Friday, September 28, 2012

Bank of America Corp. agrees to pay for settling for Merill Lynch Co.


Bank of America Corp. is the second largest bank in U.S. according to the assets. The bank has agreed to pay $2.34 billion to settle with the investors. The investors lost money when the lender purchased Merill Lynch Co.

Spending by U.S. consumers stagnated after it was adjusted for inflation


Spending by U.S. consumers stagnated after it was adjusted for inflation. Household purchases rose just by 0.5 % . However inflation was about 0.4%. This means that the increment was just about 0.1%. This figures matched the estimates of the economists. 

Nike and other U.S. stocks drop as investors wait for stress test data from Spanish banks


The stock prices in U.S dropped after people are keenly waiting to see the results of the stress tests of Spanish banks. Share prices of Nike Inc. dropped by 3.9 % as the future orders dropped as compared to the analysts estimates.

Climate Secretary Ed Davey Calls on EU to Make 'Major Steps'


Climate Secretary Ed Davey Calls on EU to Make 'Major Steps'
UK climate secretary Ed Davey is calling on European leaders to make big strides at this year's UN climate change summit in Doha, and reiterated his desire to see the 2020 emissions cut target rise from 20 to 30 percent.
"Doha is unlikely to be an epoch-making event -- but it needs to be a significant step in taking the Durban platform forward," Davey said, in a speech at Chatham House on 11 July.
The Durban Platform, which was agreed upon at the end of 2011, will see world governments commit to legally-binding emission targets from 2020. It will also see an extension of the current Kyoto protocol and a yearly Green Climate Fund for poor countries.
The nations have agreed to work towards a comprehensive global agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The plan will be completed in 2015, and ratified in 2020.
He also said that that he wants the meeting in Doha, Qatar, to produce a second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. Plus, the summit should see progress on climate finance, carbon capture and storage, renewables, action to reduce deforestation, and action to bring greenhouse gases like hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) into the Montreal Protocol.
In his speech, Davey stressed that he wants to see a diplomatic push to get Poland to adopt the EU's 30 percent emissions target. "They've set out their concerns to us; now we need to work together find ways to address them," he said.
"That's why I am meeting the Polish Minister in London. And actually, the message for Poland is the same as for the rest of the EU: 30 percent is doable, it's desirable; so let's find a way to make it work for everyone."
Addressing the economics of going green, Davey said, "Too often, we are told that those who go low-carbon first will sacrifice their competitiveness. This is misleading and dangerous. The real danger is not going green, but being outpaced by our competitors."
He also stated that, "around the world, the countries who are most competitive are the ones who are investing the most in low-carbon." The secretary's full speech is available online.
SOURCE: Wired.co.uk,

Dirty Work Made Clean – New Air Emissions Management White Paper!


Picture this scenario: three facilities - two operating under Title V that are major sources of NOx emissions; situated in the second most populated urban area in the United States and one of the smoggiest; heavily regulated by state air quality control agencies; having to comply with stringent monitoring of gases and chemicals on a daily basis; tracking all environmental data in a dated and inefficient Access database.
Sounds like a tough situation, right? The Los Angeles World Airports, LAWA , comprised of three airports was faced with this scenario before switching to a centralized and automated data tracking and monitoring system for environmental compliance. Their new system now successfully tracks daily use of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) in 12 different construction and maintenance shops, 13 different applicable compliance rules, approximately 180 categories and VOC limits and 600+ products.

Gain full access to LAWA's project implementation and learn more about how they were able to achieve greater: 

·    Accountability by tracking user entries

·    Consistency and reduction of data entry errors by using templates 

·     Intelligence by applying roll-up calculations 

·    Visibility by generating reports 


Sent by Enviance

Let’s Save Paper Towels! Save paper towels and help save forests! Here are some tips



Let’s Save Paper Towels! Save paper towels and help save forests! Here are some tips
Tip #1 Shake off excess water and pull out only one towel at a time
Tip #2 Use the towel to the fullest before pulling out another one
Tip #3 Put any unused and clean towels on top of bin or carry them to your desk


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Aitik and Goliath: A Volvo FH16’s Giant Challenge


Aitik and Goliath: A Volvo FH16’s Giant Challenge

In the Bible, the mighty warrior Goliath is described as being “six cubits and a span” tall. But this is nothing compared with the ¬Goliath that rules over the Aitik opencast mine in northern Sweden – a Volvo FH16, which pulls 500 tonnes of copper ore out of the depths of the mountain every day of the year. 

