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  • Growth steady, but manufacturing still struggles

    A CBI growth indicator study has shown that while growth remains steady, momentum has slowed up. 748 companies from the manufacturing, retail and service sectors responded to the survey; it shows that as with other sectors the manufacturing industry is still affected by slow growth.

    The survey also revealed that expectations for the next quarter remain weak, but on a more positive note they are still above average.

    CBI Director of Economics Rain Newton-Smith stated:

    “Growth in the economy is steady this month, but momentum is slower than in the first half of the year.

    “Business and consumer services are stoking the economic fire, but while manufacturing has seen a modest improvement, firms in the sector are still expecting to see a fall in output.

    Newton-Smith added that the major risks to our economy came from beyond the UK; this is due to vulnerabilities in emerging markets and the possibility of volatile global markets.

    However, the PMI report from Markit showed an increase in exports for manufacturing in November, and while the sector continues to see moderate growth, it is the larger companies that are benefiting as opposed to the small and medium sized businesses.

    Rob Dobson, who is the Senior Economist at Market, said:

    “UK manufacturing is moving back into expansion mode during quarter four, as it starts to reverse the losses sustained in the prior quarter. Although the pace of growth so far is only very modest, it positions manufacturing as less of a drag on the broader economy.”

    Manufacturing Advisory Service

    The manufacturing sector was handed a blow on Friday, December 4th, when the government made the surprise announcement that it is to close the Manufacturing Advisory Service and the Growth Accelerator, which are all part of the government’s Business Growth Service.

    As part of the advisory service, manufacturers could get advice to help grow their business if they were based in the UK and had a turnover of less than £40 million; it helped to support manufacturers in a vast range of industries including the oil and gas, pharmaceuticals, food and chemical sectors.

    The decision to close the Business Growth Service was unexpected as it wasn’t announced as part of the spending review and some MPs, including Greg Mullholland, are calling for the decision to be reconsidered.

    Commenting on the decision, Baroness Lorely Burt stated:

    "The Manufacturing Advisory Service was a great asset to businesses, and an important part of the Industrial Strategy set up by Vince Cable.”

  • Littlebrook Power Station Closes Down

    The end of an era for Littlebrook Power station has been announced. The station was officially closed down on March 31st after being in service for decades, the station’s owners announced recently.

    The station, which is based in Kent, was not part of the Large Combustion Plant Directive, which meant that is was scheduled for closure either in 2015, or after it had been in service for more than 10,000 hours.

    German company RWE Generation, who own the Littlebrook Power Station, said they made the decision to close it down this year because of “current market conditions”.

    The plant was the last significant non-gas fired station in the Greater London area to be closed down; it has been operating since the 1980s and construction work began on it in the 1970s.

    RWE Generation says that during the stations life span, it provided 43475.699 GWh of power to fuel both homes and businesses in the local area. The owners of the station also pride themselves on the links they forged with the local community.

    Commenting on the announcement, Roger Miesen, Chief Technical Officer (CTO), RWE Generation, said:

    “Today is a sad but not unexpected day. I’d like to pay tribute to this station and the people that have worked here helping to keep the lights on across London for so many years.”

    While Keven Nix, Head of RWE Generation UK, said:

    “I would like to thank all of our staff past and present who have contributed to the success of the station, we are also grateful to the local community for their continuous support during the life of the plant.”

    Miners’ Strike

    During its lifetime, Littlebrook Power Station set some records for producing electricity. This was during the 1980s miners’ strike, when the power station was operating as a three unit station to keep the electric flowing to local residents and businesses.

    Peak Demands

    The Littlebrook Power Station has also proved crucial when it comes to meeting the growing demands for energy, providing power during peak times in the Greater London area.

    Cleaner energy supplies

    The decision to close Littlebrook Power Station is part of a drive towards finding greener energy alternatives for power generation. RWE has stated it has invested over £6 billion in a five year period into improving the efficiency of power generation by shutting down the older fossil fuel plants.

