Grand Inga Dam to light up Africa

first_imgThe Inga Dam in the Democratic Republic of Congo currently supplies electricity to a number of African countries, including Angola and Namibia. (Image: International Rivers) Maintenance is currently underway toensure that Inga One and Inga Two are in  a better condition.(Image: Ecofriend) Khanyi MagubaneThe final stages of planning are underway for the construction of the Grand Inga Dam hydroelectric project.According to project leaders, the massive undertaking will be able to supply power to the entire African continent, with enough left over to sell to Europe.When the Grand Inga Dam is completed, it is expected to have an output of about 39 000 MW, making it one of the biggest hydroelectric projects in the world.  The first phase of the scheme will be the construction of the Inga Three hydroelectric plant, expected to generate about 5 000MW of electricity, which, according to research, will provide electricity to five countries by 2015.   Inga Three will draw water from the existing Inga One and Inga Two.Its design consists of eight parallel tunnels of 6 770m in length and 13.3m in diameter. Each tunnel will support two turbines, of 270MW eachInga One was built in 1972 and Inga Two in 1982, and currently supply electricity to mines in the Katanga region of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC).Due to poor maintenance, both Inga One and Two are currently undergoing rehabilitation to increase their efficiency in supplying electricity to the DRC and other neighbouring countries.A feasibility study ahead of the construction of Inga Three will be completed within 18 months.The Western Power Corridor (Westcor), the driving company behind the project, is owned by the electricity utilities of South Africa, Namibia, the DRC, Angola and Botswana. Each member country owns 20% of Westcor.  Each of the five countries involved has a mandate to manage the infrastructure aspect of the Grand Inga dam project in each country, which is expected to cost around US$8.5-billion (R71.7-billion). More accurate figures will be available once the feasibility study has been completed.  In addition to Inga Three, Westcor intends on developing hydro power plants with an output capacity of 6 700MW on the Kwanza River in Angola.Speaking to Business Report, Westcor chief executive Pat Naidoo said the project is close to implementation. “We have been finalising contracts, sorting out finance, talking to all the governments, and the engineering work in the background has been done.”According to the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad), Westcor will receive support from a number of financial institutions.These include the Southern African Development Community (SADC), the Southern African Power Pool, regional economic communities, development agencies such as the Development Bank of Southern Africa and the African Development Bank.Funding from international banking institutions such as the World Bank, the African Development Bank and the International Monetary Fund had initially been part of the plan, but Westcor has since opted to fund the project independently,“We concluded that their processes and proposals did not adequately prepare the project for construction. Studies were more of an academic nature and of no commercial value to the project, and were much more costly and expensive,” said Naidoo.According to Naidoo, once Inga Three is completed, South African electricity utility Eskom will be drawing power from it. This will allow Eskom to shut down a number of older coal-powered stations, which are more expensive to maintain.Money saved from the coal power station closures will then be used to finance the cost of rerouting the electricity from the DRC.It is expected that the cost of electricity will be lowered significantly with Westcor setting a fixed price of US 5 cents (about 42 South African cents) per kilowatt hour, making it the world’s cheapest supplier of electricity.Ambitious plan comes togetherAccording to Engineering News, some $563-billion (R4.7-trillion) is needed to successfully supply power to the entire African continent.Research by international market research company Frost and Sullivan indicates that for Africa to avoid a looming electricity crisis, the continent has to meet the current average growth of 4.4% per annum.To date, the Grand Inga Dam project is the most ambitious plan by African countries to solve the challenge of electricity shortages on the continent.During one of the many brainstorming sessions involving the five African countries, World Energy Council secretary general Gerald Doucet noted that the project has a high level of success. “Grand Inga is the greatest sustainable development project, offering Africa a unique chance for interdependence and prosperity. It’s much more feasible now than ever.”Despite Doucet’s optimism, there has been some Western scepticism about Africa’s ability to complete the project successfully.The World Rainforest Movement has cast doubt on the Grand Inga’s claim to light up the entire continent.The organisation says Africa’s rural communities living outside electricity grid areas would not benefit from the scheme, as installing power grids are expensive and the project would mainly be restricted to the urban areas.