CCAC seeking to implement Caricom regulations in auto industry

first_imgThe Competition and Consumer Affairs Commission (CCAC) in a bid to standardise the auto industry is now conducting research to implement Caricom regulations which will allow customers better deals when making a vehicular purchase at a dealer.Consumer Affairs Officer, Feyona Austin-PaulThis comes in light of what was described as “unfair” terms and conditions which are allowed in present agreements between dealers and persons interested in vehicles.Consumer Affairs Officer, Feyona Austin-Paul while responding to a question from Guyana Times revealed that the auto industry continues to account for one of the highest numbers of complaints received.In fact, it happens to be the second most prevalent complaint that the Commission received during 2018.The revelation was made recently at a media event where the Director of the Commission, Dawn Holder-Cush was making a presentation on the Competition and Fair Trade and Consumer Affairs Act.“There are a number of areas which we have been addressing (and) we’ve done intensive research in this industry and we had a lot of setbacks for auto dealers over the past few years. We have made progress I would say because the complaints have decreased,” Austin-Paul explained.She pointed out that the Commission has been exploring several options to standardise the sector.“It’s not one approach, the standardisation of the sector, Caricom has a draft regulation that we want to implement here (and) we are working with the Bureau of Standards to get the standards done and then we will have to have a copy of the regulations for used vehicles,” the Officer asserted.In addition to this, she reported that the CCAC conducted research on the pre-inspection mechanism which is now being used more frequently by persons who are seeking to make a purchase.Austin-Paul pointed out, “With ongoing research in (the) industry we are trying to ensure that our suppliers are aware of what they should do and the repercussions and I would safely say that we have made progress and we have made an impact on the auto industry”.Among the things that are likely to bring order in this sector was a standardised contract for all auto dealers or a revised hire purchase agreement.This was according to the Chairman of the Commission, Ronald Burch-Smith, who was addressing a forum last September.“One of the things about the auto industry is that many of the dealers offer payment terms (and) the contracts aren’t standard, and they are sometimes unfair…I think one of the things that would make a big difference is a revised hire purchase agreement that gives clearer provisions and maybe set standard terms so that everyone is regulated by the same terms,” the lawyer stated.last_img read more

World record for SA football fan

first_img30 June 2010Thulani Ngcobo’s passion for football has scored him a place in sporting history, after he set a new Guinness World Record for the most Fifa World Cup matches attended by an individual at a single finals tournament.The 29-year-old Ngcobo claimed the record after watching his 21st full match on Friday, 25 June in Pretoria, where Spain beat Chile 2-1. Guinness World Records adjudicator Jason Curran presented Ngcobo with a certificate after the match confirming he’d broken the record.“I’m very excited. There’s nothing like being a world champion, especially with something that involves soccer,” Ngcobo said. “I love soccer.”MediaClubSouthAfricaFree high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.Ngcobo, who comes from Pretoria’s Soshanguve township, has in fact attended 28 matches in all 10 host stadiums. The Spain-Chile match was the 21st full 90-minutes he’s attended, as he’s been late to others because of his hectic travel schedule.As there was no previous record for World Cup match attendance, Guinness World Records determined that Ngcobo would have to attend more than 20 matches to hold the record. It is yet to be determined if his achievement will be published in the annual Guinness World Records.Competition winnerNgcobo got his chance at world record glory in 2009 by winning won a competition organised by mobile-phone operator MTN, an official sponsor of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Dubbed the Last Fan Standing competition, Ngcobo won 38 tickets to watch the 2010 Fifa World Cup matches live at stadiums.The Kaizer Chiefs’ fan has been attending at least two matches a day since the tournament started on 11 June, having to travel long distances to get from stadium to stadium, often by plane.According to MTN, Ngcobo has so far travelled more than 7 500 kilometres by car and over 7 000 kilometres by plane.“I’ve not had much sleep,” he said. “It’s been hectic, but I’m proud of myself.”And he hasn’t been home since the tournament kicked off. “I’ll only be home after the World Cup.”But it’s all been worth it, as he’d had the opportunity of a lifetime to watch some of the world’s greatest football players in his home country. It’s been fantastic, he said, to see the likes of Wayne Rooney, Ronaldo and Lionel Messi.‘I am always at the stadium’Before he won the MTN competition, Ngcobo had budgeted to buy tickets for at least 10 World Cup matches. “I’m always at the stadium,” he said. He’s a serious fan of both Soweto club Kaizer Chiefs and Bafana Bafana, the national squad, attending matches whenever either team plays.The match where Portugal thumbed North Korea 7-0 remains his favourite of the 2010 tournament. “There was a time it felt like I was watching highlights of a match, with a goal coming in after a goal,” he said.Despite already bagging the record, Ngcobo is far from finished. “I aim to attend at least 30 games, so that a new challenger would struggle to break that record,” he reckoned.So Ngcobo has a lot more great football to enjoy, all the way to Soccer City in Johannesburg on 11 July for the 2010 Fifa World Cup final.First published by MediaClubSouthAfrica.com – get free high-resolution photos and professional feature articles from Brand South Africa’s media service.last_img read more