  • Research reveals attitudes towards power generation

    New research has revealed the public’s attitude towards newer forms of power generation and energy security. According to the latest statistics, support for the renewable energy sector continues to grow, while attitudes towards fracking and energy security were mixed.

    Renewable Energy

    The government figures, which were published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, showed that support for the renewable energy industry has risen to 81%.

    The Public Attitudes Tracking survey also highlighted how the vast majority of people felt that renewable energy projects should deliver benefits to their local communities and how renewable energy was aiding the economy.

    RenewableUK’s Chief Executive, Hugh McNeal, said:

    “It’s great that the British public sees how renewable energy is helping to grow the UK economy. Renewables are delivering investment and jobs throughout our country”.

    The same survey demonstrated continued public support for offshore wind power, and with numerous wind farm schemes underway, including the ambitious Hornsea Project One, this form of energy is set to play a much greater part in the UK’s future energy production.

    Nuclear Energy

    The government survey showed that support for nuclear energy remained consistent with 38% in favour of it, and almost 50% of people viewed nuclear energy as a reliable form of power.

    If EDF’s plans for the Hinkley Point plant, goes ahead, and with proposals for mini nuclear power stations advancing, nuclear power is likely provide a key role in reducing the UK’s carbon emissions in the future.

    Fracking

    The extraction of shale gas from the ground – or fracking – has always been a controversial issue, and the government figures highlighted mixed views on shale gas extraction. However, the majority of people who stated they were against it said so because they didn’t know enough about the practice.

    Despite public concern, the government has stated it is committed to fracking. There are numerous projects in place around the UK already, and further support is being offered to increase investment in shale gas.

    The future of energy security

    With a need to find affordable, cleaner sources of power generation, the future of energy security has never been far from the news, and these concerns were also reflected in the government survey. The research showed the majority of people felt there isn’t enough money being invested in finding alternative means of energy and many were concerned over our reliance on gas and oil exports.

    Low reserves in the North Sea means more than half of the UK’s gas and electricity is now imported and this has led to calls from industry bosses to do more to encourage exploration in the UK.

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    The DWG range of flow monitors & indicators from Meister are used for indicating & monitoring the flow of liquid media. With a range of wetted parts, flow ranges starting at 0.1 l/min & a wide range of options including ATEX certified & IP67 switches. The high reliability & high switch accuracy make the DWG range suitable for a wide range of applications.

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  • 30% take time off to deal with winter emergencies

    A new survey by British Gas has revealed that 30% of Britain’s have had to take time off sick, use holiday time, or have had to turn up to work late due to an  a home energy emergency such as a broken gas boiler or burst pipes.

    It is estimated that Britain’s take up to an average of 12 working days off to manage winter repairs to their gas heating system over a lifetime; 10% of those surveyed also stated they were concerned taking time off to deal with such problems could lead to them losing their job, missing out on a promotion or stop them from getting a pay rise.

    Moreover, the survey discovered it was residents in London that were more likely to take time off to deal with an emergency, with 44% stating  they had to take time off to cope with an unexpected emergency at home.

    The cost of emergencies

    In addition, electrical faults are another common reason for taking time off work with 21% of people forced to stay at home to deal with the problem, and it is estimated it costs £512 million a year in repairs.

    The survey also estimates UK workers can lose anything up to £100 in lost income and face average bills of £542 a time to repair winter damage.

    Commenting on the survey, Matthew Bateman, managing director at British Gas residential services, said:

     “The results of the research highlight that winter home emergencies can take a toll on people in terms of time and money, and worrying about how it impacts time away from their job. Every winter we increase the number of staff in our call centre teams so we have the resources ready to help customers who may be calling us with problems”.

    Prevent emergencies

    In order to help prevent household emergencies, British Gas advise householders to arrange regular checks of their boilers and bleeding the radiators. They also suggest insulating the gas pipes during the colder months and insulating the hot water tank.

    In addition, Chris Brain, a British Gas engineer from Canterbury, states:

    “This winter, frozen condensate pipes have been a big problem for customers with condensing boilers in colder areas of the country. Frozen pipes can result in damage to the boiler and even flooding, so people should ensure pipes on the outside of their home are wrapped with lagging, at the very least”.