“The mega-project will provide industrial economic growth for foreign businesses seeking cheap electricity and financial opportunities for Africa’s elite business and government leaders,” it says on its website.The environmental group International Rivers is mainly concerned about the massive impact, it believes, the project will have on climate change.“Development of Inga will also significantly increase Africa’s vulnerability to climate change and political instability. Climate change will bring risks to hydro–dependent economies through increases in the severity and frequency of both droughts and floods. Climate change will add to existing environmental stresses on river ecosystems and watersheds” said International Rivers’s Terri Hathaway.Do you have queries or comments about this article? Email Khanyi Magubane at [email protected] Related articlesLight for Africa Africa catches investors’ eyes South Africa protects its oceans Funding hope for Zim economy?Useful linksEskomNepad Business FoundationWestcor World Energy CouncilInternational Rivers World Rainforest Movementlast_img read more

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Kub’s Den

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Elaine KubDTN Contributing Analyst“There are only 8 cents of carry out to the May futures contract; how am I supposed to go to my banker and justify putting up new grain bins just to get another 8 cents per bushel? That math doesn’t work out!”This question came up at a recent market outlook meeting, and the economic instincts behind the questioner’s details were spot on. He was considering funding a project with borrowed money based on the returns offered to him in the current market environment. He was looking at the actual carry in the futures spreads, which can be locked in as real income, instead of looking at some unreliable expectation that grain prices “might” tend to be higher in the spring than they were at harvest when the grain went in a bin.However, I would encourage anyone considering the construction of new grain storage facilities in 2019 (and I imagine there are many such people, after the scramble to store both corn and soybeans in late 2018) to base their decisions on longer-term expectations. The 8 cents of carry currently offered between the March and May 2019 corn futures contracts (which is still a relatively generous 65% of the full cost of commercial carry) doesn’t mean much. Few market participants come into possession of some corn in March that they only intend to store for a couple of months. More typically, someone comes into possession of some corn at harvest time. As an example, this marketing year on Nov. 1 there was 20-plus cents of carry between the December and May futures contracts that could have been used to justify an investment in grain storage. There was 30-plus cents of carry available from the December 2018 to September 2019 contracts for those who were willing to commit to storing the grain for so long.An expectation of being able to lock in an extra 20 or 30 cents per bushel for one’s grain … now, that’s something a person could take to a banker and make a grain storage facility sound like a good investment. But how confident should that expectation be, year after year after year?Let’s look at recent history. There were those wild years — 2011, 2012 and 2013 — when corn supplies were extremely tight and nearby futures spreads actually inverted during the spring and summer months (near-dated corn futures were priced higher than far-dated corn futures). That experience jolted many corn producers’ internal calibrations about how corn prices are expected to behave seasonally. But, since that time, nearby corn futures have inverted only rarely, briefly and mildly — in mid-2014 and mid-2016. Mostly, we’ve been living back in the “normal” world where there is plenty of grain to go around, and the futures markets are structured so that future prices pay more for far-dated grain and reimbursing owners for the costs of keeping the grain in storage and off the physical market.Since the 2013 corn harvest, if we took a market snapshot on Nov. 1 of any subsequent year to illustrate the harvest-time storage decisions of a farmer with newly harvested grain, we would see that the December-to-May futures spread has offered fairly generous “carry” spreads in each of these past six years: 18 1/2 cents for the 2013 corn crop, 21 1/4 