To look out over the grey terraces of the immense Aitik opencast mine in the Swedish Arctic is a breathtaking experience. At 3km long, 1.1km wide, and 425m deep, Aitik is one of Europe’s largest copper mines – and it’s still growing. “I’m really lucky to be able to work here and experience all this. It’s a special environment,” says truck driver Gustav Nilsson.
A recent expansion of the mine included an entirely new way of transporting copper concentrate – a job that is handled by Gällivare Frakt, a logistics firm owned by Nilsson’s father and uncle, Ingemar and Kurt Nilsson. To manage this mammoth task, the company invested in Goliath – a custom-built 540hp Volvo FH16. Fully loaded, Goliath weighs in at 144 tonnes. “The truck operates smoothly and effectively. It’s a delight to drive,” says Gustav. 

Gällivare Frakt transports all the copper concentrate mined in Aitik, which means every day Goliath carries 500 tonnes between the dressing plant and the terminal. From that raw material, about 46,000 tonnes of copper are produced per year. In addition, Goliath transports about 25 tonnes of silver and 1.3 tonnes of gold annually. With copper currently costing around SEK 58,000 per tonne, this means Goliath transports copper worth about SEK 2.7 billion a year. 
Goliath’s daily route is an 8km stretch between the dressing plant and the terminal where the copper concentrate is unloaded. Gustav weighs the empty vehicle then drives into the long, narrow corridor where the copper concentrate is loaded. The hatches on the wagons are opened and the copper concentrate pours into the truck from above. Controlling the truck remotely, Gustav moves the vehicle to distribute the load evenly. “It’s incredibly smooth – a bit like a computer game,” he says with a smile. 

The copper concentrate fills the hall with a smell somewhere between seaweed and snuff – a smell associated with money by the people in this area known as Malmfälten (the ore fields). “It’s what we live on up here. The mines are incredibly important for us,” says Gustav. 
Loading completed, he returns to his cab, places his hand on the I-Shift control lever, and starts the vehicle. Leaning back in the driver’s seat, he explains how simple his job has become with the new truck and facilities. “You hardly feel you’re carrying 100 tonnes. The road is wide and it’s only us using this route,” he says. 
Working in the Aitik mine is not always pleasant, however, as the dressing plant is exposed to the biting Arctic winds. “The temperature in winter can be minus 30 degrees Celsius, and the wind blows all year long,” says Gustav. “It’s a harsh climate.” 

To unload, Gustav drives the truck into the depot, folds down the support legs, and tips out the load, firstly from the trailer and then the truck. Powerful vibrators then shake out every last bit of the copper concentrate. 
The new truck, combined with the new loading and tipping system, has helped mine-owner Boliden achieve significant increases in production. Last year, 31.5m tonnes of ore were produced. “We chose an engine with an output of 540 horsepower, to match the design of the road,” says Ingemar Nilsson. “The gradient is low from the dressing plant to the terminal, and we return with an empty truck.”

Things have changed since he started driving trucks at the mine in 1971. “When you get into this truck, you feel like you are floating on air compared with the first truck we drove,” he says. “It’s like changing from a wheelbarrow to sitting on a cloud. There have been major technical developments, and it’s a question of making every tonne cheaper.” 
Gustav Nilsson is the third generation of his family to drive trucks here, starting with his grandfather. His father and uncle set up their haulage company in 1988, and it was only natural that Gustav would follow in their footsteps. He started driving loading machines at age 16 and, when he turned 18, he obtained his driving licence for heavy-duty trucks.
If everything goes according to plan, Gustav will eventually take over the business. “We are old and he is the future,” says Ingemar. “We hope that these men of the future manage to keep going for as many years as we have.”
So Gustav and Goliath should be taking on the mountain together for many years to come. “I like my work. It’s special,” says Gustav. “There’s a great atmosphere, and virtually all my friends work here. Boliden is investing aggressively, so this is a really good place to work.” 

