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Energy
Thailand GPSC establishes bold target of 8,000MW from renewable
GPSC received this assignment on Monday from its parent company, national oil and gas conglomerate PTT Plc, following the group's strategic thinking session. The parent group aims to adapt to technological disruption by developing an S-curve growth strategy in each of its companies. Chawalit Tippawanich, GPSC's president and chief executive, said PTT's strategy stems in part from concerns about global climate change and an average two-degree-Celsius increase in temperature. PTT Group set a goal to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 15% in 2020, said Mr Chawalit. GPSC is PTT's power generation arm, operating projects across Asia-Pacific from fossil fuel-based to renewable. "The future trend of energy and power will capture electric value chain consumption," he said. GPSC has its own ambitious goal to be one of the three largest private power producers within five years, moving up from fifth. Ratch Group Plc has the largest power capacity of 8.02 gigawatts (GW) and Gulf Energy Development Plc follows at 5.3GW, while Electricity Generating Plc (Egco) used to be third at 4.26GW. GPSC recently broke into the top three by acquiring power generation company Glow Energy Plc. The acquisition is complete and GPSC has 4.99GW now, surpassing Egco. Following the acquisition, GPSC's board of directors approved last Friday increasing the company's registered capital of 74 billion baht. The raise will be proposed at GPSC's extraordinary general meeting for shareholders' approval on Aug 28. Mr Chawalit said the capital increase seeks to strengthen GPSC's financial status for further business expansion. The company also aims to create business synergy after the acquisition of Glow. GPSC has allocated a budget from the projected increase in capital to pay off short-term loans from financial institutions and loans from major shareholders of GPSC used to acquire Glow. He said GPSC is conducting its synergy plan with the new assets of Glow, including cost management, human resources development, power and steam generation, power plant maintenance and tools and equipment procurement. "GPSC and Glow are working closely to create power generation services to serve the country's power demand and consumption, and support its sustainable growth in the power business," said Mr Chawalit. GPSC's future business plan aims to expand investment and development in power projects, as well as entering new businesses in line with PTT Group. Several domestic and international projects are under construction and have commercial operation dates this year, such as the 65MW Nam Lik 1 hydropower plant and the 1,285MW Xayaburi hydropower plant (both in Laos), in addition to the 45MW Central Utility Plant 4 Rayong.   Source:https://www.bangkokpost.com
Logistics
Logistics companies struggle to realize growth potential
Despite being a core factor of Indonesia’s flourishing e-commerce sector, logistic companies are still unable to meet the sharp growth of e-commerce businesses. As a result, online retailers still lack options for transporting their products, especially to outside Java. According to the Indonesian Logistics Association (ALI), the logistics sector is estimated to grow 12 percent this year, above the average growth of most business sectors, but it would be far below the growth of the e-commerce sector, which according to Bank Indonesia (BI), could be between 100 percent and 150 percent a year. ALI chairman Zaldy Ilham Masita said the e-commerce sector was not actually the biggest customer for logistics services as it made up only around 6 percent of the goods shipped by logistics companies. “Consumers used to only browse e-commerce platforms for fashion items and maybe gadgets, but now they even shop for daily necessities online,” Zaldy said at an event recently. “Today, e-commerce platforms represent 14 percent of the retail sector as opposed to 3 percent just four years ago.” Nevertheless, the development has not been enough to boost the logistics sector, which grew well below its actual potential at 10.5 percent in 2018, he said. “For logistic companies, raising their service capacity is not as easy as for e-commerce platforms. A lot of logistics companies are finding it hard to develop when they focus only on e-commerce shipments,” Zaldy said. He also quoted a report by global consulting firm McKinsey, which estimates that Indonesia will see a record high of 1.6 billion packages being shipped in 2022. However, in an archipelagic country like Indonesia, e-commerce logistics relies heavily on air transport, Zaldy said. With a limited number of air cargo services, shipments will not only be costly, but they will also take a long time and experience delays. “Our e-commerce sector is growing rapidly, but our logistics can’t keep up. This can become a major constraint for online sellers,” he said. Fajrin Rasyid, cofounder and president of local e-commerce unicorn Bukalapak, raised a similar concern over the lack of shipment options for online sellers, especially those based outside of Java and Bali. “In Bukalapak, over 70 percent of e-commerce transactions are still recorded within Java,” Fajrin said in the same occasion. “The larger businesses may be able to support themselves [...] but those in the more remote parts of the country cannot yet benefit from those infrastructure facilities.” Bukalapak has recently signed a partnership with Paxel, a logistics company cofounded by ALI’s Zaldy, to provide a same-day