cents for 2014, 14 1/2 cents for 2015, 16 cents for 2016, 22 1/4 cents for 2017 and 20 cents most recently on Nov. 1, 2018.This is cash money that the futures market offers to owners of grain. If, for instance, a farmer owns some harvested bushels already hedged with a short December corn futures position (perhaps hedged months earlier at a very favorable price), the farmer can choose to “roll” that futures position forward. That is to say: buy back December futures and simultaneously sell May futures. Then the farmer will pocket the futures spread (let’s assume 20 cents or so) as cash in a futures brokerage account. Alternatively, a farmer can roll a hedge-to-arrive contract forward within the same marketing year and receive the 20-cent advantage. Alternatively, if the grain hasn’t been hedged or sold yet, the farmer can simply choose to sell the grain, at harvest, for a timeframe six months in the future and receive a subsequently higher price in return for agreeing to store the grain until spring delivery.Note that this opportunity is different from the opportunity to store unpriced, unsold, unhedged grain in the blind hope that prices may be higher in a few months’ time. Lots of people do this; lots of people justify their investments in grain storage facilities based on that seasonal expectation for better flat prices in the spring or summer, and lots of people generally succeed most years with this strategy. Over the past six years, the flat price improvement of the National Corn Index from Nov. 1 (harvest time) to the following May 1 (six months later) has been 66 cents in 2013 from $4.03 to $4.73, 10 cents in 2014 from $3.33 to $3.43, 6 cents in 2015 from $3.50 to $3.56, 31 cents in 2016 from $3.06 to $3.37, 61 cents in 2017 from $3.07 to $3.68 and 16 cents, so far, from $3.28 on Nov. 1, 2018, to $3.44 on Feb. 12, 2019.So, you see, sometimes it works really well. But it’s never guaranteed cash-in-hand paid for carrying the grain. Instead, it’s a speculative gamble based on pretty sound seasonal market expectations.There are less reliable opportunities in soybean futures spreads, and of course even less reliable opportunities in storing unhedged soybeans for months past harvest. But if we continue to experience years of overabundant soybean inventories, that math may also change. In any case, a look at the history shows us that — in a world that expects continued years of abundant grain supply and normal “carry” futures spreads — yes, it is possible to look at grain storage investments and opportunities with some confidence.Elaine Kub is the author of “Mastering the Grain Markets: How Profits Are Really Made” and can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @elainekub.(BE/AG)© Copyright 2019 DTN/The Progressive Farmer. All rights reserved.last_img read more

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Mystery at the Museum FAQ

first_imgNote: All members (Basic and Premium) can search and filter for clues.You can also look at cache details to see if a geocache has the clue you need.How do I know which geocaches have clues?You can filter for geocaches that have the clues you need by using the search filters in the Geocaching® app or on Geocaching.com or by clicking the “Search for clues” button on the Mystery at the Museum page.How do I collect clues?Filter for clues to see which geocaches have the clues you need. Then find and log those geocaches to collect the clue on the Mystery at the Museum page in the Geocaching® app or on Geocaching.com. You can also look in the cache details to see if that geocache has the clue you are looking for.Do Event Caches have clues?Events hosted between July 11 and August 11, 2019 will all receive the detective clue.Do Lab Caches have clues?Lab Cache finds do not contain clues or count towards opening the vault.Do geocaches published during Mystery at the Museum get clues?New geocaches published between July 11 and August 11, 2019 will all receive the detective clue.Do disabled caches have clues?Geocaches that are disabled at the start of Mystery at the Museum and enabled during the promotion will receive the detective clue. If a geocache is disabled and re-enabled during the promotion, the clue will remain the same. For example, if an active geocache on July 11 has a fingerprint in it, becomes disabled for a week, and re-enabled, it will still have the fingerprint clue in it.I changed my log and did not collect a clue. Help!Log type changes will not award a clue. Only find and attended logs will award clues. You will not collect clues if you change a Write note or DNF to a Found it log. You will need to delete and resubmit your Found it log to be awarded the clue.If I find geocaches that contain a clue before I unlock the level, do I still collect that clue?You cannot collect clues that you do not qualify for. You must find the detective