[1033 words]

Facts Goliath Volvo FH16
• Engine developing 540 horsepower
• Volvo I-Shift 
• Air suspension on both the truck and trailer 
• Reinforced axles
• The truck and trailer have side-tipping copper concentrate holders 
• The vehicle combination has a total of 36 tyres
• The trailer has five 14-tonne axles
• During loading, the truck is manoeuvred using Recodrive – a system that makes it possible to control the truck remotely 

Facts Aitik opencast mine
The mine and dressing plant started operating in 1968. Aitik is Europe’s largest opencast mine, and one of Europe’s largest copper mines. It is also a large producer of gold and silver. In 2011, 31.5 million tonnes of ore were mined. On 31 August 2010, new facilities for dressing, ore production and outgoing deliveries were inaugurated, which represents one of the largest industrial investments in Sweden in recent years. The Swedish metals company Boliden has invested more than SEK 6 billion in stepping up the rate of production and extending the life of the mine. The new dressing plant deals with the production of copper, gold and silver. The project began in 2006, and the company is hoping to double production to 36 million tonnes of ore a year by 2014.

Tracking electrical equipment for environmental regulatory purposes and internal management is a fundamental obligation for organizations


Tracking electrical equipment for environmental regulatory purposes and internal management is a fundamental obligation for organizations. 

However, more often than not, organizations use printed labels to track limited data or systems that don't work together: it's a challenge to have fast and accurate insight into equipment processing, storage, disposal or reuse information.

Sound familiar? Keep Reading!

Read our new white paper and learn more about how a company designed and implemented a cradle-to-grave system to better manage electrical equipment in its central maintenance yard. From receiving new equipment to updating, moving, consolidating or shipping existing equipment, the organization is now able to ensure data compliance with regulatory time frames. 

Read about other achieved benefits:

· Inventory integrity
· Auditable and verifiable data
· Personnel efficiency - reduce stress and time to perform tasks

By Enviance.

Exxon Mobil Corp. and OAO Rosneft are planning to drill near Kara Sea. Kara sea is extremely remote and the Soviets used it as an atomic waste dump


Exxon Mobil Corp. and OAO Rosneft are planning to drill near Kara Sea. Kara sea is extremely remote and the Soviets used it as an atomic waste dump. It is a part of the Arctic waters. The environmental group have asked to clean up the area before any exploration can be taken there.

Southeast Asia Explores Synergies Between Environmental Conservation & Disposal of Counterfeit Goods