Forage shortage: Considering early weaning

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Garth Ruff, Extension Educator, Agriculture and Natural Resources, Ohio State University Extension, Henry CountyLow hay inventory this past winter combined with poor pasture stands due to excessive moisture have led to a greater proportion of thin beef cows both across the countryside and on the cull market. As we evaluate the toll that this past winter took on forage stands, especially alfalfa, hay is projected to be in short supply as we proceed into next winter as well.For a beef cow to be efficient and profitable, we must meet her nutritional requirements for maintenance in addition to those for reproduction and lactation. As a reminder, the hierarchy of nutrient use is as follows: maintenance, development, growth, lactation, reproduction, and fattening. This applies to all nutrient categories, not just to energy alone. As we conclude calving season, we are entering the most challenging time in production cycle when it comes to providing adequate nutrition. If the cow does not intake enough nutrients and is in suboptimal body condition at calving (BCS < 5), reproduction is the first to fail. With that in mind, one strategy available to minimize body condition and reproductive losses when forage is in short supply is to early wean calves.Early weaning is certainly not a new concept and is one that is often employed when forage availability is scarce. By shortening lactation and weaning calves earlier, a cow’s nutrient need above that of maintenance is greatly reduced. Keep in mind that we still need to provide enough nutrition to sustain the mechanisms of reproduction, estrus, implantation, and gestation.Many universities have researched the pros and cons of early weaning from a herd and systems-based management approach. Taking a deep dive into the archives of the Ohio Beef Letter, I found these “10 reasons to wean Calves at 205 days” written by Tom Turner in 1999. While these reasons are a bit tongue in cheek, there are also some good take home messages regarding herd management.Number 10: Calves that are weaned later in life are less likely to grade “choice” thus, being more attractive to the “high yield” type markets.Number 9: Seven month weaning instead weaning at 3 to 4 months keeps the stocking rates of pastures down, thus eliminating the need for carrying more cows.Number 8: Weaning at 7 months allows the calf to be hungry due to declining milk production by mamma, thus encouraging calves to consume more creep feed.Number 7: Weaning later will reduce early calf growth, thus allowing for more “compensatory” gain in the feedlot.Number 6: Weaning later keeps cows thinner and able to slip through gates and fences easier.Number 5: Later weaned calves will weigh less and as a result can be marketed later with everyone else’s calves.Number 4: Later weaned calves will weigh less and thus, should command more cents per pound than their heavier contemporaries.Number 3: Later weaned calves can be creep fed to boost weaning weights. Since the feed conversion of creep feed is not very good, later weaning utilizes more cheap Ohio corn.Number 2: Later weaning allows open cows to be culled in the fall with everyone else’s open cows.Number 1: Lactating cows require as much as 2/3 more feed than dry, gestating cows — weaning at 205 days will eliminate any abundance of hay.To elaborate further, physiologically at around seven months of age (traditional weaning), we are weaning the calf at a point when its passive immunity acquired via colostrum is at its lowest and active immunity is beginning to ramp up. Therefore, from a health standpoint we are increasing the risk of stress induced illness when weaning calves at “traditional” age.Furthermore, by feeding calves on a higher plane of nutrition earlier in life higher we can accelerate their growth curve. This early growth and energy intake contributes to heavier carcass weights and higher quality grade potential, increasing the value of the calf’s carcass.Can you manage lighter weight calves? In order to be successful in an early weaning system, economics, facilities, and labor need to be considered. Early weaning may not be for everyone, but it can be a useful tool particularly when feed stocks and forage are limited.last_img read more