package delivery service for online sellers. Fajrin said the partnership was in line with a survey from PricewaterhouseCoopers that shows that 41 percent of e-commerce shoppers were willing to spend more money to receive their order faster through a same-day delivery. “At first, [Bukalapak’s] same-day delivery service is only available for sellers and buyers residing in the same city, but with Paxel, we hope to expand such services. This service also caters to our sellers who offer fresh produce like fruit, as their growth is starting to pick up,” he added. Paxel, which uses a relay system that links multiple couriers and transportation means to deliver a package, guarantees an eight-hour delivery time for shipments within Greater Jakarta, and 10 to 15 hours within Java and Denpasar in Bali. It introduces sorting boxes as a replacement for sorting centers and automates the process in order to accelerate it.  “We plan to expand our services to Medan in North Sumatra and Makassar in South Sulawesi by the third or fourth quarter this year,” said Zaldy.   Source:https://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2019/05/07/logistics-companies-struggle-to-realize-growth-potential.html
General
Joint venture Siemens and "Power machines" began localization of manufacturing turbines in Russia
"Siemens gas turbine technology" (STGT; SP Siemens and PJSC "Power machines"),   on July 2    filed an application to the Ministry (MINPROMTORG)  a statement on the conclusion of specinvestcontract  (SPIK) on the localization of gas turbines of high power (GTBM). According to the contract, until the middle of 2023 it is planned to localize the components of the "hot path" and the automatic control system of the sgt5-2000E turbine. As expected, the level of localization of the SGT-2000E turbine at the STGT plant will be at least 90%. "Russia is creating a full-cycle production ecosystem for the production of high-capacity turbines, which will contribute not only to the production of e-class turbines, but also to the modernization of the energy industry, as well as to the growth of the country's export potential," Interfax reports Siemens. Why the government did not limit the share of foreigners in the joint venture to localize gas turbines The company has identified potential suppliers to localize components of the "hot gas path" (blades, inner casing, and burners of the combustion chamber, gas distributor, a mixing casing of the combustion chamber). Manufacturing of blades, in particular, can do PJSC "UEC-Saturn", which has already received technical documentation for registration of the commercial offer. Also, the documents were sent to JSC "Metalist-Samara" and several potential manufacturers of ceramic tiles. Earlier, Siemens said about the readiness to localize 100% of the production of gas turbines to the 2024-2025 year. Now the localization of the most popular turbine in the country — SGT5-2000E with a capacity of 187 MW — is 62%. Recall, the Ministry of industry estimated the future market of GTBM in Russia in 80 units by 2035. According to the calculations of the Ministry, it will require the order of 42 turbines — this, according to the Agency, is enough to recoup investments in the creation of Russian gas TURBINES.   Source: https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/4026334
General
Liquid gold? Not for Spanish olive growers struggling to survive
Plummeting prices are being blamed alternatively on speculation and on an excess of supply Nicolás Casado, an olive grower in Porcuna, in the Andalusian province of Jaén, threw in the towel last January after 37 years of producing what was once considered green gold. The price of olive oil has fallen drastically from €3.60 per kilo to €2.05 in just two years. “The cost of production has started to be way more than what is being made selling the oil,” he says. “I was struggling on loans. It was ruining me, and I have had to abandon the farm. It was the hardest decision of my life.” Casado is not the only one in Porcuna who is struggling. In a municipality with a population of 6,600, oil accounts for 90% of the economic activity. Aside from a little manufacturing and commerce, 4,680 of the 5,200 people in employment are in the olive oil industry, and the fluctuating prices are causing many to feel aggrieved. “People can see that there are speculators, retailers, distributors and packaging companies that are getting rich with their products without actually working with them or sacrificing anything for them,” says Miguel Moreno, the mayor of Porcuna. The fluctuations have prompted a 25% drop in economic activity in this rural village in the last year, affecting opportunities and jobs. Casado and Moreno participated in a recent demonstration in Seville along with 16,000 Andalusian olive growers early in July to demand decent prices and a halt to speculation in the sector. In late June, Andalusian growers were being paid €2.20 per kilo of extra virgin olive oil, according to the Ministry of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries. This is 43% less than in 2017, when the price stood at €3.94 per kilo. Out of the 1.8 million tons of olive oil produced in Spain this year, Andalusia accounts for 80%, or 1.4 million. But despite the fact that exports and national consumption have risen by 17% and 11% respectively since last year, according to the National Association of Edible Oil Refiners and Packagers (ANIERAC), the situation has become untenable for many of the 300 municipalities in Andalusia whose economy depends on olives, and where 200,000 