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t the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) Summit in Vladivostok, Russia, China has signed new trade pacts with Canada and Chile.
Frost & Sullivan Opens Global Innovation Center of Excellence in Iskandar Malaysia
JOHOR BHARU, Malaysia, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Frost & Sullivan today opened its doors to their Global Innovation Center (GIC) of Excellence in Iskandar Malaysia. The project is the result of a strategic collaboration with the Multimedia Development Corporation (MDeC) and Iskandar Investment Berhad (IIB) that was announced by the YAB Prime Minister, Dato' Seri Mohd Najib Tun Abdul Razak during the Iskandar Malaysia 5th Anniversary celebration late last year.
Frost & Sullivan Global President & Managing Partner, Aroop Zutshi said "We are very pleased to be part of the developments in Iskandar Malaysia. Frost & Sullivan believes that the development of the GIC here will be a real game changer for the future of the company."
Aroop continued, "Our goal is to create new knowledge-based activities and develop specialized skills that will support Malaysia's goal to be a high-value, high-income nation by 2020."
Frost & Sullivan has always been at the forefront in driving growth for its clients, with a range of innovative products and services tailor-made to address clients' needs. Frost & Sullivan Malaysia currently has 120 employees in Kuala Lumpur and aims to add another 830 in Iskandar by 2020.
"The Global Innovation Center in Iskandar will serve Frost & Sullivan's global operations and offices, providing opportunities for local employees to work on global projects. We are committed and invested to effectively contribute and bring new competencies and skill sets into the country," said Manoj Menon, Partner & Asia Pacific Managing Director, Frost & Sullivan.
Manoj added, "We are constantly on the lookout for local talents to join us and the opening of our GIC will allow us to cultivate these talents. With our presence in Iskandar, we will be able to support our clients down south better and we look forward to a more integral role with the country, government and industry."
MDeC Chief Executive Officer Datuk Badlisham Ghazali noted that Frost & Sullivan has had more than 10 years of experience in Malaysia and is a part of the MSC Malaysia initiative. "MSC Malaysia welcomes companies who continue to look at Malaysia for future growth and bring new competencies and skill sets into the country. One example is the digital media COE which will see content being developed in new formats for different applications."
IIB President/Chief Executive Officer Datuk Syed Mohamed said, "As a catalytic developer of Iskandar Malaysia, IIB, via our flagship project Medini Iskandar Malaysia, is committed in putting the crucial foundation in place in the quest to transform the corridor into one of the regions emerging economic powerhouse.
We believe the Frost & Sullivan GIC project is a critical component that would further add value to Medini Iskandar Malaysia; a multi-billion dollar integrated urban development, envisioned to be the pulse of Iskandar Malaysia."
Iskandar Regional Development Authority (IRDA) Chief Executive Datuk Ismail Ibrahim commented, "The inauguration of the Frost & Sullivan GIC is indeed a development that Iskandar Malaysia can celebrate. Aligned with our vision to create Iskandar Malaysia as the first choice to Invest, Work, Live and Play, we are confident that the presence of Frost & Sullivan in the Iskandar Malaysia eco-system will be an impetus for further growth in the Business services sector and lead to many more high value employment opportunities in Iskandar Malaysia."
Caterpillar Announces New Distribution Center in Australia
New distribution center builds on multiyear expansion and enhancement of the Cat parts distribution network and is expected to employ up to 150 people
PEORIA, Ill., Aug. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Caterpillar Logistics Inc. (Cat Logistics), a wholly owned subsidiary of Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT), today announced plans for a new parts distribution center in Yatala, Australia (between Brisbane and the Gold Coast). When at full capacity, the 500,000-square-foot facility will employ up to 150 people and is expected to be operational mid-2013. The new facility will be an important link in the Cat parts distribution network and will support the Cat dealers in Australia.
"This investment in a key market for Cat products is the next step in the multiyear expansion of our global parts distribution network. We are focused on ensuring our customers' success through a global, high velocity network that delivers the industry's best parts availability," said Steve Larson, vice president of Caterpillar Inc. and president of Cat Logistics.
Access to major air and seaports complemented by a major highway network make this an ideal location for a strategic logistics operation. This facility will be the seventh new parts distribution center in the modernization plan and will join previously announced facilities in Waco, Texas; Clayton, Ohio; Spokane, Washington; Central California; Dubai, UAE and recently announced San Luis Potosi, Mexico. These new facilities represent an increase of nearly four-and-one-half million square-feet to the overall distribution network and support our commitment to providing unmatched parts availability to customers and dealers around the world.