  • 500 series relief valves

    Tamo have always been able to supply there 500 series relief valves with cracking pressures from 0.5 psi to 150 psi as standard. But now for those extra low cracking pressure applications the L500 is available with cracking pressures starting at 0.2 psi.

    L500

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  • 52 percent of Tory Voters in favour of Wind Farms

    A poll published in the Sunday Times shows more than half of Conservative voters think the government should do more to encourage onshore wind power.  52% of those surveyed said the building of wind farms should be encouraged, while 18% were against the building of more wind farms and thought they should be banned.

    The public in general are also in favour of the use of wind power according to the survey. 61% said that they would like to see more of the wind farms in the UK while 14% said that they would like to see a ban.

    Members of the public are also keen to see more offshore wind power, with 73% of people stating they would be in favour of more offshore wind power plants being built.

    When it came to other forms of energy production, there were mixed views on the extraction of shale gas with 43% against extracting shale and 32% in favour of it.

    Commenting in a press release, RenewableUK Chief Executive Maria McCaffery said:

    “Recent comments suggest that the Government is looking to restrict onshore wind as it’s concerned about the technology’s popularity. These poll results, and the many like them that have gone before, should provide reassurance that the majority of people, however they vote, want to see more onshore wind, and that any premature curtailment is not necessary.

    Indeed, as the Government has said it is committed to decarbonisation at the lowest cost, early curtailment would seem to directly contravene government objectives.”

    Queen’s Speech and Onshore Windfarms

    In the Queen’s Speech it was announced the new energy bill would mean decisions over smaller onshore wind farms that have a capacity of 50 MW will be decided by local authorities in England as opposed to a ministerial level.

    At the moment it is unclear whether this will also affect wind farms in Wales as a decision has not yet been made.

    Renewable energy organisations have expressed concerns that this could cause a delay in renewable energy projects and RenewableUK are calling on the government to give local authorities the additional resources local councils will need to make quick decisions.

    Maria McCaffery, Chief Executive of RenewableUK said

    “Onshore wind is committed to being a good neighbour to the local communities in which it is hosted, providing substantial economic advantages to the region including the ground-breaking community benefits it pays, so we are confident that Local Authorities should recognise the value of these projects.” 

  • Amber Rudd announces changes to UK energy policy

    Energy and climate change Secretary Amber Rudd has detailed her plans for the UK’s energy policy in the coming years. The new policy is aimed at increasing competition, reducing energy bills for the consumer and securing adequate power generation for the country.

    With the policy, the government reaffirmed its commitment to low carbon, low-cost energy sources, and it also announced plans for a consultation regarding the abolition of unabated coal-fired stations by 2025.

    Moreover, during the speech at the Institute of Civil Engineers, Amber Rudd made the case for prioritising gas-fired stations in order to reduce emissions.

    Amber Rudd stated:

    “One of the greatest and most cost-effective contributions we can make to emission reductions in electricity is by replacing coal fired power stations with gas.

    “I am pleased to announce that we will be launching a consultation in the spring on when to close all unabated coal-fired power stations.

    “Our consultation will set out proposals to close coal by 2025 - and restrict its use from 2023. If we take this step, we will be one of the first developed countries to deliver on a commitment to take coal off the system.”

    The Energy and Climate Change Secretary also detailed plans for more nuclear power stations, and she committed funding for three further auctions of offshore wind power projects, however, she made it clear that the industry would have to reduce its costs as there would be “no more blank cheques”.

    Mixed response

    The changes have received a mixed response. Environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth described the decision to phase out coal as “historic”. However, it also feels that the government should be focusing on renewable energy and energy efficiency as “Gas is too high-carbon for a long-term future.”

    In addition, the Solar Trade Association was pleased at the decision to eliminate coal, stating:

     “Phasing out coal power electricity is of course good news and was expected – this is an essential move.”

