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Didcot

  • SMEs confirm fall in domestic and export orders

    Figures released by the CBI show a fall in output for small and medium-sized manufacturing businesses in the UK. The CBI SME trends survey also indicated a fall in export and domestic orders for the last quarter.

    More than 400 small and medium-size companies were interviewed for the survey; the results showed there was a poor performance for output growth, but it is predicted that both domestic orders and output will perform better in the next quarter, and the decline in exports is expected to slow.

    The latest figures also demonstrated that less people were employed in the last three months, and this trend is expected to continue into the new year.

    According to the survey, businesses felt less optimistic about the future and they were less positive over the future for exports in the coming year. In addition, companies will be spending less on both product and process innovation in 2016.

    The figures from the CBI revealed that 26% of SMEs manufacturers had a rise in orders, but 48% reported a fall; these figures are expected to improve slightly in next three months.

    In addition, 25% of companies reported an increase in domestic orders while 36% reported a fall. And the 10% of companies said they had experienced an increase in export orders in the last quarter, while 46% stated export orders had fallen. This is the poorest performance since 2009.

    Other key figures from the survey show 23% of manufacturers say output has increased, while 31% reported a fall, and 22% of companies remain optimistic about their business prospects in the future; 29% say they are less positive

    Moreover, 23% of companies had increased their amount of employees, while 15% of SEMs had employed fewer people in the last quarter.

    Commenting on the new figures Rain Newton-Smith, CBI Director of Economics, said:

    “As demand has fallen, especially in the face of a strengthening Pound, our smaller manufacturers have had a tough quarter, with orders and output volumes dropping.

    “Manufacturers expect conditions to stabilise somewhat over the quarter ahead, but remain concerned about the outlook for demand.

    Newton-Smith went on to urge the government to include measures in its Comprehensive Spending Review to help improve skills and innovation in order to improve productivity in the coming year.

    Overall growth

    While the news for SMEs wasn’t overly positive, there was better news for growth overall as newly released figures from the CBI showed growth has increased by 4%, and GDP grew by 0.5% in the last quarter.

  • The end of an era for Didcot A

    The end of an era for the Didcot A cooling towers has been announced. Three of the Didcot A cooling towers have been demolished The Didcot A cooling towers had helped to secure energy supplies in the UK for more than 40 years.

    New gas stations will take over energy production and they aim to provide consumers with low cost electricity. The demolition is part of RWE’s commitment to renewable technologies. RWE says that it has invested more than £6 billion pounds into finding greener technologies and state-of-the-art gas fired power stations.

    A statement from RWE, which is one of Europe’s leading gas and electricity companies, says that the demolition of Didcot A will have minimal impact on Didcot B and the plant at Didcot will continue to play an essential part in power generation, producing enough gas to fuel 1 million homes in the UK.

    Commenting on the demolition of Didcot A, Kevin Nix, Head of RWE Generation UK, said:

    ”Although this is a sad day and the end of an era in many ways, I am very pleased that the technically challenging demolition of the southern cooling towers has been carried out successfully and above all with the safety of all those involved, including the local community, as its highest priority. This is entirely due to months of pre-planning and the professionalism of the specialist teams involved.”

    An expert team is continuing to work at Didcot to oversee the demolition of the rest of the site. The northern cooling towers will also be felled along with other structures from the Didcot power station. The aim is to complete the demolition work by 2016.

    Plans to close the Didcot A were first announced in 2012 and it was finally closed in 2013; decommissioning of Didcot A started last year and took nine months.

    The demolition of Didcot A is a reflection of the changing face of power generation in the UK. In recent years, the government has been urging energy firms to find cleaner, greener forms of energy and to find ways of reducing carbon emissions.

    As part of government plans to find renewable forms of power generation, the government has announced a number of initiatives to encourage energy firms to find greener forms of energy production. The government has invested considerable funds to help drive the UK towards clean energy and it is committed to spending more in the years to come.

