Linde expands workforce development programme

first_imgFunded through a $200,000 contribution from Linde’s Global Giving Programme, and in collaboration with Ivy Tech Community College, the Skills Pipeline programme will train students for careers in production and maintenance technology.“We are excited that these high school students have committed to developing these skills and are proud to provide the resources to encourage them. This programme helps students invest in their futures and allows us to help promote a more capable workforce long term,” said Dr. Anne Roby, Executive Vice-President of Linde.The new programme is the first in the Skills Pipeline family to offer formal training to dual-credit students finishing high school in Northwest Indiana and aligns with the state’s next level jobs workforce initiative.The Skills Pipeline programme features strong collaborations between industry, government and educators, providing students with a strong platform for success.“We are committed to educating the 21st Century workforce in a manner that equips it with the skills necessary to succeed,” said Louie Gonzalez, Chancellor of Ivy Tech’s Lake County campus.”“In order to do this, we need viable partnerships and investment of resources. This collaboration illustrates our commitment to the students of today and the workforce of tomorrow here in Northwest Indiana.”last_img read more

Nuclear chill

first_imgBack in 2007, the chief executive of EDF Energy, Vincent De Rivaz, declared that by the winter of 2017 he hoped to be able to roast his Christmas turkey in Britain with power from a new nuclear plant at Hinkley C. Now that the process of the UK’s departure from the EU is about to kick off, the Frenchman may be rather less keen on shifting his festive celebrations across the channel in a few months’ time. But given the first concrete is only just about to be poured at Hinkley, that would probably be just as well.Despite the painfully slow progress, however, the start of construction work on the new £18bn plant in Somerset marks a huge achievement for a project that has been mired in difficulty and delay.EDF put off an investment decision time and again over the course of five years before giving the plant the go-ahead last July; a move that led one of its board directors to resign, suggesting the scheme could bankrupt EDF. The power plant then found itself on the receiving end of a further six-week delay while newly appointed prime minister Theresa May unexpectedly reviewed the scheme amid concerns believed to relate to Chinese investment, with China General Nuclear having a 33.5% stake in the project.While the latter stages of this drama unfolded, a raft of consultants and contractors carrying out preparatory works for the scheme were caught between EDF privately urging them to press ahead, and fear of being hit financially if the scheme stalled further.So the start of the build programme should be met with celebration by all those involved in this most torturous of projects. But instead, the moment stands to be overshadowed by a string of problems emerging with the projects that were meant swiftly to follow Hinkley, to form the UK’s much-heralded new generation of nuclear power stations.Toshiba, which is behind the next scheme due off the blocks – the £10bn Moorside plant in Cumbria – is in financial crisis. It has been forced into a $6.3bn write-down on problems at its US nuclear division, Westinghouse, and wants to sell its stake in NuGen, the firm building Moorside, before the plant is constructed. NuGen insists this won’t affect the scheme’s development, but the situation is clearly being closely watched by those wanting to work on the project. It also raises questions about the scheme’s reliance on the Westinghouse-designed technology currently lined up for the reactor.Meanwhile, over in Anglesey, developer Horizon has made clear it needs further funding before it can go ahead with its £10bn Wylfa plant. The boss of its Japanese parent company Hitachi last year said he had been “spooked” by the commercial terms of the Hinkley deal.Layered on top of this uncertainty is a host of difficulties faced by other reactor projects around the world, most notably EDF’s Flamanville project in France, and fears that economic uncertainty around Brexit will spur further caution among investors. So, not surprisingly, proponents of the new fleet of nuclear power stations – and those lined up to work on their construction – are now starting to conclude that the government ought to act much more directly than it has so far to propel the projects forward. In short, invest in the building of the schemes, rather than just guaranteeing the future price it will pay for the power the plants generate. Given pressure on public coffers, and the divisive nature of nuclear technology, the government may well want to skirt around such a move – for political as much as financial reasons.But the government has long committed the UK to nuclear energy, believing it to offer an integral part of the UK’s future energy mix. And so it needs to do what it takes to secure the pipeline of projects. Although the economic and political backdrop has shifted hugely from when a new generation of power stations was announced, nothing has changed the fact that the UK needs to act now to secure its future energy supply.There are real concerns that the overriding complexity of the Brexit negotiations will blunt Whitehall’s ability to focus on anything other than the process of leaving the EU. But the prime minister has said repeatedly she wants leaving the EU to be followed by a more secure future for Britain, economically and socially, and that means having the physical infrastructure to match.A power station will take at least six years to build even from the point it gets the green light – and that point took Hinkley a decade to reach. If the UK delays now, it will be feeling the effect for years to come.Sarah Richardson, editorlast_img read more

