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Ensuring a reliable supply of oxygen during the Covid-19 crisis is proving challenging due to the rising demand from healthcare services across the world desperate to have the life-saving gas for ventilators and masks.Global manufacturer of advanced gas process systems Oxair said it can turn orders around for ready-to-use oxygen PSA units in about eight to ten weeks for the Asia Pacific (APAC) and African regions from its facilities in Australia and India, depending on local lockdown laws and travel restrictions.These are high quality, robust medical devices designed to last and deliver consistent, high purity oxygen on tap to hospitals and healthcare facilities even in the remotest locations around the world.According to Oxair, medical facilities are often forced to rely on outsourcing this life-giving gas, with failing supplies a potential catastrophe for hospitals, not to mention the problems associated with the storage, handling and removal of traditional oxygen cylinders.Oxair said PSA oxygen offers better patient care with a permanent flow of high-quality oxygen – in this case a plug and play system with output pressure of four bars and a flow rate of 160 litres per minute, capable of piping oxygen around the hospital to every department as needed. The system delivers constant oxygen of 94-95% purity through PSA filtration, a unique process that separates oxygen from compressed air.The gas is then conditioned and filtered before being stored in a buffer tank to be used directly by the end user on demand.David Cheeseman of Oxair explained, “We are ready to step up supplies and prepared to do whatever is necessary to help healthcare services during the current coronavirus crisis – and beyond – by providing this life-saving oxygen equipment wherever it is needed.” “The design of these PSA systems as ‘plug-and-play’ means that they are literally ready to start working as soon as they are delivered and plugged in – with voltage adapted to the country of delivery.”“So hospitals can rely on technology which is tried and tested over many years, coupled with almost instant access to vital oxygen supplies.”
Significant increases for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Harbor Maintenance Tax operations and maintenance activities and construction budgets have been added to the proposed USD 1.01 trillion Consolidated and Further Continuing Appropriations Act of 2015 hammered out in the U.S. Congress late Tuesday.The increases also include the Environmental Protection Agency’s Diesel Emissions Reduction Act (DERA) grants program.According to the American Association of Port Authorities (AAPA), even though the Department of Transportation’s TIGER (Transportation Infrastructure Generating Economic Recovery) grants program will drop to USD 500 million compared with fiscal 2014’s USD 600 million mark, funding is still significantly higher than the House-proposed mark of USD 100 million.AAPA said it and its members have worked hard with its coalition partners and Congressional members this year for the increase in EPA’s DERA grants funding from USD 20 million to USD 30 million, and for the 10 percent increase in funding for the Corps’ HMT O&M activities.The funding bill agreement also provides a 24 percent increase in the Corps’ fiscal 2015 coastal navigation construction budget over fiscal 2014 (an increase from USD 155 million to USD 192 million) in recognition of the need to modernize and expand America’s deep-draft navigation channels.With regard to the Corps’ HMT O&M budget, AAPA recognizes WRRDA’s June 2014 enactment came in the midst of the ongoing appropriations process, “but we’re pleased that Congress plans to significantly increase funding above the $915 million requested by the Administration,” said AAPA President and CEO Kurt Nagle.He further noted that, in the appropriations bill agreement, Congress will provide USD 1.1 billion in funding in fiscal 2015, representing a 10 percent increase over the landmark USD 1 billion appropriated last year. AAPA estimates that about USD 20 million should go for expanded uses at donor ports this year, as authorized under WRRDA.“The association is looking ahead to President Obama’s fiscal 2016 budget request and for Congress to hit the HMT target that was established in WRRDA, which would provide 69 percent of the USD 1.9 billion estimated to be collected in 2015 HMT revenues,” he said.All federal agencies and departments will receive an appropriation through the end of the fiscal year except the Department of Homeland Security, which manages the Port Security Grants (PSG) program.The DHS received a short-term continuing resolution through Feb. 27 due to the disagreement between Congress and the president over his new immigration initiative. Although AAPA believes the PSG program will continue to be funded at USD 100 million for fiscal 2015, the final amount will remain uncertain until after DHS’ continuing resolution expires.“As Congress and the Administration grapple with the multiple goals of reducing the nation’s deficit while growing jobs and the economy, federal investments in ports and connecting infrastructure will continue to be an essential, effective utilization of limited resources paying dividends through increased trade, jobs and over USD 200 billion in tax revenues,” said Mr. Nagle.
