he world's largest facility for testing and developing carbon capture technologies was inaugurated in Mongstad, Norway, in early May. Technology Centre Mongstad (TCM) is a joint venture between the government of Norway, Statoil, Shell and Sasol.
"The launch of the world's largest facility for testing and developing carbon capture technologies is an important milestone for all parties involved in the efforts towards a low carbon future," said Tore Amundsen, TCM managing director.
Amundsen said that TCM's main purpose is to become a global resource center for carbon capture technologies and to share experience and knowledge gained from testing with owners, vendors and the global research community. Aker Clean Carbon and Alstom will test their respective technologies in the first phase. The facility, which cost approximately US$1 billion, is designed to capture about 100,000 tons per year of CO2.
"The world's CO2 emissions increase, and it is critical to develop carbon capture technology for global deployment on large point sources, such as power generation and large energy-consuming industries," Amundsen said.
The Norwegian government, which owns 75 percent of the project, said its objective for TCM is to provide an arena for targeted development, testing and improving technology so that costs and risks of carbon capture and storage may be reduced.
HL Global Forwarding, the air and ocean freight specialist within Deutsche Post-DHL Group, has started building a new logistics center at Brucargo at the Brussels Airport. The facility will consolidate Forwarding Belgium's air freight activities under one roof at Brucargo West. DHL Global Forwarding has been based in Brucargo since the cargo area was developed in 1980.
"DHL Global Forwarding's choice for Brucargo strengthens the status of the cargo area and Brussels Airport as a key employment platform in Belgium," said Jean-Claude Delen, CEO DHL Global Forwarding BeNeLux & France. "Brussels Airport is our country's second economic driver, providing 20,000 direct and 40,000 indirect jobs."
FedEx Express plans to establish a new North Pacific regional hub at Kansai International Airport in Japan. FedEx expects the 25,000-sq.-m. (269,250-sq.-ft.) facility to be operational by spring 2014.
MW and its joint venture partner, Brilliance China Automotive Holdings, have opened what they describe as "the most sustainable automobile production facility in China and one of the most innovative and flexible automobile production facilities worldwide." This brings the two partners' total investment in Chinese locations to around €1.5 billion (US$1.9 billion) since 2009, the year the company announced it would build a second plant.
"With our second plant in Shenyang, we will increase our capacity in China to 200,000 vehicles," said Norbert Reithofer, chairman of the Board of Management of BMW. "Together with our partner Brilliance we will further invest €500 million in China, thus preparing for future growth. With this investment we will increase total capacity of both plants to 300,000 units per year over the medium term. Due to our flexible production structure we will be able to produce up to 400,000 vehicles depending on market development."
German engineering company Manz AG recently opened its new production facility in Suzhou, about two hours west of Shanghai. Manz will produce manufacturing equipment for the photovoltaics and the flat-panel display industry, as well as equipment for the PCB (printed circuit board) segment. During the first stage of the project, Manz will increase employment from the 400 in its previous fab to more than 700.
"We needed to move closer to the big players in our target industries in order to react to their fast-evolving need for ever more efficient high-tech machinery," said founder and CEO Dieter Manz. "The fab in Suzhou will also house a technology and training center. Manz is thus able to validate and optimize manufacturing processes together with its customers on Manz equipment directly in China."
The 20,000-sq.-m. (215,400-sq.-ft.) fab is about three times the size of the former factory. Manz has more than 20 years experience in wet-chemical processes for the PCB and FPD industry. That was augmented by the 2008 acquisition of Intech, the leading Taiwanese supplier of wet chemical process equipment.
Valeo Values Growing Footprint
In Guangzhou, auto parts manufacturer Valeo, a maker of interior controls, has opened its Niles plant in Huadu Auto City, one of China's major automotive manufacturing bases. The project marks a milestone in Valeo's strategy of continuous development in Asia.
"This new plant represents a further step in Valeo's development strategy in China," said Jacques Aschenbroich, Valeo's CEO. "It demonstrates our will to continuously support both our Chinese and global customers in this fast-growing market, providing them with the widest possible range of technologies to meet their needs. Our objective is to double our sales and increase our headcount from 10,000 to more than 15,000 people in China by 2015."
The plant currently has 160 employees and the plan is to grow to 1,500 in the coming years in support of Valeo's expansion plans in China. Valeo's footprint in China can be traced back to 1994. Today it includes 22 sites, three research centers, nine development centers, and one Valeo Service aftermarket distribution center. Valeo's sales in China have more than doubled between 2008 and 2011 and are expected to double again by 2015.
pollo Tyres South Africa has opened a new Component Preparation Unit at the Ladysmith Factory plant, at a cost of R300 million (US$5.4 million). Apollo Tyres South Africa is part of one of the fastest growing tire companies in the world. Based in India, Apollo has an annual turnover of more than $2.5 billion and a work force of 16,000. It produces 4,38l,524 metric tons of tires annually and exports to more than 79 markets, using four manufacturing plants in India, four in southern Africa and one in the Netherlands. Since it acquired the Dunlop Tyre facilities in South Africa in 2006, Apollo has invested $85 million there. The primary objective for developing the Component Preparation Unit was to improve quality and productivity so that the factory could increase production to 1,000 tires per day in Durban and 13,000 tires per day in Ladysmith.