CP ends CSX merger talks

first_imgNORTH AMERICA: Canadian Pacific Railway Ltd announced on October 20 that an ‘exploratory conversation’ about a possible merger with CSX Corp had ended, and that no further talks were planned. CP confirmed that it had proposed a merger which it envisaged would create ‘an integrated coast-to-coast combination that would improve customer service, promote competition, alleviate congestion in North America – specifically the key Chicago gateway – and generate significant shareholder value’. It believed this would offer ‘creative alternatives for shippers, greater fluidity, increased capacity and improved efficiency industry-wide.’CP said that while regulatory concerns ‘appear to be a major deterrent’ for railways considering mergers, it believes that given the ‘right structure between the right players’ and ‘thoughtful considerations and remedies to address shipper concerns’, regulatory approval would be achievable. The North American rail industry is currently facing the challenge of moving more freight than ever as oil production, crop yields and consumer demand grow, CP said, and ‘the significant problems that beset the industry now will only worsen over time if solutions aren’t put in place immediately’. It felt that a ‘pro-competition, customer-friendly, safety-focused railway combination is one such solution that could not be ignored on its merits by regulators’.last_img read more

Egyptian court upholds leading activist’s jail sentence

first_imgActivist Alaa Abdel Fattah speaks in front of a judge at a court during his trial in Cairo, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper/Files Activist Alaa Abdel Fattah speaks in front of a judge at a court during his trial in Cairo, November 11, 2014. REUTERS/Al Youm Al Saabi Newspaper/FilesEgypt’s Court of Cassation upheld a five-year jail sentence against prominent opposition activist Alaa Abdel Fattah on Wednesday, judicial sources said, a final ruling that cannot be appealed.Abdel Fattah, who has already served more than three years in prison, was jailed for protesting without permission in breach of a 2013 law that rights groups say effectively bans protests, Reuters reports.The blogger and software engineer led the 2011 uprising that ended the 30-year-rule of Hosni Mubarak.He is one of several activists jailed since the military overthrew Islamist president Mohamed Mursi in 2013 after mass protests and cracked down on his Muslim Brotherhood movement and secular democracy activists.The government has proscribed the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist organization but denies it has cracked down on secular democracy activists.Prosecutors said Abdel Fattah was guilty of organizing a protest in November 2013 because he had promoted it on social media.Rights groups say authorities were only able to prosecute Abdel Fattah, who did not attend the protest, by invoking a century old law of assembly that institutes collective punishment for all those involved in an illegal gathering.They say the 1914-era law was in fact repealed in 1928 and courts should not be using it. They have sued the president over its use but there has been no response from the government.Abdel Fattah is also on trial in a separate case where he is accused of insulting the judiciary, a charge that carries up to three years in jail. A verdict is scheduled for December.Egyptian rights activists say they face the worst crackdown in history under general-turned-president Abdel Fattah al-Sisi, who they accuse of erasing freedoms won in the 2011 uprising.Sisi, seen in the West as a bulwark against extremism in the region, has urged his critics to not judge Egypt’s rights records by western standards, saying security and economic prosperity are also human rights.last_img read more

GEF Small Grants Program seeking to empower local communities

first_imgLocalNews GEF Small Grants Program seeking to empower local communities by: – January 28, 2014 Share Sharing is caring! Share On Tuesday, January 28, 2014 thirty representatives from various organizations participated in the opening session of a training in proposal writing.The Global Environment Facility Small Grants Programme (GEF SGP) is increasing efforts to empower local communities to implement environmental projects.GEF SPG, established in 1992, provides financial and technical support to help conserve, restore, and enhance the environment as well as provide opportunities for sustainable livelihood projects, businesses and initiatives in local communities.GEF offers grants of up to US$50, 000 and planning grants of up to US$2500.The organization is seeking to empower local communities through capacity building activities targeting non-government organizations, community based organizations and civil service organizations.On Tuesday, January 28, 2014 thirty representatives from various organizations participated in the opening session of a training in proposal writing. This training being delivered by the National Development Foundation of Dominica (NDFD), is expected to take place during a five (5) week period.“The rationale for the training project is to build capacity among GEF present grantees and potential grantees with the aim of having a strong cadre of resources within the community,” NDFD’s human resource/Training officer, Carrie Thomas Charles said at the opening.“GEF realizes that there is a need to build capacity mainly so that the communities will be able to write more winning proposals so GEF will be able to fund with a focus on environmental related projects,” Charles explained.The opening session held at the NDFD conference room focused on increasing awareness of and knowledge and understanding of environmental matters relating to Biodiversity, Coastal and Marine resources and Climate Change. “The intention today is to give you a lot of background information to increase your knowledge, your understanding, your awareness of environmental issues and the ways in which we can address those,” coordinator of GEF SGP, Agnes Esprit said.“Whatever we do we focus on the areas of biodiversity conservation, climate change, international waters, land degradation and now we add to that sustainable forest management and chemicals,” Esprit added. Esprit, who stated that Dominica was the first Eastern Caribbean country to have its own country GEF program in 2005, said the island’s program is seen as the most experienced country program in the OECS.“We need to ensure that we set good examples, that we have good records, so that we can share our knowledge, our best practices with the other countries as they look up to us as the most experienced with a country program,” she noted. To date, 83 projects have been funded for Dominica which includes planning grants and funding grants. Dominica Vibes Newscenter_img Share Tweet 30 Views   no discussionslast_img read more