Government representatives from Cambodia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Viet Nam and representatives from the private sector held the first Regional Workshop on the Disposal of Counterfeit Goods for the Judiciary, Law Enforcement Officials and Environmental Officers organised by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in cooperation with the OzonAction Programme of the United Nations Environment Programme – Regional Office for Asia and the Pacific (UNEP ROAP). Also invited were resource persons from UNEP International Environmental Technology Centre (IETC), WCO RILO A/P, WCO ROCB A/P, US Embassy in Thailand, IPR Business Partnership, New Zealand), and REACT from The Netherlands.
The two-day meeting raised awareness and built the capacity of governments on creating and implementing environmentally-friendly methods of disposal and destruction of counterfeit goods that may contain harmful substances and hazardous wastes such as ozone-depleting substances (ODS) and electronic wastes (e-wastes). In addition, the workshop further encouraged cooperation and collaboration between public and private sector to dispose of the said goods in an environmentally friendly way and provided an opportunity to exchange information on Intellectual Property Rights (IPR).
―This workshop is the first of its kind and is a start of an innovative and mutually supportive partnership that the two agencies - UNEP and WIPO - hope to cultivate in Asia towards our common interest for the protection of our people and their businesses and upmost for the care of our environment,‖ said Young-Woo Park, Regional Director and Representative for Asia and the Pacific, UNEP ROAP.
―While each country is responsible for ensuring sound management of waste, more national and international cooperation and additional efforts are required now more than ever to strengthen such capacities through partnerships, technical assistance and exchange of best practices and experiences,‖ Dr. Park added.
The partnership between UNEP and WIPO at the Summit with the Private Sector on Trade in Ozone Depleting Substances, in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia in June 2011, afforded the two UN agencies a starting point for exploring the possibilities for collaboration in assisting with capacity-building programmes for Asia.
―It is our mandate to work with organisations and the private sector to combat counterfeiting and piracy through education, awareness raising, cooperation and information sharing. We share concerns with UNEP on possible environmental consequences regarding the disposal of IP infringing goods and look forward to further cooperate with UNEP in order to identify environmentally friendly solutions in this respect,‖ stated Louise Van Greunen, Director, Building Respect for Intellectual Property Division, WIPO.
Asia is a major source and destination of counterfeit goods like electronics, apparel, medicines and even chemicals like ODS, and a challenge faced often by governments is what to do with seized counterfeit goods. As governments have begun to phase out ODS under the Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer, the supply of these chemicals has become more restricted. Consequently, this has led to the illegal trade of ODS by mislabeling banned chemicals as alternatives.
The government of Thailand recognizes the importance of respecting intellectual property to build the confidence for creators, entrepreneurs, right owners, national and international investors and traders. In her speech at the opening of the meeting yesterday, Kulanee Issadisai, Deputy Director General of the Department of Intellectual Property (DIP) of Thailand said, ―As a consequence, the DIP and relevant agencies have destroyed 80,000 items of counterfeit and pirated goods worth approximately 182 million baht on 29 March 2012.‖
The case of Thailand and other examples and experiences on destruction methods of counterfeit goods from both developed and developing countries were presented and discussed in the meeting. The experience of Nepal in the destruction project for seized chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) through voluntary carbon markets provides an opportunity for monetization of climate co-benefits associated with destruction of high ozone-depleting potential (ODP) and high global warming potential (GWP) gases, especially CFCs.
SOURCE: UNEP OzonAction

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lethal Gas Site Close to Houses, Museum


PLANS are being made to fumigate logs at a Spotswood site - between Scienceworks and Newport homes - with a lethal gas banned in many OECD countries.
Container Fumigation Services has already set up its methyl bromide operation at 407Douglas Parade, about 250metres from the edge of Newport's residential area.
The company says it is fumigating offsite pending the result of a planning application to Hobsons Bay Council.
Methyl bromide is a colourless, odourless pesticide that has been linked to death in humans and and has phased out by other nations under an international protocol on ozone-depleting substances.
The state government compulsorily acquired CFS's former land at 1 Joseph Road, Footscray, for the Regional Rail Link. It's understood the company received government support to move to Hobsons Bay.
Regional Rail Link Authority deputy director Amanda Correy said she could not comment on that due to "privacy considerations". Concerned resident Charmian Gaud said there were fears about emissions from the site.
"Not only is its proximity to Newport residential dwellings an issue if carbon monoxide is emitted, but Scienceworks, where children attend every day of the week, is only 250metres from the edge of the site," she said. A report to the council, which forms part of CFS's planning application, states residents living next to the proposed fumigation site may be concerned about methyl bromide "reaching them in quantities that may be harmful".
The report by Sydney-based Peter Meadows, who holds a bachelor of science degree, states the nearest house is 324metres away in Hobson Street.
He stated that in his opinion there would be "no health or safety risk to residents in nearby areas or to workers in the adjacent [Newport Shell] refinery".
In August 2010, the Weekly reported residents were alarmed at plans to use methyl bromide about 200 metres from Altona homes.
Viking Express Transport had subcontracted the then-Footscray-based CFS to treat logs destined for China. The illegal operation, being carried out without a planning permit, was shut down after our exclusive report.
New Zealand's maritime union became part of a coalition against the use of methyl bromide - which is banned in parts of Australia - after six port workers died from motor neurone disease.
Williamstown MP Wade Noonan said he suspected the council would "seek an expert opinion regarding whether the use of methyl bromide poses any risk to nearby residents".
SOURCE: Maribynog Weekly