Image: ShellThe Hague-based LNG giant Shell has entered into a deal to sell its liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) business in Hong Kong and Macau to DCC Energy.The conditional sale is worth about of $150.3 million.“This sale supports Shell’s strategic commitment to focus downstream activities on areas where we can be most competitive,” John Abbott, Shell Downstream Director, said in a statement.“This is one of the last of our wholly owned LPG businesses and this sale is another step in Shell’s ongoing portfolio optimisation strategy to deliver $30 billion of divestments between 2016 and 2018,” Abbott added.As part of the sale, Shell will be entering into a long-term brand license agreement with DCC Energy that will ensure the Shell brand remains visible across the LPG business in Hong Kong and Macau.All local Shell LPG employees affected will be given an option to transition to DCC Energy, according to the company.The sale is expected to conclude in the first quarter of the next year, subject to the receipt of regulatory approvals.
SWEDEN: The MTR Nordic subsidiary of Hong Kong’s MTR Corp has ordered six Stadler Flirt electric multiple-units for use on open access inter-city services which will compete with national operator SJ between Stockholm and Göteborg. Delivery is scheduled for autumn 2014, with MTR Express services to begin once commissioning is completed.MTR plans to operate 110 services a week on the 455 km Stockholm – Göteborg route, calling at Flemingsberg, Södertälje, Hallsberg, Herrljunga and Falköping. ‘Our strategy is to bring a fast, new premium-quality service to Swedish inter-city passengers’, said MTR Corp CEO Jay Walder. ‘We believe this will not only be attractive to existing rail passengers, but will also draw other business and leisure travellers to choose rail over other modes of transport to commute between Sweden’s east and west coasts’. The SKr700m rolling stock supply and maintenance contract announced on November 13 is Stadler Rail’s first order to deliver trains to Sweden. The five-car aluminium-bodied EMUs are to be built in Switzerland. The 15 kV AC units will have a maximum speed of 200 km/h, and will be fitted with the L10 000 automatic train protection system. According to Stadler, the EMUs will have an ‘especially high-quality interior’ for comfortable travel across long distances, including a buffet car. ‘We will offer the most environmentally-friendly option and focus on comfort and service that will suit both those who travel for business and private travellers’, said Johan Söör, Business Development Director at MTR Nordic. The EMUs will be winterised with floor heating, heat recovery systems, double-wall interior gangways and snow scrapers between the bogies and car body, similar to trainsets Stadler has supplied to Norway and Finland. MTR has operated the Stockholm metro since 2009, and is now expanding into the inter-city rail market. The company intends to begin recruiting around 70 staff for MTR Express in early 2014. ‘We are a long-term player in the Nordic market with world-leading expertise and strong financial backing from our owner in Hong Kong’, said Peter Viinapuu, CEO of MTR Nordic. ‘Over time we aim to increase our presence in Sweden and the Nordic countries with further rail activities.’
Workers protest over bullying anti-union tactics As vacation goers prepare to fly to and from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport (FLL) for Labor Day Weekend, airport workers rallied and marched outside Broward County Government Building with FLL airport workers, Congressman Alcee Hastings and other electeds, and community supporters onTuesday morning to protest repeat labor violations by airline contractors, G2 Secure Staff and Eulen America, that are preventing employees from organizing to improve poverty wages and poor working conditions. Both companies, which service Spirit, Southwest, American Airlines, JetBlue, and others, are currently under federal investigation by the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) for violating workers’ rights.The strike coincided with a rally outside the Broward County Commissioners Meeting in the afternoon. Congressman Alcee Hastings, workers, and supporters demanded commissioners finally close the loophole in the County’s Living Wage Ordinance, which allows contractors to maximize their profits by cutting costs on the backs of their workers.