    But it added:

    “However it makes little sense to replace fossil coal only with fossil gas.”

    Paul Barwell, CEO of the Solar Trade Association, went on to urge the government to support solar power as there was little commitment to it during the speech, and other groups were disappointed that there wasn’t greater provision for improved energy efficiency.

    Moreover, many analysts argued the reduction in funding for renewable forms of energy would have a negative impact on the government’s climate change targets and could increase costs for consumers.

  • British businesses could save £860 million on energy bills

    British businesses could be saving up to £860 million on energy bills, according to new research. In the new report entitled ‘The Power of Carbon Psychology’, Npower Business Solutions and the Centre for Economics and Business Research say that by introducing behavioural changes, businesses could significantly reduce the money spent on energy bills.

    Although a number of sectors were highlighted in the survey, it was found that the manufacturing sector could be saving nearly 11%, while the retail and wholesale sector could save 19% on energy bills.

    Commenting on the report, Phil Griffiths, a Carbon Psychologist at npower Business Solutions, said:

    “There is a huge opportunity for bigger businesses here – and they don’t even need to invest to make substantial savings. The benefits of behavioural change on the bottom line are clear. Energy efficiency improvements result in a more motivated workforce, a positive impact on the UK balance of payments and significant emissions reductions.”

    Although the research was aimed at large companies, the report also established that small to medium enterprises stood to benefit from introducing simple changes. According to the report, the benefits include increased profits, improved cash flow and protection against energy price rises and volatility.

    Improving energy efficiency in the commercial sector

    The UK has made a determined effort to improve energy efficiency and while domestic energy use is reducing significantly, UK industry is lagging behind. The report found that efforts to lower industrial energy intensity in the UK were “fairly average”.

    With the increase in energy bills, it is especially important for both domestic and commercial sector to make efficiency savings and the report’s authors feel that introducing behavioural changes in businesses such as using power more effectively could provide significant savings to the industrial sector.

    The research also indicated that when businesses combined technical improvements along with behavioural changes, it was possible to achieve the greatest level of success when it came to achieving energy efficiencies.

    Reducing Carbon Emissions

    The government has stated that if the UK is to meet is going to reduce carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, then the commercial sector will have to play its part in improving energy efficiency.

    A number of initiatives, including Climate Change Agreements, the Green Deal and the Electricity Demand Reduction Project are just some of the programmes that have been introduced by government to try and encourage businesses to lower their energy use.

  • Cardiff is one of the most energy efficient cities

    Householders in Cardiff are the most energy efficient in the UK according to a new survey by British Gas. More than 50% of the people surveyed said they are taking steps to save energy around the home while  87% said that they would change their habits if it meant saving money on their bills; 37% of householders stated they wanted to make energy efficiency a priority.

    The survey also showed that many people are completely unaware of just how much their energy bills cost them every day. Many householders estimated their energy spend cost them an average of £2 a day while others assumed the daily energy spend was anything from £3-£6.

    The survey was conducted as part of the British Gas Energy Saving Challenge, which sets out to help people save money on their energy bills.

    Lydia Campbell. Regional Director for British Gas in Wales, said:

    It’s great to see that so many people from Cardiff are looking to make changes to save energy and get their bills down.

    “The 60 Second Energy Challenge will help people living in Cardiff be more aware about how they use energy, it offers simple and practical tips to reduce their energy use."

    As part of the challenge, a survey was conducted and it revealed how little some householders understand about the simple measures they can take to save on energy around the home.

    Only 3% of the people interviewed were aware that by installing insulation they could make significant savings on their bills, and despite the fact smart meters are soon to be rolled out across the country, many consumers did not know that installing a smart meter could help them save money on their bills and gain a better understanding of which appliances were using the most power.

    Smart Meter Roll out

    While 500,000 smart meters have already been installed around the country, the full roll out will not begin until later in 2015.  The government is currently working with the energy industry to ensure that the roll-out goes ahead within the scheduled time frame.