Cooling Concerns Heating Up


Cooling Concerns Heating Up
In the ramshackle apartment blocks and sooty cement homes that line the dusty roads of urban India, there is a new status symbol on proud display. An air-conditioner has become a sign of entering the middle class in many developing nations, a must-have item for a bride's dowry.
It is cheaper than a car, and arguably more life-changing in the vast equatorial countries of Asia and Africa, where cooling can make it easier for a child to study or a worker to sleep before a factory shift.
But as air-conditioners sprout prodigiously from windows and storefronts across the world, scientists are becoming increasingly alarmed about the impact of the gases on which they run. All are potent agents of global warming.
Air-conditioning sales are growing 20 percent a year in China and India. As middle classes grow, units
become more affordable and temperatures rise, a function of climate change. Many fast-growing cities of Asia are scorching and humid. The potential cooling demands of upwardly mobile Mumbai, India, alone has been estimated to be a quarter of those of the entire United States.
Air-conditioning gases are regulated primarily though a 1987 international treaty called the Montreal Protocol, created to protect the ozone layer.
It has reduced damage to that vital shield, which blocks cancer-causing ultraviolet rays, by mandating the use of progressively more benign gases. The oldest CFC coolants, which are highly damaging to the ozone layer, have been largely eliminated; and the newest ones, which are used widely in industrialized nations, have little or no effect on it.
But these gases have an effect the ozone treaty largely ignores. Pound for pound, they contribute to global warming thousands of times more than does carbon dioxide (CO2), the standard greenhouse gas. The leading scientists in the field have just calculated that if all the equipment entering the world market uses the newest gases currently employed in air-conditioners, up to 27 percent of all global warming will be attributable to those gases by 2050.
So the therapy to cure one global environmental disaster is now seeding another.
"There is precious little time to do something, to act," said Stephen Andersen, co-chairman of the treaty's technical and economic advisory panel.
Atmospheric concentrations of the gases that replaced CFCs, known as HCFCs, which are mildly damaging to the ozone, are still rising rapidly at a time when many scientists anticipated they should have been falling as the treaty is phasing them out. The levels of these gases, the mainstay of booming air-conditioning sectors in the developing world, have more than doubled in the past two decades to record highs, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).
And concentrations of newer, ozone-friendly gases, known as HFCs, also are rising meteorically, because industrialized countries began switching to them a decade ago.
All new air-conditioners in the U.S. now use an HFC coolant called 410a, labeled "environmentally friendly" because it spares the ozone. But its warming effect is 2,100 times that of CO2. The treaty cannot control the rise of these coolants because it regulates only ozone-depleting gases.
The treaty timetable requires dozens of developing countries, including China and India, to begin switching next year from HCFCs to gases with less impact on the ozone. But the U.S. and other wealthy nations are prodding them to choose ones that do not warm the planet.
For the past week in Rio de Janeiro, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton has been attending the United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, also known as Rio+20, where proposals to gradually eliminate HFCs for their warming effect are on the provisional agenda.
But she faces resistance because the U.S. is essentially telling the other nations to do what it has not: to leapfrog this generation of coolants. The trouble is, there are currently no readily available commercial ozone-friendly alternatives for air-conditioners that do not also have a strong warming effect - though there are many on the horizon.
Rising demand
The 25-year-old Montreal Protocol is widely regarded as the most successful environmental treaty ever, essentially eliminating the use of CFC coolants. Under its terms, wealthier countries shift away from each harmful gas first, and developing countries follow a decade or more later so that replacement technologies can be perfected and fall in price.
Concentrations of CFC-12, which had been growing rapidly since the 1960s, have tapered off since 2003, thanks to the treaty's strict phaseout schedule. In 2006, NASA scientists concluded that the ozone layer was on the mend.
