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MAY 2006

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Class By Themselves

   Some deals lie somewhere between the categories of corporate investment, national infrastructure and the future. Here are a few worth singling out:

International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor
Cadarache, France
Fusion's future is very French. For more on this project, read the Online Insider's Blockbuster Deal of the Week story from August 2005.
   France — a country that already looks to nuclear energy to supply 80 percent of its electricity needs — won the six-nation derby to be the location of a US$12- billion nuclear- fusion reactor, the world's first, beating out China, Japan, Russia, South Korea and the U.S. The runner-up site in Rokkasho, Japan, was backed by the U.S., Japan and South Korea. Construction costs are about half the total price tag, and will be half-funded by the EU and France, with those other countries — part of the International Thermonuclear Experimental Reactor (ITER) team — each contributing 10 percent of the cost's other half. The project, based on hydrogen plasma physics, is expected to take nine years to construct.

Western Australia
   Among the benefits touted by the Western Australia government of this $8.4- billion development of the Gorgon gas field (one of several major Australian gas development projects) are 400 permanent jobs, 3,000 construction jobs and another 6,000 indirect jobs — including 1,700 in Western Australia. The complex itself would inhabit some 741 acres (300 hectares) on Barrow Island. The value of its exports would total some US$1.9 billion.

Royal Dutch/Shell Group/Qatar Gas
Ras Laffan City, Qatar
   A $7-billion LNG production facility is only the beginning of an energy complex sure to play a major role in the global future of LNG usage.

Early February 2006 saw the groundbreaking for the Core Laboratory building, the centerpiece of the "biopolis" envisioned by Dole Food Co. owner David H. Murdock.
North Carolina
Research Campus
Kannapolis, N.C.
   Ground was broken early in February 2006 for the Core Laboratory building, the centerpiece of Dole Food Co. owner David H. Murdock's vision of a "biopolis" that will include facilities from all the state's major universities. The $1-billion redevelopment of the former Pillowtex campus is just a part of an economic boom embracing several communities on the outskirts of the Charlotte metro area.

Stem Cell Research Institute
San Francisco, Calif.
   Notable more for its $3 billion in proposed funding than its outright facilities, this institute makes California one of only a handful of states in the U.S. actively encouraging stem cell research. San Francisco beat out San Diego, Sacramento and nearby Emeryville. National talent attraction in both the private and academic sectors has already begun.

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