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Daily news and top headlines for manufacturing professionals

Booming Oil Towns Prepare For Inevitable Bust

October 16, 2013 11:29 am | by James MacPherson and Ramit Plushnick-Masti, Associated Press | News | Comments

In the oil fields of Texas and North Dakota, communities that are enjoying the most prosperous economic boom in a generation are increasingly thinking about the days after the surge in drilling is over.Cities like Midland, Texas, are mindful that the runaway riches will eventually run out.

Uneven Enforcement Suspected At Nuclear Plants

October 16, 2013 8:17 am | by Jeff Donn, AP National Writer | News | Comments

The number of safety violations at U.S. nuclear power plants varies dramatically from region to region, pointing to inconsistent enforcement in an industry now operating mostly beyond its original 40-year licenses, according to a congressional study awaiting release.

Auction Set For Defunct Hoku Plant In Idaho

October 14, 2013 9:44 am | News | Comments

Hoku, which filed for bankruptcy protection in July, began building what was supposed to be a $370 million plant in 2007 to make polysilicon material destined to be used in solar panels. But the plant never opened. U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Jim Pappas last week issued the order approving the sale.

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Turning Air Compressors Into An Energy Source

October 11, 2013 8:46 am | by Werner Rauer, Compressors Product Manager, Kaeser Compressors, Inc. | Articles | Comments

The rise in energy prices is an unwelcome reality in today’s manufacturing and business environment. While the rate of price increases for natural gas, heating oil, and other sources may vary from year to year, the upward trajectory is clear. Energy cost reduction strategies are vital to staying competitive.

Chemtura Sells Consumer Unit For $315M

October 11, 2013 7:41 am | News | Comments

Chemtura said Thursday that it will sell its consumer products business for $315 million and is exploring a sale of its agrochemicals unit as it focuses on chemicals for the transportation, energy and electronics industries. Chemtura has already been paring back the company, selling its antioxidant business for $200 million earlier this year.

Japan, IAEA To Monitor Radioactivity Off Fukushima

October 10, 2013 11:34 am | News | Comments

The head of the U.N. nuclear agency says Japan should work harder to address international concerns about leaks of contaminated water at its crippled Fukushima nuclear plant and that his agency will jointly monitor radiation levels in the nearby ocean.

Grand Forks Wind Turbine Plant Bringing Back Jobs

October 9, 2013 11:11 am | News | Comments

A Grand Forks wind power equipment plant that laid off half of its 600 workers a year ago is nearly back to full strength. The Grand Forks Herald reports (http://bit.ly/1e4q0jL) that Denmark-based LM Wind Power expects to have 570 employees at its North Dakota facility by the end of the year.

Largest Coal-Fired Plant In NE To Close By 2017

October 8, 2013 10:20 am | by Steve LeBlanc, Associated Press | News | Comments

A Massachusetts power plant recently cited by federal regulators as one of the state's heaviest polluters is planning to shut down. Owners of the coal-fired Brayton Point Power Station in Somerset filed papers Monday indicating the plant will no longer provide power to the region's electricity grid when it is retired as of May 2017.

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Water Injection Pump For Damaged Fukushima Reactor Halts

October 7, 2013 9:53 am | News | Comments

Tokyo Electric Power Co. said that a pump to inject water into one of the severely damaged reactors at the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant halted Monday, possibly due to a problem at a power switchboard. The halt occurred at around 9:47 a.m. But cooling of the No. 1 reactor immediately resumed through a backup pump, the utility known as TEPCO said.

Solvay Buys U.S. Chemical Firm In $1.3B Deal

October 7, 2013 9:15 am | News | Comments

Belgian chemical company Solvay says it's buying privately-held U.S. firm Chemlogics for $1.3 billion to strengthen its position in the market servicing the fast-growing oil and gas industry. Solvay SA said Monday the acquisition, expected to close by the end of the year, will enable it to take advantage of the U.S. energy sector's dynamic growth.

Massive Rig Arrives At S.C. Wind Turbine Center

October 4, 2013 2:08 pm | by Bruce Smith, Associated Press | News | Comments

Moving slowly on a floating crane and a barge, two key parts for what will be the world's largest wind turbine test unit arrived in North Charleston on Thursday. A four-story tall gearbox and a giant steel connecting ring in a mammoth box were brought down the Cooper Rover to Clemson University's Wind Turbine Drive Train Testing Facility.

Overflowing Tank Cause Of New Leak At Fukushima

October 3, 2013 8:04 am | by Mari Yamaguchi, Associated Press | News | Comments

Another day, another radioactive-water spill. The operator of the meltdown-plagued Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant says at least 430 liters (110 gallons) spilled when workers overfilled a storage tank without a gauge that could have warned them of the danger.

