It brought the cost of grain down in rich countries, which saw most of the increased production, but not in developing ones where the poor live, partly because their currencies fell against the dollar in which international prices are set. Yet it led to farmers in Europe and the US planting less this year because they can expect lower returns at a time when it is harder than ever to get loans. The US Department of Agriculture reported this month that 7 per cent less land is being used to grow wheat, in a country that helps to supply 100 nations around the world.
China – which feeds a fifth of the world’s people off just a 10th of its cropland – did increase sowing but, in another cruel twist of fate, was then hit by its worst drought in nearly 70 years, cutting yields by up to 40 per cent. And drought has also led to a similar slump in another of the world’s great grain-growing regions, Argentina, Paraguay and southern Brazil.
Technorati Tags: agriculture, crop output, latin america, grain prices
TheStar.com | Business |
[Tulsi] Tanti, often called the “wind man of India,” was in town yesterday to accept the annual Global Indian Award from the Canada India Foundation.
Today, Pune-based Suzlon is the fifth-largest wind turbine supplier in the world with $3.34 billion in revenues in 2008 and 13,000 employees. The company currently sells products in 21 countries. Tanti told news service Asia Pulse last week that Suzlon, through its majority-owned Germany-based subsidiary Repower AG, had secured contracts for developing wind-power projects in Canada.
The company has two business models. In countries such as India, Brazil and Australia, Suzlon doesn’t just sell wind turbines; it also designs, engineers and constructs the wind farms. In India, it evens builds the transmission lines that connect them to the country’s power grid.
Outside of those countries, Suzlon acts primarily as a turbine supplier, though it retains control over all aspects of turbine manufacturing. “We are producing the gearbox, rotor blades, generator, control systems, towers, all the value chain components,” said Tanti.
Technorati Tags: suzlon, wind energy, renewables
Since Italian food is quite popular among young urban Indians, Argentina – with its large population descended from Italian immigrants and many of those in the food business, should be considered as source for packaged and frozen Italian foods. More potential to scale up and supply India’s needs for the next few decades.
The Food Franchising Report 2009 added that in India, 30% of working singles eat out at least once a month and a majority of them spend about Rs101-150 per meal.
The report said the trend towards home delivery is also fast gaining popularity. CIFTI-FICCI said that India is one of the few countries where fast food chain McDonald’s has introduced its home delivery service.
Regarding the fast-food segment, it said: “The core customers for fast food are in the age group of 25-35 years. Youngsters (18-20 years) taking up part-time jobs coupled with rising salaries also lead to higher discretionary spending on food.”
The study cited the KSA Technopak India Retail Report 2005, which has revealed that eating out accounts for 11% share of an average Indian’s income, second only to grocery at 41% and above personal care items, savings and entertainment.
Technorati Tags: india, food consumption, trends, argentina
“With the introduction of the ISE service, MSC will now be offering a twice weekly direct sailing to all its customers both from north, west, south and east India to Europe and Mediterranean,” said Deepak Tewari, chief executive of MSC Agency (India) Pvt. Ltd, the Indian unit of MSC.
The cost of moving a standard cargo container from India to Europe has plunged almost 70% to $350 (Rs17,500) from about $1,200 in August, as the economic downturn slowed demand for goods to Europe.
Technorati Tags: india, trade, ocean freight charges
While consumers across the world are seeing a growing number of “Made in India” labels on the goods they buy, Indian shoppers are witnessing a more subtle change. Increasingly, multinational companies are selling products that are not just made in — but that are made for — India.
Nowhere is that more apparent than in food preferences and habits. Across most of the world, Nestlé’s Maggi is known best as a soups-and-sauces brand. In India, it has become the generic word for instant noodles. The product sold in India, though, bears little resemblance to the ramen of East Asia. It was introduced in 1982 with a masala (spicy) flavoring and, over the next 25 years, Nestlé continued to launch variants that would appeal to local and regional tastes.
McDonald’s took note of that as far back as 1990, when it began establishing local supplier partners, six years before it opened its first restaurant in India. Working on its first no-beef, no-pork menu, the company ensured that suppliers respected the beliefs of its future customers. Vegetarian products are prepared with dedicated equipment and utensils and, in some cases, by a separate workforce. All food is cooked in vegetable oil, and the mayonnaise and other sauces do not contain egg (considered a non-vegetarian food).
Within three years of its 1996 launch, Pizza Hut opened its first vegetarian restaurant in Ahmedabad, Gujarat, a state with a large Jain population. Not only did the outlet serve no meat, it also offered a selection of Jain toppings. (The Jain religion proscribes all meat and root vegetables, including ginger, garlic, onion and potato). There are now three all-vegetarian restaurants in India, the only such Pizza Hut outlets in the world.
Technorati Tags: india, food culture, localization
This Sietch blogger has done some calculations relevant for the US. Can be extended to other countries. What intrigued me was his reference to biomass – India and Latin America, are a veritable bounty for biomass with their extensive tree cover, not to mention livestock populations. The potential in India alone is something like 16,000 MW. I think current generation is only around to 1000 MW.
Below are examples of
- a biomass stove developed in India for institutional-scale cooking
- where cow dung is processed in a “bamboo gasifier” to yield fertilizer
- foodwaste used to generate biogas in urban settings! (e.g could be installed in favelas)
As this article mentions, to really scale up renewables what is lacking is not technology but political foresight and will. There are a lot of people getting rich off the petroleum business who want to continue with the status quo and are paying politicians – through lobbying/outright bribes to ensure that.
The Sietch Blog »
Biomass, to put it simply, is anything that grows that you can burn. This includes things like left over farm waste, switch grass, wood chips from logging, sugar cane waste and things like municipal yard wastes. It also includes things like pig, cow , and maybe even human excrement. When you get a lot of poo together you can digest it using bacteria and then burn the resulting methane gas. Biomass is great because you can store it up and burn it when you need it.
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