    It is the gas and energy suppliers that will be held responsible for the planning and installation of smart meters; the roll-out will end in 2020. The method of installation will vary from company to company and the Department of Energy and Climate Change will oversee the management and implementation of the programme as well as carefully monitoring the roll-out.

  • Chemical and pharmaceutical sector speaks out about Brexit

    Amid fears that Brexit could force some chemical manufactures to move overseas, the Chemical Industry Association (CIA) has reiterated what it wants to see from the final deal with the EU. Among its priorities are tariff free access to the single market, ‘access to appropriately skilled people’ as well as ‘regulatory continuation and consistency’.  

    Post-Brexit concerns for the pharmaceutical industry

    The pharmaceutical industry is also facing considerable uncertainty regarding the potential effects of Brexit.

    In June, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry urged the sector to ‘prepare for a crisis’ should a deal not be made early, according to The Telegraph.

    In the worst-case scenario, the pharmaceutical sector could be left with restricted access when it comes to selling in Europe and be faced with substantial restructuring costs. In addition, there have been fears regarding access to medicines post-Brexit, although ministers have acted to quell these worries.

    ‘Hard’ or ‘soft’ Brexit?

    Pressure has been put on the Prime Minister to opt for a hard Brexit, which would mean exiting the single market.

    However, Theresa’s May’s failure to secure a majority in the recent general election means she doesn’t have the firm negotiating hand that she has hoped for; this might force the UK to take a different approach.

    And now there is talk that the EU might be prepared to allow the UK to stay in the single market, in what would be considered by some as a ‘soft Brexit’.

    Calls for a transitional deal

    Many in the business community and some ministers are keen to pursue a transitional deal to soften the impact of leaving the EU; this is a sentiment that is echoed by the CBI, and there has been pressure on the Brexit secretary David Davis to achieve this.

    Further the EEF, which represents manufacturers, has stated that businesses need to be informed about the nature of any transitional deal, including how long it will last for.

    At a recent conference, Terry Scuoler, Chief Executive of EEF, stated:

    “UK businesses need to know soon what arrangements will be in place after March 2019, to be able to plan, make investment decisions and have confidence that an orderly and carefully managed approach to Brexit is underway.

    “If they don’t have that assurance there will come a tipping point, sometime in 2018, when boards in the UK and elsewhere will need to make decisions based on the state of the negotiations at that point. They cannot wait until the end of the process for confirmation of a deal on our departure or future trading relationship.

    The CIA is also in favour of a transitional deal, stating:

    “We believe that staying in the single market for that appropriate transition period would help support trade, investment, jobs and overall economic growth in the critical time taking us to exit from the EU and our future new trading relationship.”

  • China hosts annual valve exhibition

    An industry expo due to be held in Guangzhou, China from May 14th-16th is expected to attract 10,000 visitors from forty different countries. The expo is an annual event that has been hosted annually since 1997.

    The fair will be held at the China Import and Export Complex, which is Asia’s biggest exhibition center; it was first opened in 2002.

    It is estimated there will be 300 exhibitors at this year’s event, with 8 per cent of them travelling from overseas to be there, and thousands of invitations for the exhibition have been sent out.

    Representatives from the food and beverage industry, environmental protection, petro-chemical, pharmaceutical, gas and electricity, water supply, and a vast range of other industries are also expected to attend.

    The exhibition has been designed to help manufacturers of valves, pipe fittings, castings and a range of other products to gain new customers for their products and make new connections with others in the same industry.

    It will also provide the opportunity to meet with new distributors and agencies to help increase distribution and forge new business relationships. In addition, it will give exhibitors the chance to reconnect with existing clients, increase import and export opportunities, mix with consumers and end users of the products, source new suppliers and even aid in the recruitment of key staff.

    Buyers from around the world have been invited to attend the exhibition and traders, wholesalers, importers and exporters, agents and distributors are all expected to be at the event.

    Exhibits

    There will be hundreds of different exhibits on display and numerous companies from China and the rest of the world are scheduled to be at the event when it gets underway in the middle of May.