Share Share 10 Views no discussions NewsRegional CARICOM urged to voice disapproval over new EU policy by: – February 16, 2013 Share Sharing is caring! CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has expressed concern over the possibility of a decrease in development assistance from the EU under the new policy.GEORGETOWN, Guyana- Caribbean Community (CARICOM) parliamentarians have been told they must adopt a strong position at the 9th Regional meeting of the African Caribbean and Pacific –European Union (ACP-EU) Joint Parliamentary Assembly (JPA) against the EU’s approach to differentiation.The meeting, which ends on Saturday, is taking place in the Dominican Republic,A statement from the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) Implementation Unit said that the EU has indicated that it will apply the principle of differentiation to the 11th European Development Fund (EDF) National Indicative Programmes (NIPs), with the resultant effect that the majority of NIPs in the Caribbean region will be cut.“Such action is regrettable,” the statement said, quoting Ivan Ogando Lora, the Director-General of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM).He said “the European Union has been a valued, longstanding development partner. However, its stance on differentiation has prompted the CARIFORUM region to take a hard look at this partnership, as, at a time when regional states are counting on reliable resources to implement the Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) and the Caribbean-EU Joint Strategy”.Oganda Lora said that neither the EPA, which was signed in 2008 between CARIFORUM countries and the EU and the Caribbean-EU Joint Strategy make specific provisions for financial support.He said the EDF, as the core source for financing development cooperation within the framework of CARIFORUM-EU relations, now faces the prospect of being scaled back and cautioned that the mechanics of the application of differentiation remain internal to the European Commission.The statement said that Oganda is expected to address the meeting in the Dominican Republic and “will delve into various facets of the implementation of the EPA, with a particular focus on issues of note that the CARIFORUM and EU sides have engaged on through the Joint Institutions that oversee the implementation process”.It said Ogando “will call attention to the negative effects of the EU’s New Development Policy, about which Caribbean leaders have already raised serious concerns”.Caribbean leaders recently voiced their concerns with respect to the new EU Development Policy, in discussions with the President of the European Council Herman Van Rompuy and President of the European Commission José Manuel Durão Barroso in Chile last month.Last December, St. Lucia’s Prime Minister Dr., Kenny Anthony described as “disquieting” the issues of differentiation and graduation, which he said “target the economic vitality and the future development of some vulnerable (ACP) member states.” CARICOM Secretary General Irwin LaRocque has also expressed concern over the possibility of a decrease in development assistance from the EU under the new policy.caribbean360 Tweet
Sharing is caring! Tweet Share Share 1447 Views 2 comments LocalNews Housing loans board waives payments for affected borrowers by: Dominica Vibes News – September 12, 2015 Share Prime Minister of Barbados, Freundel Stuart viewing some of the damage caused to homes during Tropical Storm Erika accompanied by Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit (right)The Government Housing Loans Board is coming to the assistance of its borrowers whose homes were damaged by Tropical Storm Erika.The Government Housing Loans Board provides mortgages at interest rates of 7.25% and 4% to public officers.Speaking with Dominica Vibes on Saturday 12 September 2015, Chairman of the Government Housing Loans Board, Felix Thomas said the Board has taken a decision to waive payments for affected borrowers for three months.“We had decided among many things, to assist those persons who have been affected the Tropical Storm Erika. That is, those persons who are unable to access their homes, or to dwell in their homes as a result of the storm, we will waive their payments for three months in the first instance. That means that they would not have to pay either interest nor on the principle, they would not have to make any payments to the Government Housing Loans Board,” Mr Thomas informed.The Board has also taken a decision to reduce its mortgage rates in an effect to rebuild or increase the country’s housing stock.“We have decided to hasten our effort, realizing that our housing stock has been seriously affected as a result of this Tropical Storm…to bring further relief to all public officers who have loans with that institution but hastening our efforts to further reduce interest rates significantly, thereby making housing even more affordable,” Mr Thomas explained.Mr Thomas complimented Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit for having the foresight, even prior to the Tropical Storm, to engage the board in taking all necessary steps to make housing more affordable for all its borrowers. “We are saying that we are well in the process and we’re hoping that sooner, rather than later, that this significant reduction in interest rates will become possible,” he said.Additionally, Mr Thomas commended the Prime Minister for his “heroic” leadership in undertaking this “unenviable” task of rebuilding the country after the storm.
