South Africa launches fuel cell study

first_img11 February 2016A R15-million feasibility study launched by Trade and Industry Minister Rob Davies will identify particular components that can be manufactured for fuel cell units.The Isondo Precious Minerals (IPM) study was launched by the minister on Tuesday. It is intended to accelerate mineral beneficiation and localisation of fuel cell manufacturing in South Africa.“We are in a difficult time as producers and exporters of primary mineral resources as a result of the significant price fall of commodities,” Davies said. “This has affected many of the industrial mineral commodities that we produce as a country. We have realised that we need to find new uses for our resources.”There has been a rise in the technological development of fuel cells with demand for platinum in the fuel sector being at its most stable.“It is as a response to this demand that (the) government and the platinum mining sector resolve to encourage an increase in the demand for platinum. We have an additional interest to make sure that those new uses generate and support industrial development in South Africa, so as to capture the manufacturing that takes place in this particular industry,” Davies said.South Africa has honed in on two potential uses of fuel cell technology.“The first is the small power unit that could be used to power remote areas 20 kilometres away from the existing grid connection. The other use is of powering underground equipment within the mining industry.“What we are doing as (the) government is to support different initiatives that can realise the industrial development opportunities. This will also help us to achieve the beneficiation objectives.”The study is envisaged to be completed in a year’s time. “What we want to do through this feasibility study is to understand better the building blocks of fuel cell units and to look at the particular competencies and capabilities that can be developed in the country.“We want to establish this technology on the African continent as something which builds into the platinum industry to support and sustain the expansion and stabilisation of the industry,” the minister said.The feasibility study was evidence of IPM’s commitment to bring together world- class proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells and South African precious metal supply to significantly reduce the cost of PEM, said IPM’s chief executive, Vinay Somera.The Department of Trade and Industry is working closely with the Industrial Development Corporation on the development of a fuel cell roadmap.The announcement came as the Investing in African Mining Indaba was under way in Cape Town. Investors and stakeholders at the indaba widely acknowledged to current gloomy market – Mineral Resources Minister called it a “winter season” in his opening address on 8 February – be the worst downturn in the commodities market many in the mining sector had ever experienced.South Africa has 96% of the world’s platinum group metal reserves, and the country is the world’s largest producer of platinum. The Mining Indaba ends on 11 February.Source: SouthAfricanews.govlast_img read more