Carbon Crossroads: Can Germany Revive Its Stalled Energy Transition?

first_imgThis post originally appeared at Yale Environment 360. Northern Germany, from the Polish borderlands in the east to the Netherlands in the west, is the stronghold of Germany’s muscular onshore wind power industry. This is where the lion’s share of the country’s nearly 30,000 wind turbines are sited, a combined force equal to the power generation of about 10 nuclear reactors. Where Germany’s northernmost tip abuts Denmark, soaring turbines crowd the horizon as far as the eye can see. And many more are coming as Germany strives to go carbon neutral by 2050. Yet despite their impressive might, the north’s wind parks are a reminder not only of how much has been accomplished in Germany’s Energiewende, or clean energy transition, but also of what remains to be done. The country has made a Herculean effort to shift to a clean energy economy. In just the past five years, government support and costs to consumers have totaled an estimated 160 billion euros ($181 billion). But Germany’s greenhouse gas emissions have not declined as rapidly as expected in response to the vigorous expansion of renewable energy, which now generates 40% of the country’s electricity. Germany’s politicians are even resigned to falling significantly short of the country’s 2020 goal of reducing emissions by 40% below 1990 levels.RELATED ARTICLESGermany’s Energy RevolutionGermany’s Plus-Energy TownOur All-Renewable Energy FutureDebating Our All-Renewable Energy FutureCost of Renewable Energy Continues to Fall Germany’s failings have come as a vexing shock to its environmentally conscious citizenry. While Germans still overwhelmingly back the energy transition — for years polls showed support in excess of 90% — about three-quarters say the government is not doing enough to slow global warming. Today, the Energiewende finds itself stalled and floundering. Germany’s carbon emissions have stagnated at roughly their 2009 level. The country remains Europe’s largest producer and burner of coal, which generates more than one-third of Germany’s power supply. Moreover, emissions in the transportation sector have shot up by 20% since 1995 and are rising with no end in sight, experts say. German consumers have seen their electricity bills soar since 2000, in part because of the renewable energy surcharge. Now, complex, discomfiting questions loom about the way forward if Germany is to meet even its minimal targets and play the nation’s part in putting the brakes on global warming. From green groups on the left, to independent think tanks, to industry associations, experts have put forth numerous plans to regain the momentum of the Energiewende and decarbonize Germany’s economy. The issue is urgent: The German Energy Agency (DENA), a think tank supported by public and private funds, found that if the country continues along its present course, carbon emissions will fall by only 62% by 2050 — well short of the government’s goal of slashing emissions up to 95% below 1990 levels by mid-century. And analysts say that the challenges Germany now faces will confront other industrialized societies as they attempt to wean themselves off fossil fuels. The effort began as a grassroots campaign The Energiewende began as a bottom-up movement that took off in 2000 when grassroots campaigns persuaded legislators to support renewable energy expansion through feed-in tariffs. In the aftermath of the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan in 2011, Chancellor Angela Merkel and her government got behind the energy transition and drafted blueprints to guide it. But in recent years, the government, in the face of auto industry opposition, backed off decarbonizing the transportation sector; has not supported a significant price on carbon; has dragged its feet on grid expansion; has declined to set a date for phasing out coal; and has not implemented significant parts of its own 2050 climate program. Some analysts say that Merkel’s decision to step down in 2021 could be a boon for the Energiewende, as the Green Party is rising in the polls and will likely play an important role in the next government. Against this backdrop, the German government’s Climate Protection Program 2050, the Energiewende’s current road map, has come under a barrage of criticism. “The goals set in the climate program aren’t nearly ambitious enough,” says Benno Hain of the Federal Environment Agency, referring to its vague aim of reducing emissions by 80% to 95% compared to 1990 levels. Germany must shoot for a 95% reduction and nothing less, Hain says, which means new big-picture scenarios and greater rigor in implementing them.   