Canadian Solar Completes Sale Of 2 Plants

October 2, 2013 8:03 am | News | Comments

Canadian Solar has closed on the sale of two of its solar power plants to energy infrastructure company TransCanada Corp. The solar company said Wednesday that the two Canadian plants, Brockville 2 and Burritts Rapids, are valued at more than $92.2 million.

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Wave Of Jellyfish Shuts Down Swedish Nuke Reactor

October 1, 2013 1:29 pm | by Gary Peach, Associated Press | News | Comments

By Tuesday, the pipes had been cleaned of the jellyfish and engineers were preparing to restart the reactor, which at 1,400 megawatts of output is the largest boiling-water reactor in the world, said Anders Osterberg, a spokesman for OKG, the plant operator.

Ohio: Shale Drillers Must Report Chemicals Locally

September 30, 2013 1:59 pm | News | Comments

Ohio officials notified companies this month that a federal chemical disclosure law trumps a 2001 state law requiring that the information only be filed with the Ohio Department of Natural Resources, The Columbus Dispatch reported Monday (http://bit.ly/16YbGnU ). The law took effect Sept. 21.

General Electric: Back To The Lab

September 30, 2013 10:26 am | by Tom McNamara and Erika Marsillac | Blogs | Comments

General Electric (GE), in addition to being one of the world’s largest corporations, is also considered to be one of its last true conglomerates. What started out from humble beginnings in Thomas Edison’s work shop in New Jersey has grown into a multinational behemoth. While most famous for its light bulbs that bring “good things to light,” many people don’t realize that for much of the last decade, GE was basically a bank.

IKEA Starts Selling Solar Panels For Homes

September 30, 2013 8:06 am | by Malin Rising, Associated Press | News | Comments

Swedish flat-pack furniture giant IKEA will start selling residential solar panels at its stores in Britain, the first step in its plan to bring renewable energy to the mainstream market worldwide.The company started selling solar panels made by China's Hanergy in its store in Southampton on Monday.

'Energy Corridor' Concept Pushed In North Dakota

September 26, 2013 8:05 am | by James MacPherson, Associated Press | News | Comments

Dalyrmple and Allete Inc. officials announced the concept on Wednesday at the state Capitol in Bismarck. The idea is to establish a right of way adjacent to Allete's existing electric transmission line from in western North Dakota to Duluth, Minn., where such things as oil and natural gas could be shipped to other markets.

Attempts To Link Fukushima, Hiroshima Upset Some

September 26, 2013 8:00 am | by Yuri Kageyama, AP Business Writer | News | Comments

Many in this city, where the world's first atomic-bomb attack killed tens of thousands, are distressed by efforts to connect their suffering to the tsunami-triggered meltdowns at the Fukushima Dai-ichi nuclear plant.       

Nation's Largest Wind Farm Proposed For West Texas

September 25, 2013 10:49 am | News | Comments

Tri Global Energy LLC announced plans for Hale Community Energy on Tuesday. The vast wind farm would extend from Abernathy over much of eastern Hale County on land Tri Global says is controlled by more than 340 owners and has more than 450 shareholders.

Suntech: Court Orders Solar Projects Seized

September 23, 2013 2:13 pm | News | Comments

Suntech Power Holdings Co. Ltd. said Monday that an Italian court issued a ruling to seize more solar projects that received investments from Global Solar Fund SCA. The court also ordered the seizure of tariffs paid to private companies that got investments from Global Solar, Suntech said.

Pollution Rule Hurts Coal, Helps Other Sources

September 23, 2013 8:11 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer | News | Comments

The rule proposed by the Obama administration Friday will have little effect on the mix of power sources and electricity prices anytime soon because it only applies to new power plants and is likely to be challenged in court. Even so, market forces are already reshaping power markets in the same way the rule will.

5.3-Magnitude Earthquake Hits Japan's Fukushima

September 20, 2013 7:55 am | News | Comments

A 5.3-magnitude earthquake has hit the Japanese prefecture that is home to the nuclear power plant crippled in the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami. The Japanese news agency Kyodo News reported that the plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power Co., observed no abnormality in radiation or equipment after the quake.

BASF Buying Verenium For About $51.2M

September 20, 2013 7:52 am | News | Comments

Verenium focuses on developing and selling high-performance enzymes used in food and fuel markets. BASF is a diversified company whose products range from chemicals, plastics and performance and crop protection products to oil and gas.        

Poet Set To Open Iowa Plant Early Next Year

September 20, 2013 7:43 am | News | Comments

It's the first Poet plant that will make ethanol fuel from materials such as leaves, corn cobs and cornstalks, and the Argus Leader reports (http://argusne.ws/1bvd5ZF) Hartig says officials expect "a few surprises" when they start up the plant.   

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