Seeking Robust Exports to China

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Jerry HagstromDTN Political CorrespondentAVENTURA, Fla. (DTN) — The Trump administration wants China to promise to buy a broad range of agricultural commodities, not just soybeans, in the trade negotiation that is underway, Agriculture Deputy Secretary Steve Censky said Monday.“We want some robust purchase commitments from China,” Censky said at the International Sweetener Colloquium, a gathering of sweetener users here.Censky said that means China should fulfill its commitments under the tariff rate quota system to buy other commodities and also U.S. meat and pet food.The United States also expects China to improve its biotechnology approval system. “In the past, it has taken a presidential summit to get biotech approvals,” he said.The engagement with China is a “tough, but promising negotiation,” Censky said.But he also said that achieving a good agreement on agriculture is not enough to win the administration’s backing. He said China has to agree to make changes to its system of technology transfer and not force U.S. companies to transfer their technology or take on a Chinese partner who, in effect, steals U.S. knowledge.Censky also told the candy company executives and others in the sweetener industry there is “a lot of work ahead to get the USMCA [the U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement] passed. We need your help.”He noted that USDA is advocating within the administration for the removal of the tariffs on Mexican and Canadian steel. Agriculture leaders have said the tariffs have led to retaliatory tariffs that have diminished their exports and that the provisions in the USMCA will be meaningless if the tariffs are not removed.Censky also noted that Larry Kudlow, the director of the White House National Economic Council, has said he expects the tariffs to be removed.Censky also said he thinks the expected negotiations with Japan will be “great news for agriculture.” He noted that U.S. agreements with Japan have “always” been “the crown jewel of U.S. trade negotiations,” and that most of the gains under the Trans Pacific Partnership proposal from which President Donald Trump withdrew would have been in increased access to the Japanese market.In the upcoming negotiations with Japan, Censky said, the Trump administration wants “at least” what the United States would have gotten if it stayed in TPP.Negotiations with the European Union are slower because the United States has pushed for agriculture to be included in the agreement, which the EU has resisted, he said. But Censky said he believes agriculture must be included for Congress to approve an EU agreementThe Trump administration would also like to achieve a new agricultural trade relationship with the United Kingdom if and when it leaves the European Union, but that relationship depends on the arrangements under which the U.K. leaves the EU, he said.USDA will release its farm bill implementation schedule later this week, he said, with implementation of the new dairy program a top priority.PRESIDENT POINTS TO AG AND USMCA DEALPresident Donald Trump on Sunday said he would extend a deadline to escalate tariffs on Chinese imports, citing progress in trade negotiations.The president tweeted, “I am pleased to report that the U.S. has made substantial progress in our trade talks with China on important structural issues including intellectual property protection, technology transfer, agriculture, services, currency, and many other issues. As a result of these very … productive talks, I will be delaying the U.S. increase in tariffs now scheduled for March 1. Assuming both sides make additional progress, we will be planning a Summit for President Xi and myself, at Mar-a-Lago, to conclude an agreement. A very good weekend for U.S. & China!”In comments to the nation’s governors, Trump said the new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement would benefit farmers.According to a White House transcript, Trump said he wanted to “thank every governor here today who is supporting our new U.S.-Mexico-Canada Agreement — the USMCA. I’ve long said that NAFTA is the worst trade deal that any country has ever signed. It emptied us out. We had a surplus with Mexico and Canada, and we went to $130 billion trade deficit with the combination of Mexico and Canada. And this deal will bring it back.”“We’re opening it up to farmers. We’re opening Canada, as an example — and Mexico — to farmers. They were closed. It was a closed shop. They had all sorts of non-monetary trade barriers. And they had monetary trade barriers. They were charging, for certain agricultural products, an almost 300 percent tariff. Nobody ever talked about it. Nobody ever knew about it. And I’d go up to Wisconsin and the farmers would say, ‘Sir, we can’t compete. They’re charging us 287 percent, to be exact.’ I said, ‘You got to be kidding.’And we did something about it.”“So the USMCA is very important. It will help our dairy farmers in Wisconsin; our wine makers in Oregon and Washington and California; our autoworkers in Michigan and Ohio and Pennsylvania and all over; and dozens of other states, and ranchers and farmers and growers and manufacturers from coast to coast. It’s a very, very comprehensive deal. It’s a deal that nobody thought we’d be able to get approved.“I was able to get it approved, to be honest with you, by using tariffs. I was putting very substantial tariffs — or was getting ready to — on Canada, who was very tough to negotiate. You know, we think of ‘Oh, Canada.’ Well, ‘Oh, Canada’ is tough. They’re tough.“And I said, ‘Look, you know, you’re either going to do this or we’re going to put 20, 25 percent tariffs on your cars that you ship in here by the millions.”Jerry Hagstrom can be reached at [email protected] him on Twitter @hagstromreport(CC/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