before you can collect evidence clues. Once the evidence has been found, you can then search for and find the jewels.Do I have to log my finds in a specific order to collect the clues?Clues are only awarded to your account if you have successfully unlocked the appropriate level. Please be sure to make sure the level has been unlocked before you log caches associated with more advanced levels.How many clues are in a single geocache? A geocache will contain only one clue type, but an unlimited number of that clue. For example, a geocache will only have the detective clue type, but any cacher that logs a find on that geocache for the first time within the promotion will collect the detective clue.Will my friends see the same clue as me?Yes. However, if you have already found that geocache, you will not be able to collect the clue it contains. What happens to the clues on August 11?The clues will be removed from all geocaches. The Mystery at the Museum page will still be available to view in the Geocaching® app and Geocaching.com until August 26, 2019.Do I have to log all my finds by August 11 in order to earn souvenirs for Mystery at the Museum?There will be a 48 hour grace period to submit your drafts and logs. Make sure to log your finds and attended logs by August 14 at noon UTC to earn the souvenirs.What are the four souvenirs I can earn during Mystery at the Museum?Briefed on the caseEvidence collectedJewels recoveredCase closedHow many clues do I need to find to earn each souvenir?The first souvenir, Briefed on the case, requires finding one clue in one geocache.The second souvenir, Evidence collected, requires finding six clues in six geocaches.The third souvenir, Jewels recovered, requires finding 15 clues in 15 geocaches.The fourth souvenir, Case closed, requires a bonus challenge to unlock the vault.Can I join Mystery at the Museum at any time?Of course! You can earn all of the souvenirs as long as you collect all of the clues by August 11.Where can I see my souvenirs?Souvenirs appear on your profile under the souvenir tab and also in the souvenir section in the app. For iOS users, access your souvenirs from the profile tab in the Geocaching® app. For Android users, access your souvenirs from your profile through the menu (≡) in the upper left hand corner.What does UTC stand for?Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) is the basis for civil time today. It is the time standard (not a time zone) commonly used across the world. Mystery at the Museum begins on July 11 at noon UTC. You can convert UTC to your local time here.Does Mystery at the Museum incorporate the Leaderboard?Mystery at the Museum does not incorporate the Leaderboard, but you can still use the Leaderboard to keep track of friends’ geocaching activity. Share with your Friends:More Authorities need your help solving the biggest jewel heist in history, the Mystery at the Museum! From July 11 to August 11, get briefed on the case and find clues to track down the stolen jewels. Once you have found the jewels, return them to the vault using the hidden code changed by the thieves.You can find answers to some of our frequently asked questions below.Is Mystery at the Museum in the Geocaching® app?Yes! Mystery at the Museum is available on both the iOS and Android Geocaching® apps as well as Geocaching.com. Beginning on July 11 at noon UTC, visit your profile and click on Mystery at the Museum to see your progress in the Geocaching® app, or visit your Dashboard on Geocaching.com.I don’t see Mystery at the Museum on my phone.You must have the latest version of the Geocaching® app (Version 8.0.0 or later) to access Mystery at the Museum on your mobile device. Visit Google Play or the App Store to update your Geocaching® app.What are clues?Clues are digital artifacts hidden in geocaches. Clues help you solve the Mystery at the Museum. Search for geocaches that contain the clues you are looking for and collect the clue when you log the cache beginning July 11 at noon UTC.How do I find and collect clues?Use filters to see geocaches that contain clues.Find and log geocaches to collect the clues.Collect all the clues to learn how to access the vault.Keep track of your progress on the Mystery at the Museum page. SharePrint RelatedBreaking news! Mystery at the MuseumJune 25, 2019In “News”Inside Geocaching HQ Transcript (Episode 26): Mystery at the Museum, Virtual Rewards 2.0 update, 20th Anniversary Celebration, geocaching etiquetteJune 24, 2019In “Podcast”Breaking news: Opening night at the Teague-Ulmer MuseumAugust 27, 2019In “News”last_img read more

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Our young MPs are overrated