Tanja Gaudian, of the renewable energy utility EWS Schönau, argues that Germany is sorely in need of a new energy transition master plan. “It’s not even clear whether this Energiewende will continue to be one driven from below, by communities and citizens as it has so far, or whether the big utilities will be given a special role, even though they don’t deserve it,” she says, referring to their decades-long opposition to renewable energy. “There’s so much that’s up in the air.” Technological “miracles” won’t be necessary The government’s 2050 program, however, is not the only game plan in town for going climate-neutral. German industry, high-level research institutes, NGOs, and think tanks such as DENA have invested heavily in sophisticated analyses that sketch out alternative scenarios for decarbonizing Germany’s energy system. These scenarios address the nature of the technologies of the future; whether coal and other fossil fuels should be forced out of the energy supply or simply left to wither away through market forces; the role of synthetic fuels and hydrogen, as well as carbon capture and storage (CCS); and the extent and type of domestic renewable energy generation. All of these questions are complicated further by the ongoing phase-out of nuclear power, which is not contested in Germany.The major studies — even those conducted with involvement from Germany industry — concur that Germany can hit its 2030 targets if it changes course. At the very least, these pilot studies can inject new ideas into Germany’s energy policy debates. “These scenarios show that Germany’s climate and energy targets can be reached with current technologies and without breaking the bank,” says Toby Couture of the think tank E3 Analytics in Berlin. “We don’t have to pull rabbits out of hats or hope for technological miracles. There are two basic things needed to achieve these ambitious decarbonization goals: political will and investment certainty. In the early 2000s, Germany had both; now it arguably has neither.” Not surprisingly, green organizations and parties — including Greenpeace, Environmental Action Germany, Friends of the Earth Germany, and the German Greens and the Left Party — are calling for a more rapid expansion of renewable energies, a quicker legislated end to coal generation, and the full-scale revamping of Germany’s transportation sector. Greenpeace Germany has authored one of the most extensive models, which starts with the lofty premise that a 100% elimination of greenhouse gases (compared to 1990 levels) is possible in 30 years. Key to this scenario is that Germany can, and should, stop burning coal by 2030. Under this plan, the oldest and dirtiest coal-fired plants, one-third of Germany’s fleet, would have to shut down by 2020. Another third would close five years later, and the rest in 2030. Greenpeace calls for a steep carbon-pricing scheme that rises to 40 euros a ton by 2030. (The EU’s carbon-trading scheme currently lists a ton of carbon at 12 euros.) Wind and solar would bridge the gap The energy generation capacity lost by removing coal and nuclear power from the supply would be made up for primarily by renewables, argues Greenpeace — above all offshore wind, which is still in its early stages in Germany. While the massive rollout of offshore wind power — more than 12 times the current fleet of 1,170 turbines — is the central plank of Greenpeace’s strategy, it also calls for a tripling of onshore wind generation and five times the photovoltaic capacity. In the interim, Greenpeace acknowledges that renewables would probably have to be aided by natural gas-fired generation. These ambitious goals would be achievable, argues Greenpeace, by reducing demand: dramatic energy efficiency measures could slash demand for electricity by 18% and for heat by 46% compared to 2012 levels. Moreover, decarbonizing the transportation sector by 2030 implies not only accelerating the transition to electric vehicles, but phasing out conventional, gasoline-powered cars between 2025 and 2035, Greenpeace says. “It’s definitely feasible to ramp down coal by 2030,” says Jörg Mühlenhoff of the Agency for Renewable Energies, a Berlin-based renewables advocacy organization. Indeed, Mühlenhoff says that if a carbon price hits 30 euros, that