6 Reasons This Could Be The Most Boring CES Ever

first_imgRole of Mobile App Analytics In-App Engagement Related Posts ReadWrite’s Taylor Hatmaker is right about one thing: 2013 should indeed be a unusual year for the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), as the industry struggles to find the next big thing.(Read CES 2013: 5 Things You Won’t See.)Rattled by declining prices and lingering worries over the “fiscal cliff,” gadget makers are likely to be more conservative than ever, focusing on extending tried-and-true trends rather than breaking out brand new ideas.In fact, it’s likely that CES 2013 is going to be, well, boring. As a 20-year veteran of the show, here’s what I am expecting to see in Vegas this year:1. MicrosoftNo, I’m not totally disagreeing with Taylor here. As she correctly notes, 2012 was the last year that Microsoft plans to appear at the Consumer Electronics Show, although Consumer Electronics Association chief Gary Shapiro portrayed the company’s absence as a “hiatus.” Right.Microsoft may not have bought booth space, but it will be represented by its manufacturing partners, which plan to show off Windows 8 PCs, tablets, all-in-ones and convertibles. The personal computer is simply too big to ignore, but I hear that the number of pitches for Windows 8 PC unveilings at CES is down, and that many companies are focusing on trivial matters, such as new colors. (Colors!?) Even the Surface Pro isn’t expected to show up at CES, even though it’s due out soon.2. Tablets – From Off BrandsYes, Taylor’s right that a veritable flood of tablets were launched at the 2012 CES, but history tells us that where the big names tread, the smaller names are sure to follow. Amazon and Google, as well as Apple, have shown that there’s a market for smaller, more manageable tablet form factors, and second- and third-tier providers are likely to try and bleed cost further out of the equation. You’ll still see a number of Android tablets, mostly from by manufacturers you’ve never heard of.Plus, I think we’ll see more purpose-built tablets and peripherals. Last year, Razer showed off Project Fiona, a gaming tablet that ended up being vaporware. But I still believe that some manufacturer will throw out a Nexus 7-sized tablet with a Microsoft-style touch keyboard cover attached to it, and see if anyone will bite. Also look for tablet makers to try and shoehorn their products into some sort of software/hardware ecosystem.By the way, Taylor’s right: most major smartphone announcements are being delayed until Barcelona’s Mobile World Congress in February.3. TVs That People Will Actually BuyPeople aren’t buying 3D televisions. And while manufacturers will likely show off 4K, UltraHD TV technology, Taylor correctly points out that high prices and a lack of content make UltraHD pointless for most people right now. UltraHD doesn’t make sense until cameras, cable and TVs all support it. (Still, while I may not buy the mammoth 110-inch UHDTV Westinghouse will show off at CES, that doesn’t mean I don’t want it.)What people will buy, however, are connected televisions – and ways to connect their TVs – especially if they’re cheap. Westinghouse just announced a television that supports its Streaming Stick, a $100 plastic stick that plugs into compliant televisions. There’s still too much confusion here, which is why peripheral manufacturers like Roku and the small Google TV ecosystem just won’t go away.4. Connected ContentThis is a catch-all category, encompassing everything from connected cars to second-screen apps that fling content to TVs and other devices, as well as peripherals that stream audio from Pandora and other services. This may sound like old news, but connected services creeping into more and more mundane devices is actually a game changer.I’m hoping for more on the automotive front, but everything I’ve heard points to more autonomous automotive safety features, rather than suites of connected services. Blame the carriers’ data caps for this: Streaming high-bandwidth media into your car might quickly blow through your data plan. Sending maps and other low-bandwidth data services makes more sense .5. Digital Health/FitnessThey will never equal the splash of a new big-screen TV or smartphone, but digital fitness products should have an, er, healthy presence at CES. Consumers want things to both track their progress and distract them while exercising, and technology manufacturers are stepping up.6. CrapSeriously, I’ve seen enough smartphone cases to last a lifetime. USB keys, external hard drives, notebook sleeves, USB lights, fans, stickers and the like dominate huge swaths of CES’s show floor. Sure there’s a market for some of this stuff, but there’s a fine line between junk and innovation. You know what I’m really hoping to see? Personal drones. Yes, the ones that we’d otherwise use to spy on enemy soldiers. I’d like to see a whole corner of the show floor devoted to those things, as a tool for tracking game, scouting inaccessible locations, and otherwise just having fun.Would it be controversial? Absolutely. And that’s just what CES needs. Otherwise, I’m afraid this year’s show may end up being the dullest one in years.For more, check out CES 2013: 5 Things You Won’t See.Image source: Flickr/PrimeImageMedia.com. markhachman Tags:#CES 2013#health#Microsoft#streaming#streaming music#Streaming video#tablets#television center_img Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … The Rise and Rise of Mobile Payment Technologylast_img read more

Your Criticism Should Be Aimed at the Lazy

first_imgIt’s popular to rail against the social media figures that suggest that you should hustle and grind. Some find the idea of people working too much, too hard, and for too long to be bad advice, suggesting life is more than constant work. You will be warned to put your relationships before work, an idea with which I mostly agree, but not if your laziness prevents you from taking care of the people who make up those relationships.The criticism about people hustling and grinding applies to a small percentage of the overall population, with very few of them working themselves to death, or even to the point of burnout. The better criticism and unsolicited advice would be better directed towards those who are lazy, doing too little, with too little energy, and who avoid work.Unwilling to WorkWhen you are born, other people take care of you, making you a dependent. As you grow up, those people have to help make you independent—and you must become a self-sustaining, productive human being, as defined by whatever you believe those words mean. Choosing to be lazy is to violate the laws of nature.Nature requires you to expend effort to provide for your needs, like food, water, shelter, transportation, a Netflix membership, and excellent internet bandwidth. Nature doesn’t care whether you believe you should have to provide for yourself or not, and reality doesn’t mind hurting your feelings, nor does it care whether or not you suffer.If you like, you can choose to be unwilling to work (and it is a choice). You can choose to be idle, becoming less, doing less, having less, and contributing less. However, that is not what you were made for; you were made to exert effort, to create something useful to other people, to work.You might also put comfort, distraction, and entertainment before work, allowing it to crowd out what you should be doing, as well as taking your mind off the fact that you are procrastinating. What prevents laziness is your ability to will yourself to work, or self-discipline, or what I call “me management,” as those who cannot manage themselves end up with difficulties that multiply over time.If there is criticism to be directed at individuals about work, that critique should be for those who do too little—not that those whom some may believe do too much. Essential Reading! Get my 3rd book: Eat Their Lunch “The first ever playbook for B2B salespeople on how to win clients and customers who are already being serviced by your competition.” Buy Nowlast_img read more