first_imgThere is endless media buzz on younger MPs and how promising, photogenic and well coiffed they are.The recent cabinet reshuffle where, against expectations, young MPs were ignored, and Sonia Gandhi’s call that politicians retire at 64 are noteworthy.There is endless media buzz on younger MPs and how promising, photogenic and well coiffed they are. They are all that and literally made- for- the- movies nextgen politicians. Truly, when you compare them to the earthier politicians of yore, they look great.The subtext of the buzz seems to be that if they were given power ( ministerships), they would turn India around.They all sport foreign degrees which ensures them the tag of intellectuals too.Their complaint is that they are not given power, though they are over- flowing pots of talent. In fact the recent Ministry reshuffle convinced everyone what a great opportunity Manmohan Singh missed by not dropping senior ministers and then inducting the younger MPs.Thank God for that.Attributes95 per cent of younger MPs got their seats through family connections. Inimitably, Rahul Gandhi admitted as much with regard to his own seat. The list of honour includes the Badals of Punjab, Yeddyurappa, Dhumal of Himachal, Karunanidhi’s brood, Sharad Pawar, Mulayam Singh, Gogoi of Assam, Ajit Singh of UP, Chautala and Hooda’s sons in Haryana, Sheila Dikshit and Vasundhara Raje and sons, Scindia of Madhya Pradesh, Sachin Pilot, Ranes of Maharashtra, Jaganmohan Reddy of Andhra, Murali Deora, Jyoti Mirdha from Rajasthan and other lesser known family origin MPs.There are over 75 such MPs and they frequently give interviews, claiming achievements, which really involve the routine spending of their MP funds. They give the right bytes and visuals, but are they delivering? Or have they become one more millstone around the country’s neck? Their characteristics are: A. Risk- averse behaviour : Young MPs of all parties are petrified to do anything unusual. They are totally risk- averse. They do not behave like leaders, but executives in Fast- Moving Consumer Goods ( FMCG) firms. They never espouse un- popular causes or display initiative. None of them take any position on any issue. They fashion a role as status quoists and their overriding ambition is re- election and making politics a full time career, just like company executives. They quietly lobby the same leaders that the less sophisticated do, but with greater success. Their social skills and pedigree give them advantage.They never associate themselves with anyone who might, even peripherally, be anti- establishment or out of favour. The farthest thing in their minds is ” to speak truth to power”. Their policy is timidity and their un- stated religion is that it is better to be mediocre and survive.B. Total opposites of Rahul Gandhi: In fact, the only younger MP who does show antiestablishmentarianism is Rahul Gandhi.He stays out of Delhi and courts controversy over new ideas. Unlike the Young MPs, he is ready to risk his reputation. It is therefore surprising why younger Congress MPs do not emulate Mr Gandhi.C. Parliament membership is a career : Most of the younger MPs are familiar with the perks and prestige of being an MP. They know the cost of loss and it is deeply ingrained in them that they should hold onto their seats at any cost. By being compliant, they ensure they are viewed as non- ambitious. Naturally, inner circles in all parties like them and feel un- threatened.Such postures have been wellhoned, with masterly fawning, brilliant sycophancy and sophisticated flattery.D. No crusader amongst younger MPs: Again, Rahul Gandhi is an exception. It is puzzling why in the last 12 years, we never saw younger MPs crusade against corruption or any other ill in India. In the recent Telecom Scam, we never found a young MP raise the issue. All young Ministers and MPs were totally silent and avoided the storm. Governance, security issues, environment or education have never attracted their attention.Then what are they interested in? This servile behaviour fortifies their image as harmless, innocent executives in FMCGs but not as leaders, who are in dire shortage.E. Younger Ministers non- performing: There are about 15 younger ministers in government.Some of them have been there for 4 years. But these Ministers have not shown any originality or even made an effort to be role models or take any risk.They focus on being a pleasing part of status quo and go along with any Minister as perfect team- players as they would in a FMCG firm. Be it a Telecom Raja, or others, they adjust and survive. Then how do you expect the Prime Minister to elevate them? When you are totally non- performing in even a supporting role, how can you play the hero’s role?SeniorsIf they are not leaders, then they are not even good managers. Where is their achievement? Of course, DMK MP Kanimozhi has achieved much for herself. But is that the kind of achievement we want? Sonia Gandhi is wrong to ask for the retirement of capable seniors. The real performers in government, in fact, are the oldest Ministers. A. K. Antony, Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram are visible and take risks every day. Antony has brought honesty and gravitas to defence.Pranab is a problem solver and Chidambaram has energised the security apparatus. The younger MPs might say that such ministers had the benefit of experience. True, but they were also great risk takers. Antony, Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram, Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar are great risk takers. Antony became Chief Minister at 33 years and resigned in 1978.Pranab Mukherjee left the Congress and was in the cold for 10 years. Chidambaram left the Congress and was out of power. Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar are habitual risk- takers.DangerThis is not to argue that younger MPs should self- destruct their careers by recklessness.But we need something more than their artful silences and inactivity.If the younger generation is not idealistic, then who will be? Fortune favours the brave and risk- takers rise to great heights. Younger MPs need to shed some timidity and display some idealism. By doing so, Rahul Gandhi has gained increasing acceptance in the country.The younger MPs who rose due to family connections must remember that genetics is their greatest enemy. Nature will constantly try to see their exit. The enterprise shown by their forefathers got them positions. But their timidity, lethargy or total conformity will ensure their failure.Status quo never works. They have to outwit the law of genetics- that genes lose their steam after some time. Where are the descendants of the Mughals or other rulers? The law of genetics has ensured a fast turnover of rulers.The country noticed the deafening silence of all young politicians during the 2G scam. Not one raised his voice. Rajiv Gandhi, Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia all took risks when they were young Ministers. Chandrashekhar was a rebel in the 1970s and see how far he went. Indira Gandhi herself was a hightrapeze politician.By being too non- controversial and donning mediocrity, longevity in politics will not be ensured. Your genes and strategy will hasten the end. The British tolerate their monarchy, because they see them as practitioners of ” meritocratic nepotism”. There seems to be little merit in our political nepotism.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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CWG 2014: Indian shooters continue medal-winning feats on Day 4

first_imgShreyasi Singh clinched a silver medal in women’s double trap shooting Young markswoman Shreyasi Singh clinched a silver medal while Mohd. Asab managed a bronze as Indian shooters continued their medal-winning feats on the fourth day of competitions in the 20th Commonwealth Games on Sunday.Shreyasi bagged a silver in women’s double trap to give India their eighth medal from shooting, before Asab made it nine by finishing on the podium following a tense shoot-off for the bronze.For both shooters, it was their first Commonwealth Games medal, with Asab winning it in his maiden appearance. For Delhi girl Shreyasi, she made up for the disappointment of failing to win anything in front of her home crowd fours years ago at the Games in the Indian capital.The 22-year-old Shreyasi shot down a total target of 92 to bag the silver, two shots behind gold winner Charlotte Kerwood of England.Another Englishwoman Rachel Parish won the bronze with 91 points, after a shoot-off with Cynthia Meyer of Canada.A not-so-impressive first round of 22 points saw Shreyasi trailing at the third spot after the third and penultimate round but the Delhi shooter recovered some lost ground in the final round to taste success at the Barry Buddon Centre.With Kerwood, in whose name the Commonwealth Games record of 106 points (at 2006 Melbourne) stands, struggling in the final round, Shreyasi was in with a chance to go for a shoot-off for the gold but missed the double target twice to settle for the white metal. Shreyasi had rounds of 22 24 23 23.advertisement”I trained in Italy for some time before the Commonwealth Games and that has helped me. I would also like to thank the federation and the government,” Shreyasi said.The other Indian in the fray, 20-year-old Varsha Varman finished fifth with 88 points (22, 19, 24, 23).In the other event, Punam Yadav clinched India’s seventh medal in the weightlifting event of the Commonwealth Games as she lifted a total of 202kg to claim a bronze in the women’s 63kg category.Punam, who won a bronze in junior Asian Championship early this year, was locked in a gripping battle with Olayuwatoyin Adesanmi and defending champion Obioma Okoli, but the two Nigerian athletes totalled five kilos more than the Indian.last_img read more

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