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  • Valve expo to be held in Abu Dhabi

    Businesses from the power generation, pharmaceutical, oil and gas, food and construction industries are being invited to attend an expo in Abu Dhabi in December. The conference is also open to a wide range of other industries, including the nuclear power sector, agriculture companies and water supply businesses.

    The annual Abu Dhabi expo, which is to be held at the National Exhibition Centre, is considered one of the world’s premier events for professionals in the valves, compressors, pipes and pumps sector.

    The event is predicted to attract approximately 7,000 professionals from more than ten different countries around the world, including the United Kingdom, the United States, Poland, China and Iraq.

    350 companies are expect to attend the popular event, which is held in collaboration with the UAE Contractors Association, Global Fair International and the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce.

    The expo will feature world leaders from the valve industry sector and it provides an opportunity to learn from others’ expertise, and to hear about best practises. Moreover, the expo enables businesses to meet with potential new customers and investors, as well as giving a wider platform for businesses owners to promote their goods.

    In addition, the event will give visitors the chance to see the newest technologies, source new product lines, and the opportunity to meet with a targeted audience,

    Businesses planning to take part in the expo can send exhibits in ahead of the expo; they can be sent in via sea or freight. However, overseas exhibitors are urged to be careful if they are carrying goods as there might be customs fees imposed for doing this, and there are restrictions on carrying foodstuffs.

    In addition, anyone wishing to attend December’s event will need to start planning the visit in plenty of time as a visa might be required. Representatives that want to visit the event will also need to get an invitation from the organisers of the Pumps, Valves, Pipes and Compression Industrial Exhibition as this might help to assist with the visa process.

    The three day expo in Abu Dhabi will run from December 15- 17, 2015.  On Tuesday 15 and Wednesday 16th December the event will run from 10.00am through to 6.00pm, and on Thursday the event will run from 10.00am to 2.00pm.

    Last year’s event proved to be a huge success, attracting more than 6,000 people, and plans are already underway for the 2016 event.

  • Wind energy power reaches record levels

    Britain’s dependence on wind power is growing from strength to strength, according to figures recently issued by the National Grid.

    The statistics, which have been detailed on the Renewable UK website, indicate that wind power reached record levels in the UK in 2015, and that 11% of the UK’s electricity was produced from onshore and offshore wind power sources last year. This is an increase from 9.5% in 2014.

    In December 2015, a new record was set when 17% of electrical power was supplied through wind power; December was also the month when a new weekly record was set, with 20% of electricity being provided by wind power.

    The quarterly records from October to December also saw a minor increase from 12% in 2014 to 13% in 2015. Moreover, the statistics show that 5.8% of the wind power came from onshore sources while 5.2% was from offshore.

    According to the figures, wind power is now supplying enough energy to fuel more than 8 million households in United Kingdom.

    Commenting on the new statistics, Dr Gordon Edge, director of policy for Renewable UK, said:

    “This is a great way to start the new year – the wind industry can be proud that it has shattered weekly, monthly, quarterly and annual generation records in 2015. This re-writes the record books. We’ve had a bumper harvest thanks to increased deployment and superb wind speeds.

    “It also demonstrates why the Government should continue to support wind energy, as we’re delivering on our commitment to keep Britain powered up. We can continue to increase the proportion of the nation’s electricity which we provide as we move away from fossil fuels to clean sources of power”.

    Wind power investment

    In further positive news for the renewable energy sector, Dong Energy, a leading company in the offshore wind sector, has announced plans for significant investment in this form of power in the coming years.

    UK Energy Policy

    The figures from the National Grid, and the announcement from Dong Energy, should be viewed as good news by the government as the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change, Amber Rudd, recently made a speech regarding the changes to the UK’s energy policy.

    Despite the cuts in wind power subsidies, the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate change said that the government expected 10 gigawatts of wind power to be installed in the UK by 2020, however, Amber Rudd also made it clear that continued support for the wind power industry would be conditional and it was dependent on significant cost reductions.

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