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  • Hazardex 2016 International Conference & Exhibition

    05 February 2016

    Hazardex 2016, the two-day International Conference & Exhibition for hazardous area and process safety specialists, will take place on 24th & 25th February 2016 at the Holiday Inn Hotel in Runcorn, Cheshire, UK. The keynote speakers will be Paul Logan, Head of the Chemicals, Explosives and Microbiological Hazards Division at HSE/HID and Ann Rosbrook, Head of Safety Engineering, Total E&P UK....

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  • Shell announces 10,000 job cuts and much-reduced profits for 2015

    04 February 2016

    Royal Dutch Shell said its full-year profits saw their steepest fall in 13 years from $19bn in 2014 to $3.8bn last year. Nevertheless, the group maintained its dividend payout to shareholders, a move that resulted in an overnight increase of 7% in its share price. Shell also said it would shed 10,000 jobs, around 11% of the total, to improve the group’s position in a market badly affected by the slump in oil prices....

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  • China courts jail 14 for mass-fatality explosion in Jiangsu

    03 February 2016

    On February 3, Xinhua reported that courts in east China's Jiangsu Province had sentenced 14 people to prison terms for various offences related to an explosion at a factory in the Kunshan area of Suzhou City in 2014 that left 146 dead. Sentences ranged from three to seven and half years for the crimes of causing a major labour safety accident or dereliction of duty....

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  • BP reports worst annual loss in over 20 years, announces further job losses

    02 February 2016

    On February 2, UK-based oil and gas group BP reported a loss of $6.5 billion for 2015, mainly due to the continuing slide in the oil price, now down to under $35 a barrel for benchmark Brent crude. The group also set aside a further $440m over the last quarter of 2015 for liabilities associated with the Deepwater Horizon disaster, bringing the total bill so far to $55bn....

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  • Hazardex 2016 Conference programme **DELEGATE PLACES FILLING FAST**

    02 February 2016

    The programme for the Hazardex 2016 International Conference has now been finalised, and details of the presentations are available.  ...

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Toyota to suspend car production in Japan after explosion at affiliate 01 February 2016

Toyota Motor Corp said on February 1 it would suspend production at all assembly plants in Japan next week in the wake of an explosion at a steel factory owned and operated by affiliate Aichi Steel. All Japanese assembly lines will halt from February 8 to 13, the company said in a statement. These lines account for 40% of group vehicle production, including all assembly of the Prius hybrid....

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Casualties reported in Taiwan chemical plant blast 01 February 2016

A worker was killed and another injured when a chemical plant exploded and caught fire in a suburb of Taichung in central Taiwan on February 1, according to Xinhua. The local fire department received a report of fire and explosion at the pesticide plant owned by Sinon Corporation at 5:50 am and sent 10 fire trucks and two ambulances to the scene....

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Two dead, three injured in Heineken factory blast in Brazil 29 January 2016

A boiler explosion at a Heineken beer factory in Brazil on January 28 killed two workers and injured three others, one of them seriously, the company confirmed. The workers were employed by a subcontractor hired by the factory in Jacarei, in Sao Paulo state, and according to the EFE news agency at the time of the accident they were performing tests on one of the boilers....

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EDF once again postpones decision on construction of new UK nuclear plant 27 January 2016

According to a French business newspaper, EDF has once again put off a final decision on proceeding with the construction of the Hinkley Point C nuclear power station in the UK because of the financial implications of the massive project. In an exclusive, the newspaper claims that the French state-owned utility is having difficulties raising its share of the £18 billion project. ...

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Closure of UK coal and nuclear plants could cause major shortfall in electricity supply by 2025 26 January 2016

A report by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (IMechE) published on January 26 says the UK Government’s policy to close all coal-fired power stations by 2025, combined with the retirement of the majority of the country’s ageing nuclear fleet and growing electricity demand, will leave the UK facing an electricity supply gap of between 40 and 55% in ten years' time....

Features

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Making the most of late life and preparing for retirement

This aspiration is something that many of us will strive for towards the end of our working lives, but it is also a good recipe for assets, say Dai Richards and Philip Lawson of ABB Consulting. As production facilities approach the end of their economic operating lives two conflicting priorities come to the fore; maximising production while maintaining safety and reliability; reducing operating costs to make economic operation viable....

Case Studies

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The underestimated explosion hazards of solid biofuels

The growing trend of converting existing coal-fired plants to more environmentally-friendly fuels such as biomass requires operators to take a careful look at any potential increased risk of explosion and other potential safety issues. In this article, Johannes Lottermann and Francesca Vincenzi of Rembe GmbH Safety & Control analyse dust explosion risk in biomass plants and propose mitigation solutions. ...

Comment

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Government CCS support cancellation undermines UK's low-carbon energy prospects

The UK Government’s decision to scrap a major part of its planned carbon capture and storage (CCS) funding has been met with dismay across the UK engineering and energy sectors. Three weeks before the COP21 Paris climate change agreement was signed on December 14, the Government made a regulatory announcement to this effect on the London stock exchange. ...

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