    Future Trade Fairs

    Aside from the exhibition in China, there are a number of other trade fairs for the valve industry scheduled throughout the year. One of the most high profile events is due to be held in Rotterdam on the 30th September 2015 and it will run until 1st October.

    The trade show will highlight innovations and initiatives from the valve, pump and seal industries. The event is expected to attract buyers, process engineers and maintenance managers who are keen to demonstrate their solutions to new contacts in the industry.

    Exhibitors will also have the opportunity to demonstrate solutions that can make the valve industry safer and more efficient.

  • CMA issues Energy Market report

    A recent report by the Competition and Markets Authority has delivered its findings on the challenges that are limiting competition in the energy market. The report highlighted concerns that many customers have not considered changing over their energy supplier and this could be costing them over £100 every year.

    It was found that the far too many consumers were paying too much for their energy bills and it is thought that one of the reasons customers do not switch over is due to the fact that they find billing difficult to understand; regulators have introduced a four tariff system to try and make billing clearer, however, the report concluded it had not been as successful as hoped.

    Moreover, the report revealed that a lot of customers were reluctant to change over suppliers because they were concerned over the complexity of the process and they were unaware of what deals were available to them.

    Roger Witcomb, who chaired the investigation, said:

    “Whilst competition is delivering benefits to increasing numbers of customers, mainly through the growth of smaller suppliers with cheaper fixed-price deals, the majority of us are still on more expensive default tariffs. Many customers do not shop around to see if there’s a better deal out there – let alone switch. The confusing way energy is measured and billed can make comparing deals understandably daunting”.

    Mr Witcomb also noted the high level of customer complaints about companies in the Energy sector.

    Concerns over industry transparency

    Another issue addressed in the report was concerns over the lack of transparency in the energy industry and the distrust that this can cause among consumers.

    CMA Referral and Report

    The energy industry was referred to the Competition and Markets Authority in 2014 with the aim of establishing whether or not competition in the energy sector was working well for customers. It was also hoped that an investigation would help to make the energy market clearer for consumers to understand, and that this would result in a greater level of fairness for customers.

    As a result of the report, a number of possible remedies have now been drawn up; a final report is due to be issued by the Competition and Markets Authority by the end of 2015.

    Companies have been invited to submit their comments regarding the authority’s initial findings and these can be submitted until the end of July 2015.

  • Combining resources necessary to improve offshore safety

    Offshore wind farms are becoming a greater part of the UK’s energy mix. However, the move toward renewables has also led to questions on how to improve health and safety for employees working in the industry.

    Recently, the Offshore Group of the Institution of Occupational Safety and Health (IOSH) recently held an event to discuss how the renewables, marine and oil and gas sectors could collaborate to address the health and safety challenges associated with the offshore sectors.

    The event, which was hosted at the Stadium of Light in Sheffield, was entitled Let's Talk: exploring the synergies and differences between the offshore oil and gas and offshore renewables sector. It examined the risks faced by these industries and how they could work together effectively to address them, such as conducting joint exercises and sharing resources.

    Simon Hatson, Chair of IOSH's Offshore Group, stated:

    “As the offshore windfarms are being built further offshore and the sectors are required to work even closer to each other, it is essential that we consider the safety and health implications of this.

    "As was recognised throughout the event, within our industry it is vital that, where we can, we seek to combine our knowledge and resources to put robust safety and health management systems in place. This way we can share our knowledge, efforts and provisions to continue to protect our workers from harm.”

    Hatson added that introducing these systems would also benefit the sector by enabling it to become more productive and efficient.

    Industry Concerns

    Industry representatives used the event as an opportunity to raise their specific concerns, such as the challenges posed due to the different regulatory regimes in place for each sector. However, Chris Streatfield of RenewableUK stressed that “this does not mean the sectors cannot combine to protect employees”.

    Peter Lowson of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency highlighted the possibility of vessels colliding or helicopter accidents. However, he felt the risk of such accidents could be reduced by sharing resources.