Umar Akmal cameo helps Lahore beat Mumbai

first_imgUmar Akmal hit an 18-ball unbeaten 38 as Lahore Lions beat defending champions Mumbai Indians by six wickets in their opening qualifying round match of the Champions League Twenty20 in Raipur on Saturday.Put into bat, Mumbai produced a mediocre batting display as they could score just 135 for seven with Aditya Tare top-scoring with a 37 and the Pakistani side comfortably chased down the target with eighth balls to spare.Ahmed Shehzad (34) and Nasir Jamshed (26) laid a good platform by stitching 51 runs for the opening wicket, but they looked like losing way in the middle overs as Mumbai came back strongly on the back of some fine bowling and fielding.Lahore needed 26 runs from the last three overs and the match headed towards a tight finish. But, Akmal turned the game on its head with a superb show of batting as he struck four fours and two sixes from 18 balls as Lahore ran away with a win.Meanwhile, New Zealand batsman Kane Williamson showed his prowess in the shortest format as he powered Northern Knights to a convincing seven-wicket victory over Sri Lanka’s Southern Express in a rain-curtailed opening game of the Champions League T20 in Raipur on Saturday.With heavy downpour and soggy outfield reducing the match to 10-overs per side, Southern Express managed 92 for five in 10 overs which was easily surpassed by the Northern side with three balls to spare. Williamson led the charge with a 29-ball-52. Earlier, openers Kusal Perera and Gunathilaka rode on their luck due to shoddy fielding from Northerns as Southern Express scored 92 for five in 10 overs.advertisementKusal smashed his way to 37 off 20 balls with seven boundaries as Gunathilaka contributed 39 off 26 balls with two fours and three sixes. The opening stand of 55 laid the foundation of a challenging score.Diminutive Kusal was quick to dispatch anything on his legs behind the square. His partner Gunathilaka was slow to begin as he was not timing the ball properly but later got into the groove. The openers were helped by some shoddy fielding as Northern dropped as many as six catches of the duo.last_img read more

Firefighters contain house fire in Pacific Highlands Ranch area

first_img Ed Lenderman, Posted: April 25, 2018 Firefighters contain house fire in Pacific Highlands Ranch area Updated: 9:54 AM Ed Lenderman center_img April 25, 2018 00:00 00:00 spaceplay / pause qunload | stop ffullscreenshift + ←→slower / faster ↑↓volume mmute ←→seek  . seek to previous 12… 6 seek to 10%, 20% … 60% XColor SettingsAaAaAaAaTextBackgroundOpacity SettingsTextOpaqueSemi-TransparentBackgroundSemi-TransparentOpaqueTransparentFont SettingsSize||TypeSerif MonospaceSerifSans Serif MonospaceSans SerifCasualCursiveSmallCapsResetSave SettingsSAN DIEGO (KUSI) — A family of four escaped their burning home this morning in San Diego’s Pacific Highlands Ranch neighborhood near Carmel Valley, but their garage and two vehicles were destroyed by the fire and smoke damaged much of the home, causing a loss of about a quarter-million dollars, authorities said.The blaze, reported about 4:15 a.m., prompted fire crews to evacuate several nearby homes in the 15000 block of Sierra Rose Trail near Blue Dawn Trail, San Diego Fire-Rescue Department officials said. No injuries were reported.Firefighters arrived to the upscale community near Carmel Valley to find flames and heavy smoke spewing from the garage of the home, SDFD spokesman Monica Munoz said. The crews quickly worked to evacuate nearby homes and search the burning house, though they later learned the two adults and two children who lived there had already evacuated safely.Fire crews knocked down the flames by 4:40 a.m. and extinguished a hot spot that flared up a few hours later.According to reporters at the scene, the home was equipped with new smoke alarms that alerted the family and allowed them plenty of time to escape unharmed. Personnel from the American Red Cross responded to assist the family find temporary shelter, Munoz said.Fortunately, no one was hurt and the damage was mostly confined to the garage, with a bit of extension into the second-floor bedroom above the garage,” Munoz said. “The combination of the fire door between the garage and the home, and quick action by firefighters, saved the first floor of this home from burning.”Two vehicles in the garage were destroyed and there was smoke damage throughout the house, Munoz said. Investigators estimate the fire caused $150,000 worth of structural damage and destroyed contents valued at $100,000.Metro Arson Strike Team investigators were on scene this morning but were unable to determine what caused the blaze. Categories: Local San Diego News FacebookTwitterlast_img read more