Expansion of existing Cat parts distribution facilities is also taking place in Grimbergen, Belgium; Melbourne, Australia; and Shanghai, China. All of these facilities are leveraging common systems and processes in addition to Service Parts Management (SPM), a global solution that replaces multiple legacy software systems supporting the Cat parts network.
"All of these investments have the singular purpose of ensuring that Caterpillar and Cat dealers support our customers' success better than anyone else," Larson added.
Ford Breaks Ground on New Site for $760 Million U.S. Assembly Plant in Hangzhou
HANGZHOU, China, Aug. 29, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
New $760 million U.S. (RMB 4.8 billion) investment in Hangzhou assembly plant in China will boost initial capacity by 250,000 units, bringing Ford's total investment in China to $4.9 billion U.S. since 2006.
Ford's total passenger car capacity in China will increase to 1.2 million units annually, doubling current output, when the Hangzhou plant opens in 2015.
As part of its aggressive expansion in Asia, Ford breaks ground at site of new state-of-the-art assembly plant in Hangzhou with its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA).
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) breaks ground today on its new state-of-the-art assembly plant in Hangzhou, which will double production capacity in China to 1.2 million passenger cars annually by 2015.
As part of its largest expansion in 50 years, Ford and its joint venture Changan Ford Mazda Automobile (CFMA) will invest $760 million U.S. (RMB 4.8 billion) in the new plant, bringing Ford's total investment in China to approximately $4.9 billion U.S. since 2006.
"Here in Hangzhou, we are laying the foundation for the future of Ford globally," said Alan Mulally, president and CEO, Ford Motor Company, at the event. "At Ford, our goal is to offer fuel-efficient, high-quality vehicles from our global portfolio that customers in markets like China want and value. This state-of-the-art facility will help us reach the goal of increasing worldwide sales nearly 50 percent by mid-decade to 8 million vehicles per year."
Joining Mulally for the groundbreaking ceremony are Joe Hinrichs, president, Ford Asia Pacific and Africa; and Dave Schoch, chairman and CEO, Ford Motor China.
The Hangzhou plant is part of Ford's aggressive expansion in Asia Pacific and Africa, with nine new plants (seven under construction) planned.
The first vehicle will come off the line in Hangzhou in 2015. The new plant further diversifies Ford's manufacturing footprint in China while giving the company better access to the large customer base in China's affluent coastal areas.
"Today is another major milestone for Ford in China, and reinforces our commitment to aggressively grow the Ford brand in one of the most vibrant auto markets in the world," said Schoch. "This new plant is an important part of our aggressive plan to bring 15 new vehicles and 20 new powertrains to China by 2015, giving customers here even more choice in Ford's next generation of high-quality, fuel-efficient, fun-to-drive vehicles."
The Hangzhou plant will further complement Ford's existing manufacturing base in China. In February, CFMA opened its second assembly plant in Chongqing, which houses a fully integrated facility including stamping, body assembly, paint, trim and final assembly operations.
On Monday, the company broke ground on another new assembly plant in Chongqing, where a new engine plant as well as a transmission plant are also under construction, making Chongqing the largest manufacturing location for Ford outside southeast Michigan. The joint venture with CFMA also has an assembly and an engine plant in Nanjing, China.
As part of its global growth plan, Ford also is rolling out a single manufacturing operating system to drive improved efficiencies, increase capacity utilization and make the company an industry leader in lowest total cost production.
As Ford brings on new facilities, such as those under construction in China, it is expanding the use of common manufacturing processes and standard systems for tracking material, delivery, maintenance and environmental costs so that new and existing plants are aligned in how they operate. Ford is also making broader use of virtual tools that reduce the cost of new plants and improve the efficiencies of new model changeovers.
UPS expands its network with opening of first-ever facility in Halifax
MISSISSAUGA, ON, Aug. 28, 2012 /CNW/ - One hundred and five years ago to this day, UPS (NYSE: UPS) opened its doors for business on a small street in Seattle, Washington. Growing from a two-person operation delivering packages on bicycles, UPS now serves 220 countries and territories worldwide with the hard work of more than 400,000 employees. Today, its 105th birthday, UPS celebrates yet another expansion as it officially opens the doors to its 50,000 square foot logistics facility in Halifax, Nova Scotia. The opening - a key part of UPS's Atlantic Canada expansion strategy across eight cities this year - will bring industry leading service enhancements and end-to-end logistics solutions for customers.