would effectively spell the end of coal. He adds that renewables could cover most of the gap left by coal if the German government introduces new policy initiatives to spur investments in green energy. Until quite recently, most of Germany’s industrial sectors, particularly the more energy-intensive among them, had treated Energiewende with acute skepticism. They worried that high energy costs and supply bottlenecks would hurt their competitive edge in international export markets. Yet German industry is becoming more deeply involved in the Energiewende, given the demand for the likes of renewable energy infrastructure (think wind turbines, manufactured by Siemens), electric vehicles, and other green energy technologies. Industry now believes it’s better to jump on the bandwagon and engage in policy discussions rather than carp from the sidelines. Earlier this year, for example, a call for government action signed by 50 prominent businesses — including Siemens and the electronics and construction industries — insisted that “Germany needs a robust strategy for implementing its comparatively stringent emission reduction targets if it does not want to fall behind in the global race to develop carbon-neutral economies.” This turnaround is nowhere more evident than in the pilot study of the Federation of German Industries (BDI), Germany’s largest and most powerful industrial lobby organization. In close collaboration with German businesses, BDI has modeled several Energiewende scenarios that are unapologetically pro-business and pro-industry, yet support the broader goals of the energy transition. “The remarkable thing about the BDI study is that German industry is saying that the Energiewende is technically and economically feasible by 2050,” says Cyril Stephanos of Germany’s National Academy of Science and Engineering, which runs an Energy Systems of the Future program. “It shows that there’s money to be made and not just for industry but for the entire economy.” A need for an international consensus The BDI study, however, underscores that unless there’s a multilateral international consensus about targets, burden sharing, and tools like a global CO2 price, Germany should shoot for reducing emissions by only 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. The study claims that, when factoring in savings accrued by dropping fossil fuels from the supply, Germany could reach that target at an additional cost of 240 billion euros, while reducing emissions by a full 95% would cost the country 500 billion euros. This BDI scenario relies strongly on energy efficiency, especially in the housing and building sectors, where the chemical industry has much to gain from retrofitting older buildings and providing new buildings with state-of-the-art insulation. It calls for doubling the rate of retrofitting housing and urges requirements that all new homes essentially be highly energy-efficient “passive houses.” A third approach to fixing the Energiewende combines a rigorous reduction of emissions (95% by 2050) with solutions that appeal to German business. The research institute DENA favors a rollout of sun- and wind-based renewables, but also advocates for a broader mix of technologies that includes a high volume of synthetic fuels. Both the DENA and BDI scenarios also depend on carbon capture and storage (CCS) in the transition’s final phase, when energy intensive industries will have to be decarbonized. “We ran our modeling through several times,” explains Christoph Jugel, head of DENA’s energy systems analysis unit. “And even using other technologies we couldn’t manage to eliminate the last 16 million tons of CO2 left without CCS.” But Jugel notes that the different scenarios don’t factor in technological breakthroughs that can, and most probably will, happen in the decades ahead. Stephanos says the studies show that Germany will need anywhere from four to seven times as much wind and solar power as it has now. “All of the studies mention about 5 to 10 million electric cars by 2030,” notes Stephanos. “We’re ramping up, which is good, but we’re not yet close to even a million. There’s still a lot left to figure out. We don’t even know if electricity, hydrogen fuel cells, or biofuels are the best way to decarbonize transportation. It’s astonishing how much more Germany has to do.”   Paul Hockenos is a Berlin-based writer whose work has appeared in The Nation, Foreign Policy, The New York Times, and The Atlantic.last_img read more