    Offshore wind farms

    The amount of electricity produced from offshore wind increased by more than 25 per cent in the first quarter of 2016, and given the growing role it is likely to play energy security, it is vital that the health and safety concerns are addressed.

    DONG Energy are currently leading the way in the offshore wind power sector, and it recently committed to building the world’s largest wind farm, Hornsea Project One, which will have the capacity to power more than one million homes. 

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    Compact Flow Switch

     

    Compact Flow switch with high working pressure capability as standard. The Meister RVM_U-4 range of flow switches have a working pressure range of up to 350 bar with a stainless steel body or 300 bar with a brass plated body. Switching is via simple volt free contacts. The Flow switch can mounted in any orientation & with a number of adjustable set point range available for both liquid & gas applications the RMV_U-4 range it is ideal for those systems where space is at a premium! Now available with Ex contacts approved by Bureau Veritas for use in zones 1, 2, 21 and 22 in accordance with ATEX.

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  • Compact Flow switch with high working pressure capability

    RMV small

    Compact Flow switch with high working pressure capability as standard.

    The Meister RVM_U-4 range of flow switches have a working pressure range of up to 350 bar with a stainless steel body or 300 bar with a brass plated body.

    Switching is via simple volt free contacts. The Flow switch can mounted in any orientation & with a number of adjustable set point range available for both liquid & gas applications the RMV_U-4 range it is ideal for those systems where space is at a premium! 

  • Compact Flow switch with high working pressure capability

    CFS

    Compact Flow switch with high working pressure capability as standard. The Meister RVM_U-4 range of flow switches have a working pressure range of up to 350 bar with a stainless steel body or 300 bar with a brass plated body. Switching is via simple volt free contacts. The Flow switch can mounted in any orientation & with a number of adjustable set point range available for both liquid & gas applications the RMV_U-4 range it is ideal for those systems where space is at a premium! Now available with Ex contacts approved by Bureau Veritas for use in zones 1, 2, 21 and 22 in accordance with ATEX.

    Contact Tamo for more information.

    Read More

  • Competition to open up in the connections market

    Ofgem has announced a new code of practice aimed at regional electricity distribution networks. The announcement was made at the end of October with the purpose of increasing competition in the UK connections market.

    Ofgem say that the new code of practice should help to lower the cost of businesses connecting to the grid and add that the new measures should help to enhance the quality of service customers can expect.

    Statistics from Ofgem show that the electricity connections market is worth more than £500 million and thousands upon thousands of connections are made on an annual basis.

    Although many independent companies were already competing against the regional electricity distribution networks remained the only providers of a number of essential services that are required to make new connections. Due to the concerns that this was limiting competition in the field, Ofgem introduced its new code of practice at the end of October

    Under the new code of practice, electricity distribution networks ­- or DNOs as they are known - will have to abide by a new set of guidelines that have been set out by Ofgem.

    If the electricity distribution networks don’t abide by the new code of practice, then they could face action from Ofgem.

    Commenting on the announcement, Maxine Frerk, senior partner, electricity distribution, Ofgem, said:

    “We want to see competition in the electricity connections market thriving. While some DNOs are helping to achieve this, many independent companies still face unnecessary delays and needless complexity.”

    Frerk added that the new code of practice would enable independent companies to compete fairly throughout the UK, and it will mean businesses and other organisations will now have a choice as to who delivers its connections.

    Ofgem decided to implement the Code of Practice after carrying out a review of the connections sector. It found that while some companies were making an effort to improve competition in the connections market, to further improve competition it was going to be necessary to introduce a formal, binding code in order to ensure fairness to independent companies.

    Home Builders Federation welcome announcement

    The decision was welcomed by Dave Mitchell of the Home Builders Federation. Mitchell explained that as home builders are increasing the number of homes built to help address U.K.’s housing crisis, it was important these new changes had been introduced to improve the speed at which new homes are connected to the grid.