The decision to open the facility in Halifax was made with the knowledge that the area is considered to be a key access point to other major supply chain networks both locally and globally.
"Today's grand opening builds upon the commitment UPS has shown to the Canadian market with a strategic focus on Halifax and Atlantic Canada, which is beneficial for all stakeholders involved," said Kings North MLA Jim Morton, on behalf of Economic and Rural Development and Tourism Minister Percy Paris. "UPS's multi-million dollar investment in our region will create more than 250 new UPS jobs."
UPS also recently introduced another important service enhancement for the region, adding air capacity that will allow local businesses to accelerate the flow of goods to customers. The enhancements will help customers optimize their internal processes, help manage customer satisfaction and existing UPS customers will see a one-day improvement getting their products to market.
"Today's grand opening celebrates our expansion into Atlantic Canada and reinforces our commitment to the businesses and communities in Halifax," said Mike Tierney, president, UPS Canada. "The introduction of this facility, the reliable UPS brand and industry leading service enhancements now provide customers in Halifax with access to our vast global network, allowing them to focus on their business while we do what we do best, provide expert logistical solutions."
UPS began the expansion of its global network into Canada in 1975. Over the past 37 years, that network has grown to include a delivery fleet of 2,500 vehicles, almost 10,000 employees and more than 85 daily airline flight segments. Another 1,900 employees provide logistics and distribution, freight forwarding and customs brokerage services to Canadian customers. The investment in Halifax is part of a larger strategic expansion plan that has recently included the development of a new facility in Calgary, Alberta, and two facilities in Ontario, an expanded hub in Toronto, as well as a leading healthcare hub in Burlington.
JBF Industries (India) to build plant in Flanders (Belgium) at BP Chemicals site
Indian manufacturing group JBF Industries announced in August the construction of a new plant on the factory site of BP Chemicals (UK) in the town of Geel in Flanders (Belgium). The total investment cost is estimated at €120 million (US$152 million), according to the Gazet van Antwerpen.
The new plant will be located next to BP Chemical’s production unit for PTA powder, the raw material to produce polyethylene terephthalate or PET – the synthetic with which plastic bottles are made. As a result of the investment, more than 100 new employees will be enrolled at the site in 2014. BP Chemicals is opening up its factory site for other investors as well. The British multinational has been active in Flanders (Belgium) for many years now and has a production capacity of 2 million tons per year for PTA and paraxylene. Around 400 people work at the site, achieving a turnover of €190 million in 2010.
Oil giants plan refurbishment in Port of Antwerp (Flanders)
The August 14th De Standaard reports that three major oil refineries – ExxonMobil (USA), Total (France) and Gunvor (Cyprus) – have announced an investment of more than €3.2 billion (US$4 billion) to refurbish their sites located in the Port of Antwerp in Flanders (Belgium). With €1.3 billion ($1.6 billion) ExxonMobil, the second largest refinery in the port, represents the biggest investment. The company wants to construct a new plant to convert heavy fractions of raw oil into lighter fractions. As the largest refinery in Antwerp, Total will invest €1 billion ($1.3 billion) in a new installation to extract more diesel than gasoline from crude oil. Both ExxonMobil and Total will finalize their investments later this year. The third investment comes from the Independent Belgian Refinery, a subsidiary of independent oil trader Gunvor (Cyprus). Next October, the refinery will be shut down for three weeks for a big clean-up. Between them, the refineries of ExxonMobil, Gunvor and Total in Antwerp (Flanders) process around 774,500 oil barrels every day. The three oil giants employ ca. 2,000 people in the port
Berlin Airport To Open on 27 October 2013; Capital requirement of €1.2bn
Today the new COO of Berlin Airport, Horst Amann, presented the results of his evaluation of the new Berlin Brandenburg Airport to the airport’s Supervisory Board. The new opening date will be 27 October 2013, i.e. the beginning of the winter schedule 2013/2014. According to Amann, the first priority is to finalise all remaining actions plans. Subsequently, the construction works will resume in the autumn and will be concluded by summer 2013, so that the official approval procedures can be finalised in time for a trial period of several months.
The second key point on the agenda of the Supervisory Board was the financing of the new airport. The supervisory board noted in agreement that, according to the management team’s financing plan, there is an additional capital requirement of €1.2bn. The supervisory board recommends that the proprietors’ general meeting should take decisions as to how this capital requirement can be met. The European Commission is to be notified of the financing concept in the coming days.