Nehru Cup 2012: Clinical Maldives stroll past Nepal

first_imgMaldives coach Istvan Urbanyi had complained of lack of practice ahead of the Nehru Cup but his wards did not let that handicap affect them as they beat Nepal 2-1 on Thursday to launch their campaign.Abdulla Asadhulla drew the first blood for Maldives in the sixth minute while Easa Ismail added another, late in the second half. It was even more special for the two as it was their debut match. Nepal pulled one back through Jumanu Rai in the injury time but it was not enough.Former SAFF champions Maldives were clearly the better side with their organised attacks and the ability to break the rivals’ defence.Mohamed Umair was the first to sound the warning bells for Nepal when he got a cross from the right but Arif Mohamed’s powerful header went just above the bar in the fourth minute of the match.Hardly had the Nepalese players regrouped when Waheed Rilwan came up with a beautiful solo effort on the right flank, only to be fouled by Biraj Maharjan just outside the ‘box’.Senior player Ali Ashfaq shot a curling free kick that was fisted by goal-keeper Riteesh Thapa. However, Abdulla Asadhulla was alert enough to tap in the ball to give Maldives the lead.After opening the account, Maldives came down even harder on their Nepalese rivals with Asadhulla and Umair playing the lead roles. The duo combined well upfront to create several in-roads from the flanks with Ashfaq contributing with his skilful dribbles.Maldives got a chance to score their second in the ninth minute when Nepal goalkeeper roughly tackled Ashfaq and was shown a yellow card. However, Umair’s curling free kick from right of the ‘box’ was fisted over the bar by Thapa.advertisementWhile Maldives looked dangerous, the answers from their rivals were few. Nepal’s only chance in the first half came when Bhola Siwal got a cross from Jagjeet Shrestha. But he headed the ball wide.Ashfaq, on the other hand, made life difficult for the Nepalese defenders with his solo runs. He would sometimes play from a deeper position and surprise his opponents with his speed.After the change of ends, Nepal came out a much better side. Their forwards had some chances but a goal eluded them.Nepal’s first chance came in the 48th minute, when Santosh Sahukula briskly from the centre of the field to pass the ball to an unmarked Bijay Gurung. But the stocky mid-fielder hesitated in shooting and lost possession of the ball.The chances still kept coming Nepal’s way but they failed to capitalise. They missed another close opportunity when Bharat Khawas headed a cross for Shrestha wide.However, Nepal got another spanking in the 77th minute when taking advantage of the poor defence Ahmed Rasheed got space to run down the right flank. He passed the ball to an advancing Ismail, who did no mistake to place the ball in the net.In the injury time, Nepal narrowed the gap when Jumanu shot a powerful right-footer off a cross from Sahukhala.Maldives next take on India and the host’s coach Wim Koevermans, who was present at the stadium, praised his next opponents. “Maldives looked in good shape. I have heard about Ashfaq and he is really good,” Koevermans said.His Maldives counterpart too praised the Indian team at the post-match press conference. “India is a very organised team. It is always difficult to play the host nation. We respect them,” he said.Today’s match: Syria vs Cameroon (7pm), Live on NEO Prime.last_img read more

Excelerate Carries Out 1000th ShiptoShip LNG Transfer

first_imgzoom US-based Excelerate Energy L.P. completed its 1000th commercial ship-to-ship (STS) transfer of liquefied natural gas (LNG) on August 31, 2016, in Escobar, Argentina at GNL Escobar LNG import terminal. Using Excelerate Energy’s floating storage regasification unit (FSRU) Expedient and a conventional LNG carrier, 83,767 cubic meters of LNG were transferred via the double-banked LNG transfer system.To date, Excelerate has transferred over 108 million cubic meters of LNG using its STS protocol.An STS transfer of LNG operation consists of an LNG carrier mooring alongside an FSRU and transferring its cargo to the FSRU via flexible cryogenic hoses. The FSRU can provide uninterrupted regasification services throughout the entire STS LNG transfer process, providing continuous delivery of natural gas to the local market.last_img read more