  • Concern’s over UK’s nuclear energy industry as UK announces it’s to leave Euratom

    There are concerns over the future of the UK’s nuclear energy industry after the government announced its plans to leave the European Atomic Power Treaty, or Euratom, as part of Brexit. The UK will formally leave in 2019, and this could mean that some of Britain’s nuclear power stations could face closure if alternatives safeguards aren’t put in place.

    The warning comes from Rupert Cowen of Prospect Law, who was appearing before the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee along with other key representatives from the nuclear industry.

    The UK will be on course to leave Euratom when it signs article 50 in March. Cowen warned that this could cause significant problems for research and development. However, if it also leaves the UK unable to comply with international safeguards, then as explained in the Guardian, nuclear trade would need to be discontinued and nuclear power stations could face possible closure.

    Decision to leave Euratom

    Brexit Secretary David Davis first confirmed the UK would be leaving Euratom in announcement earlier in 2017. The decision shocked researchers and scientists, and it has left a question mark over the future of projects like the Joint European Torus (JET) project and the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor.

    However, in a statement regarding the future of the JET project, Professor Donné, EUROfusion programme manager, has pledged the team will do all they can to continue working together and extend the work until at least 2020.

    Professor Donné added:

    “We also will do our best to find smooth and adequate solutions for the people that are affected by the UK withdrawing from Euratom.”

    UK Government’s commitment to Nuclear Energy

    Despite the UK’s decision to exit from Euratom, Secretary of State for International Trade, Dr Liam Fox, has been keen to voice the government’s commitment to nuclear energy. Speaking at the recent Civil Nuclear Showcase 2017, Dr Fox stated that the UK’s withdrawal from Euratom will in no way diminish the country’s nuclear ambitions.

    Prime Minister Theresa May recently gave the go ahead for the Hinkley C power plant, which is being built in collaboration with China, and there are plans for more nuclear power plants in the UK.

    By the mid-2020s there will be up to 16 gigawatts of new nuclear energy coming online, according to Nuclear AMRC. Companies currently exploring nuclear energy in the UK include Areva and Hitachi GE. 

  • Consent granted for Dogger A and B Wind farms

    The Department of Energy and Climate Change has granted permission for the building of an offshore wind farm that is to be constructed on the north-east coast of the United Kingdom.

    If the project goes ahead as planned, the Dogger Bank Teesside A and B Offshore wind farms will incorporate anything up to 400 wind turbines, and there will be two offshore wind generating stations.

    Dogger Bank Teesside A will measure 560 km² and Dogger Bank Teesside B will cover 593 km².  They will have the capacity to produce 2.4 GW of green power.

    The offshore wind farm is being developed by a consortium of four different energy companies called Forewind. The consortium includes Norway-based Statkraft, international energy company Statoil, Scottish-based Energy Company SSE and Germany energy company RWE.

    When the construction is finished, the new offshore wind farm will be situated at least 125 km away from the North East coast. Each generating platform will have up to 200 wind turbines and it is planned that they will be a number of collector platforms.

    In addition, there are plans to build four platforms that would be used for either housing or and helicopters and there could potentially be up to 10 weather stations.

    For the onshore part of the project, there are proposals for a converter station, and underground cabling would also be necessary.

    The onshore elements of the planned project are to be situated in Cleveland and Redcar and they have the potential to create numerous jobs in the area. Once the project is complete, it will have the capacity to produce enough energy to power 1.8 million homes in Britain.

    Commenting on the decision, Energy and Climate Change Minister Lord Bourne stated:

    “Thanks to Government support the UK is the world leader in offshore wind energy. As we build the Northern Powerhouse, we want local communities to reap the benefits of investment and green jobs from low carbon developments like Dogger Bank Offshore wind project.”

    Once the project is complete, it is set to be among the biggest power generators in the United Kingdom.

    Forewind General Manager, Tarald Gjerde, said:

    “It represents a real opportunity for the UK to receive even more of its energy from its abundant wind resource while creating significant economic benefits, particularly for the north eastern regions.”

    Plans for the offshore wind development began with the statutory consultation phase in 2012 and with consent granted, the pre-construction and construction phrase are now free to begin.

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