At the Wisconsin Ag Women’s Summit in Madison, Wisconsin, this spring, five farmers with seasoned agritourism experience discussed what works well and not-so-well when it comes to opening up their farms.advertisementadvertisementSandy Larson, dairy production manager at Larson Acres in Evansville, Wisconsin, moderated the producer panel. She works with the milking crew and handles employee relations and public relations for her family’s 2,900-cow dairy.Tina Hinchley milks 120 registered Holsteins and farms 2,500 acres with her husband and daughter. For the past 18 years, she has hosted farm tours for schools, families and international guests through Hinchley’s Dairy Farm Tours in Cambridge, Wisconsin.Alan and Angie Treinen welcome 20,000 visitors each year to Treinen Farm Corn Maze and Pumpkin Patch at their 200-acre farm in Lodi, Wisconsin. They offer a corn maze, hayrides, games and an 18-acre pumpkin patch during open farm weekends in the fall. In addition, the Treinens host school tours and private tours.Nodji VanWychen is a third-generation cranberry grower at Wetherby Cranberry Company, Warrens, Wisconsin. She hosts tour groups, school trips, VIP tours and an annual fall harvest day.Here is a list of do’s and don’ts as recommended by the farmers on the panel:advertisementDO: Greet the groupVanWychen hosts all of the tours on her farm. “They want to know the farmer themselves. They want to hear from the expert,” she said.Every tour Hinchley hosts is a guided tour. When her guests exit the bus or vehicle, she brings them into one of their farm buildings and explains they are on a working farm; even the cats are working and should not be picked up.She lets them know where the bathrooms are and stresses the importance of walking feet (not running) while on the farm.DON’T: Let them wander without fencing off areasMost tour groups come to the Treinens’ farm for a particular activity. Upon greeting the group, they take them on the structured part of the tour. However, the rest of their tours are self-guided.Since they have people who are not under direct supervision while on the farm, Angie Treinen said they put up caution signage and fence off areas to keep people from areas where they shouldn’t go.advertisementDON’T: Bring a bad attitude“First impressions are everything,” VanWychen said, noting she focuses on being enthusiastic and putting any problems occurring on the farm that day aside while a tour is in progress.“When that bus pulls into that driveway, forget everything that’s happening in your life. These people do not know that. They are expecting to get the highest-quality tour,” she added.DO: Find ways to incorporate extra messagesWhile on the 30-minute drive down to the marsh, VanWychen gives a family history, talks about how their farm is friendly to wildlife and the environment, and shares the health benefits of cranberries.Hinchley said 50 percent of the people on her two-hour guided tours are parents, so she talks about manure application and GMOs when on a hayride in the fields, ethanol while passing grain bins, cage-free and antibiotics when visiting her children’s 4-H chickens and safe milk in the milk house.She also has signs that promote the dairy industry and its products placed throughout her farm.DON’T: Hand out take-home items at the start of the tour“I don’t want to do a gift shop and have money tied up in stuff,” Hinchley said. She gives everyone a pencil with their logo and brochures provided by dairy, poultry, pork and beef associations once they finish the tour.“If you put brochures out, they will grab them first thing and leave them all over the farm,” she said.Hinchley avoids balloons because they can be a choking hazard but will give the kids a stamp on their hand if they drink all of their milk. Stickers and temporary tattoos are also well-liked giveaway items.Larson also likes to give visitors something with their farm name on it and will work with the local milk marketing board to get maps of cheese plants for the teachers and coloring books for students.The Treinens provide coupons to children on field trips so they can come back another time.DO: Take reservations“Everything is by reservation,” Hinchley said. “I’m a farmer, and the farm comes first before tours.”The loyal schools she works with will book a year in advance, whereas Treinen said her experience is schools like to book in September for an October visit.Hinchley said she does not require a deposit but has learned a lot of schools will want to pay with credit cards, so it is important to be prepared to take that form of payment.DON’T: Fully trust a booking software programThe Treinens use a booking software program which allows interested parties to look on their website and select the date they want to come. However, they do have one of their employees regularly review the digital entries to make sure a double booking doesn’t occur. “Don’t just let the computer do the booking,” Treinen said.DO: Charge, if you mean to make it a businessThe Treinens price each activity separately for their open farm weekends. For field trips, they charge $6 per student for one activity or $10 for two activities.For groups of 10 or more, Hinchley charges $7 per child and $9 per adult. For smaller groups, it is an extra dollar per person. On weekends, the price is $10 per child and $15 for adults.In the off season, VanWychen offers tours by reservation only at $5 for adults and $3 for students. During harvest, she charges $300 per busload, regardless of the number of people on the bus. Last year, she started offering VIP tours in an old Suburban that seats up to seven at $100 per carload.VanWychen’s public harvest day has been free for the past 20 years, but now the crowd has grown so large she needs to rent people-moving wagons and buses for the day, so she plans to charge $5 per person or $3 for children 12 and under this fall.Since agritourism isn’t part of the business model for Larson Acres, Larson said their farm tours are currently free.DON’T: Overcharge schoolsHinchley said she is willing to work with teachers to keep the farm visits affordable, as she knows their cost for bus transportation tends to rise each year.VanWychen offers free tours in the off season for the local school district.DO: Give them an activity“You have to have something hands-on for people to do,” VanWychen said. “They want to get involved in the process.”She has everyone take a step into the cranberry bed to learn cranberries do not grow in water. They can also pick a berry, open it up and see the four air chambers that allow it to float to facilitate harvest.On the public harvest day, she provides sets of hip boots so people can walk into a bog with floating berries for a photo opportunity like the popular Ocean Spray commercials.DON’T: Overcomplicate the activity“Anything you did as a child that you played and loved doing, they are going to love,” Alan Treinen said, noting their popular activities are a big pile of sand, roping dummies, ring toss and a hay fort.Larson lets the children walk into a clean, empty calf hutch to see things from a calf’s point of view.“Anything going on at the farm can be a special event,” Hinchley said. They will pick rocks, catch bugs in the hayfield, watch a cow calving or talk about what needs to be done with a down cow.DO: Protect yourselfAll of the farms have liability insurance. The Treinens set up an LLC for the agritourism business, and it has a separate insurance policy from their farm. In addition, they post liability signage with wording provided by a local tourism organization.Hinchley has signage up for safety precautions, her photography policy and hand washing. She has hand-sanitizing stations around the farm, fire extinguishers in every building and spray-painted any ledges with bright orange paint. She makes sure every cat is vaccinated and the dogs are tied up when people arrive.DON’T: Not invite people“I don’t want to scare people from having groups on their farm. In my area, I’m the only one. If there is no one doing it, how can we educate people on it?” VanWychen said. PDPHOTO: Five producers offer up tips they’ve learned from decades of hosting tours of their various farming operations. They are, left to right, Angie and Alan Treinen, Nodji VanWychen, Tina Hinchley and Sandy Larson. Photo by Karen Lee. Karen LeeEditorProgressive DairymanEmail Karen Leekaren@progressivepublish.com Whether hosting your child’s class trip, an annual dairy breakfast or a steady stream of visitors, the idea of opening your farm to the public can be overwhelming.
Diodes Incorporated has released a series of automotive-compliant timekeeping crystals. The XRQ series of crystals can withstand harsh operating conditions to ensure outstanding accuracy and reliability in tire-pressure monitoring systems (TPMS), infotainment, telematics, and advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS).Capable of sustained operation at centrifugal forces up to 1500g, the new XRQ crystals pass the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2657 specification for TPMS, now a mandatory safety feature for new cars marketed in territories worldwide. The crystals are resistant to shocks up to 8000 gms, significantly higher than the standard (1500 gms). They also surpass industry-standard JIS-C0044 drop tests by surviving falls of up to 1.2 meters.The crystals meet the requirements of ultrasonic welding manufacturing processes, which are cleaner than traditional processes and used when manufacturing hermetically sealed objects, such as a TPMS. The process can be used to produce automotive components that must provide superior precision and reliability.The crystal Series is suitable for automotive applications, both under-the-hood and in passenger-compartment locations. It is AEC-Q200 qualified and available in Grade 1 (-40°C to 125°C), Grade 2 (-40°C to 105°C), and Grade 3 (-40°C to 85°C) temperature ranges. XRQ devices are PPAP capable and are manufactured in IATF16949 certified facilities.Three standard sizes are available. XR32Q variants in the 3.2mm × 2.5mm outline are available in frequencies from 12 MHz to 66 MHz. 2.5mm × 2.0mm. XR25Q devices are available from 16 MHz to 66 MHz, and the 2.0mm × 1.6mm. XR20Q from 24 MHz to 66 MHz. The ceramic surface-mount packages are seam-sealed for hermeticity and mechanical integrity.Click here for more information on these Quartz Crystals.