Pressing the reset button: Shortcomings concerning the fire safety installations
Mr Amann stated during the press conference following today’s Supervisory Board meeting: ”I have questioned existing assumptions, commitments and plans. I have pressed the reset button in the area of building services, analysed the current situation and decided upon the next steps. Only such a fresh start can get the airport back on track towards a reliable opening date. “
Mr Amann stated that in his evaluation he has identified four crucial issues concerning the fire safety installations:
- The existing execution plans suffered from faults and gaps. These plans had been drawn up by the planning consortium whose contract was terminated last May by the airport. Mr Amann said: “We are still lacking plans for a coherent, integrated planningprocess. Further work is needed in this area to ensure that theconstruction companies have a reliable basis to work from for the remainder of the project. “
- Improper works were carried out on the construction site as a result of the accelerated work programme ahead of the previous opening date of 3 June 2012 that have led to issues such as the overcrowding of cable trays.
- The issues around the improper construction works that were carried out ahead of the previous opening date were made worse by inadequate coordination and supervision.
- The relationship with the authority responsible for the construction (Bauordnungsamt) is to be improved. Mr Amann: “We have to provide reliable information and unambiguous functionaldemonstrations of the fire protection installations to ensure that the authorities will be able to declare the airport operational. “
Next steps towards BER
Mr Amann said during the press conference that works have almost been suspended for the duration of the evaluation. The next steps ahead of the opening will be as follows:
- Until autumn 2012: Finalisation of remaining action plans
- Autumn 2012 to summer 2013: Remaining construction works
- Summer 2013: Adherence test and subsequent assessment by the construction authority
- Summer to autumn 2013: Conclude operational readiness of the airport and trial runs
- Summer to autumn 2013: Delivery of goods to storage facilities, shops and restaurants
- 26 October 2013: Closure of the two old airports Schönefeld and Tegel
- 26/27 October 2013: Move to the new airport
- 27 October 2013: Start of operations at BER
Mr Amann said that this revised timetable is reliable and realistic. He has already started to create clear structures and responsibilities among contracted companies. ”The next step will be to strengthen the position of the airport as the party leading the project. “Responding to rumours about the construction site, Mr Amann said: ”Following my evaluation, I can’t confirm rumours that there is a systemic error in the fire protection installation. Equally, all those rumours that there was water in the basement, that the southern runway was bared by water or that the tower was leaning are completely without foundation. “
Mr Amann also countered criticism that the airport had been planned too small. ”This is nonsense“, said Mr Amann. “The capacity is sufficient. We can expand the airport in step with growing passenger numbers. This is a sound approach that makes economic sense. “
Capital requirement remains at €1.2bn
The capital requirement remains unchanged at €1.2bn despite the longer period until the opening in late October 2013:
- Additional construction cost so far: 276m €
- Additional construction cost due to delayed opening: 67m €
- Additional operational cost due to delayed opening: 230m €
- Risk provision for other cost and loss of revenue: 322m €
- Additional cost due to noise abatement measures: 305m €
= Total: 1.2bn €
Schwarz: Ensure that Tegel Airport remains operational for longer
In view of continuously rising passenger numbers and the extension ofoperations at Tegel, Mr Schwarz announced to evaluate all areas that could bring potential improvements for Berlin’s largest airport. According to Mr Schwarz, in the first eight months of the year the number of passengers at Tegel rose by 7.6%, from 11 to 11.8 million. “We expect further growth in the coming months. We therefore have to ensure that the conditions for airlines and passengers at Tegel are as positive as possible over thecoming months”, said Mr Schwarz. “We have already identified a number of weaknesses at Tegel, for instance that the error rate is too high for baggage of connecting passengers. We are working with the airlines and handling company GlobeGround to get on top of these issues. “
Further discussions with BER tenants
Mr Schwarz also announced that the airport company will continue to hold talks with all tenants of the new airport about the new situation concerning the opening date. In total, there are about 150 retail units in the making at BER, among which are 39 restaurants and 20 service providers. Mr Schwarz said: “We want to minimise the risks for our tenants that have been caused by the delay and aim to avoid cases of hardship. Our objective is still to keep all tenants on board, if possible. “ Over the past few months, the airport company has already discussed individual solutions with tenants such as providing space at the existing airports Tegel and Schönefeld or agreeing to the termination of bank guarantees to prevent potential economic difficulties for individual tenants.