entrepreneurs generate 20 million daily wages. “We are living in ruinous times,” says Francisco Moreno, secretary of the UPA-Andalusia union. Ramón García, speaking from the agricultural union COAG’s headquarters in Seville, points at the alleged culprits: “Big national companies and the sector’s industry leaders take advantage to speculate.” He goes on to single out those in retailing, packaging and distributing activities as being responsible for the industry’s woes. This is upheld by UPA-Andalusia, which refers to the trio’s “speculative activities.” But ANIERAC denies the accusations and maintains that inertia in the market and the laws of supply and demand are responsible. This association says that the current fall in prices is due to massive surpluses, with as much as 1.13 tons of oil unsold. They also forecast that in October, when the next olive oil harvest gets underway, 700,000 tons will still be on the shelf. Of all the olive oil produced, 25% is for national consumption and 75% for export. Spain remains the world’s top exporter of olive oil, and 52% of domestic production is sold abroad. Paradoxically, Italy is the biggest buyer of Spanish oil: it has purchased 107,000 tons so far this year. Much of that is bottled and sold to third countries with labels suggesting an Italian origin for marketing purposes. Meanwhile, the Spanish Association of Distributors, Self-service and Supermarkets (ASEDAS) denies that there is anything odd influencing the price of olive oil, and insists it complies strictly with the contracts signed with the producers. This association – one of three in charge of Spain’s olive oil distribution – also blames the drop in prices on the products’ global position. Despite the huge outcry at the demonstration in Seville, the sector remains divided. The Food and Agriculture Cooperatives federation and the ASAJA union did not join the demonstration, and they believe the collective protest was a mistake. Jaime Martínez, managing director of the federation of 350 cooperatives, leans towards measures in partnership with the authorities in order to revert the situation. In a move in this direction, the Spanish minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, Luis Planas, aims to draft a proposal that would encourage a self-regulated supply – in other words, the seasonal storage of oil, a measure that is already being implemented in the wine sector. And the government will ask for updated baseline thresholds to set this private storage in motion. This measure would apply to harvests that produce an excess of oil and a resulting drop in prices, allowing the additional oil to be taken off the market, with Brussels paying the growers for the surplus. The baseline threshold is currently fixed at €1.80 per kilo, an indicator that has not been changed in the last 20 years. The olive producers want it to be bumped up to €2.50, which would at least cover the cost of production.   Source:https://elpais.com/elpais/2019/07/19/inenglish/1563550166_050699.html
General
China’s JD.com tests drone delivery in Indonesia in first overseas pilot
Indonesia, the world’s fourth largest country that houses a population of more than 260 million people across some 17,000 islands. The country, which is the world’s largest archipelago, is the location for e-commerce giant JD.com’s first drone trial outside of its native China. JD, which is Alibaba’s biggest rival, has been piloting drones for the past couple of years in China. It recently gained a regional-level operating license, and its other human-less tech includes self-operating trucks, automated warehouses and unmanned stores. The company is a big believer in Indonesia, having launched its local JD.ID service back in 2015 and since backed local ride-hailing giant Go-Jek; now it is sampling its advanced tech in the country. JD said today that it completed its first “government approved” drone delivery in the country earlier this month, on January 8. Rather than ferrying customer orders, the company used the tech to transport books and backpacks over 250km to students at a school in a village near Bandung, the country’s fourth-largest city. This drone-based shipment was a trial that was part of a large donation that was delivered by conventional methods. But still, JD sees the potential to build on this pilot and develop a drone-based delivery system that can help service out-of-reach areas and generally expedite its dispatches. JD.ID claims more than 20 million registered users in Indonesia and a catalog of more than one million products, although it didn’t disclose revenue, active user or merchant figures. The company said its goal is to deliver 85 percent of orders to customers on the same or next day as their order. But, to give an idea of the challenge, its logistics effort is spread across 10 warehouses that span seven islands, which cover 483 cities and 6,500 counties. Clearly, nimble airborne solutions could have a huge impact if JD can make it reliable and gain the necessary government approvals. “We have been using drones for real deliveries in China for over two years now, and have seen the profound impact that the technology can have on people’s lives around the country,” Jon Liao, chief strategy officer at JD.com, said in a statement. JD launched unmanned convenience stores, a hallmark of its Chinese business, in Indonesia last year, marking its first overseas effort with the technology. The same is also true of this drone deployment.   Source:https://techcrunch.com/2019/01/22/jd-drone-indonesia/

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