MARCH 2000

• Cover Page

•  Industrial Super
    Air Transport

•  Rails
    Water Transport

•  Intermodal Systems
    Fresh Water Projects
    Power Generation

•  Hydro Power
    Oil & Gas Projects
    Alternate Energy

•  Developing a Global
    Power Grid
    Global Comm.

•  Global Venues
    Urban Development
    High-Rise Projects
    New Urban Forms

•  Rapid Transit Systems
    New Towns,
    Mixed-Used Projects
    Project Data Base

•  World Development

•  Atlanta 2000 Global
    Super Projects
Click for information about the Atlanta 2000 GSPC

Developing a Global Power Grid
The world runs on electric power. In many areas the level of economic development is determined by the availability of electric power. There are huge needs both in developed nations and in the third world. Today, an estimated two billion people in the world do not yet have electric power service.

The Global Power Grid Heretofore, power needs of each nation -- and, often, for each city -- have been met by building local generating stations that served only local needs. In recent decades, distribution grids have begun to connect local systems for the benefit of all. This movement has grown to be international, with the linkage of U.S. and Canadian grids, and with some interconnections in Europe.

Now, planners argue that we must think in terms of global grids. For example, a connection between Siberia and North America would offer the possibility of substantial savings. North American cities could use Siberian power while users along the Pacific Rim sleep. Pacific Rim users could use North American power while Americans sleep. Typical grid projects include:

Saudi Arabia -- A pact has been signed for a $1.7 billion grid linking Kuwait, Qatar and Bahrain with Saudi Arabia, then to extend to UAE and Oman.
Sweden -- A link with Finland will launch The Baltic Ring.
Hungary -- Link with Western European Electricity Grid.
India -- A link to Pakistan between Powergrid and WAPDA.
Nicaragua -- A 1,500-mile (2,413-km.) link from Guatemala to Panama.
Italy -- A 160-mile (257-km.) underwater link to Greece.
Argentina -- Link to Brazil.
Brazil -- Link from Santa Elena, Venezuela, to Boa Vista, Brazil.
Brazil -- 800-mile (1,287-km.) north-south power grid connection within Brazil.
Russia -- Proposed link from Sakhalin Island to Japan's Hokkaido Island.

Environmental Projects
Some of the world's largest and most expensive projects are devoted to enhancing the natural environment. These include efforts to decommission nuclear weapons, clear land mines, clean up nuclear sites, decommission old nuclear power plants, clean up non-nuclear toxic waste dumps, and eliminate air and stream pollution. Many of these efforts are highly publicized.

There are also many noteworthy projects for protecting and restoring natural areas. Reforestation and forestation projects are of special interest. A U.S. firm, Driwater, has planted more than one million trees in a development near Cairo, Egypt. The firm will plant another 17 million trees in the area, using its "Driwater" product -- water bound in a gel form that slowly releases moisture to the soil over time. The project has successfully planted eucalyptus, acacia, mesquite, gazira, ficus, olive and orange trees.

Also of interest are projects to establish greenways linking natural areas -- creating corridors for the free flow of wildlife and for such recreational uses as hiking. As more jurisdictions adopt green infrastructure programs these projects will grow in size and importance.

A cross-section of proposed and ongoing projects includes:

USA -- U.S. government $8 billion project for "replumbing" the Florida everglades.
USA -- Dallas has proposed a $1.2 billion project to enhance the Trinity River corridor.
China -- Investing $1.2 billion to clean up the Huai River in North China.
USA -- California has undertaken a $4.5 billion project called CALFED Bay-Delta Program to ensure the quality of drinking water from the Sacramento River.
United Arab Emirates -- More than 150 million trees have been planted.
Brazil -- $1.5 billion Pro-Guaiba project river/bay clean up.
USA -- $16 billion program to neutralize nerve gas stores.
USA -- $1 billion project to close Fresh Kills landfill on Staten Island, N.Y.
China -- $1.5 billion wastewater treatment system for Hong Kong and Kowloon.
USA -- $1.6 billion expansion of Los Angeles Hyperion wastewater treatment plant.
USA -- Work continues on $28 billion Yucca Mountain Nevada nuclear waste facility.
USA -- $2 billion nuclear clean-up at Rocky Flats site near Denver.
USA -- DOE $6.9 billion clean-up at sites in Washington State.

Global Communications
Approximately three-fourths of the people of the world still have no telephones. Despite heroic efforts, it will require decades to extend lines to remote areas. Hence, there is special interest in wireless global service.

At the first GSPC in Honolulu in 1992, we heard a report from a Motorola spokesman on their exciting Iridium project. It proposed to put some 70 satellites in high orbit to blanket the world and provide universal point-to-point communications. Soon thereafter the Teledesic project was announced. It would put several hundred satellites in low orbit to accomplish the same kind of worldwide communication.

As this is written, the Iridium project is in bankruptcy, and the Teledesic project has not gotten off the ground. Now, Loral has put forward a $3.8 billion project called Globalstar to provide wireless global service anytime, anywhere. It would involve 48 satellites. While these may be the most spectacular communications projects, there are many other important ventures. Some of them include:

USA -- Lockheed is promoting a $3.6 billion Astrolink satellite net.
USA -- Alcatel is behind a $4.2 billion Skybridge system.
USA -- Hughes Electronics has its $1.2 billion Spaceway net project.
UK -- ICO Global Communications is launching ICO, a $4.5 billion global wireless network.
USA -- Williams Communications, Tulsa, is investing in a $2.7 billion project.
USA -- Global Crossing is building an 11,000-mile (17,700-km.) cable system.
Japan -- Global Crossing's latest $1.3 billion link connects Japan and Eastern Asia.
USA -- Qwest Telecommunications is building a $2 billion network.
USA -- Level 3 is spending some $3 billion on expanding lines.
Japan -- A new teleport called "Teletropolis," at a cost of $3 billion.
Malaysia -- Building a $10 billion "multi-media corridor" near Kuala Lumpur.
USA -- PONY teleport on Staten Island, N.Y., has 2,100 employees.
USA -- A consortium plans underwater fiber-optic cable link to South America.
Germany -- New "Infocity" in North Rhine Westphalia.
Korea -- Pusan Teletropolis, $2.5 billion.
China -- Hong Kong has announced a $13 billion "Cyberport."


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