But that sense of victory has been eclipsed by the potentially disastrous growth in emissions from the newer air-conditioning gases. While a healthier ozone layer itself leads to some warming, far more warming results from the tendency of these coolant gases to reflect back heat radiating off the Earth.
When the treaty set its rules in the mid-1980s, global warming was poorly understood, the cooling industry was anchored in the West, and demand for cooling was minuscule in developing nations.
That has changed.
Jayshree Punjabi, a 40-year-old from Surat, was shopping for an air-conditioner at Vijay Sales in Mumbai on a recent afternoon. She bought her first one 10 years ago and now has three. "Now almost every home in Surat has more than one," she said. "The children see them on television and demand them."
Refrigeration also is essential for these countries' shifting food supplies. "When I was a kid in Delhi, veggies came from vendors on the street; now they all come from the supermarket," said Atul Bagai, an Indian citizen who is the U.N. ozone program's coordinator for South Asia.
In 2011, 55 percent of new air-conditioning units were sold in the Asia Pacific region and the industry's production has moved there. Last year, China built 70 percent of the world's household air-conditioners, for domestic use and export.
The most common coolant gas is HCFC-22. In 2010, China produced about seven times the amount of that gas as the U.S.
With inexpensive HCFC-22 from Asia flooding the market, efforts to curb or eliminate its use have been undercut, even in the U.S. For example, although U.S. law now forbids the sale of new air-conditioners containing HCFC, stores have started selling empty components that can be filled with the cheap gas after installation, enabling its continued use.
Trying to adapt
During a four-day meeting in Montreal in April, about 200 representatives attending the protocol's executive committee meeting clashed over how to adapt to the changing circumstances. Should they be concerned with ozone protection, climate change or both?
As developing countries submitted plans to reduce reliance on HCFCs in order to win U.N. financing for the transition, delegations from richer nations rejected proposals that relied on the newer HFCs, because of their warming effect. Canada raised a proposal that countries should use only compounds with low impact on global warming.
Phasing out HFCs by incorporating them into the treaty is one of the most cost-effective ways to reduce global warming, said Durwood Zaelke, president of the Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development.
But India, China and Brazil are adamant this would slow development and cost too much. All the acceptable substitutes under development for air-conditioners are either under patent, demand new equipment or require extensive new regulation and testing procedures.
"This appears simple, but it's not standard, and it imposes a new burden," said Wang Yong, of the Chinese delegation.
For their part, manufacturers are reluctant to hurry to market new technologies that are better for the climate, until they get a stronger signal of which ones countries will adopt, said Mack McFarland, an atmospheric scientist with DuPont.
Othmar Schwank, a Swiss environmental consultant who has advised the U.N., said: "In many countries, these targets will be very difficult to achieve. With appliances growing in India and China, everyone is making money, so they want to delay this as much as possible." The Montreal Protocol originally gave the developing countries until 2040 to get rid of HCFCs, but its governing board accelerated that timetable in 2007. "We saw consumption going through the roof," said Markus Wypior, of the German government agency GIZ Proklima.
The new schedule says developing countries must "stabilize" consumption of HCFCs by Jan. 1, and reduce it by 10 percent by 2015.
But the industry is growing so fast that meeting the targets, which were based on consumption in 2009-10, would now require a 40 percent reduction from current use in India. Many countries, including India, are trying to satisfy their 2013 mandate with one-time fixes that do not involve the cooling sector - for example, replacing HCFC-22 with another gas in making foam. Meeting the next reduction target, in 2015, is expected to be much harder.
In the meantime, the Montreal Protocol has started using its limited tools to prod developing countries moving from HCFCs toward climate-friendly solutions, offering a 25 percent bonus payment for plans that create less warming. Experts say that is not sufficient incentive for the drastic changes needed in machine design, servicing, manufacturing and regulation.
Promising technologies wait, stalled in the wings. In China and a few other countries, room air-conditioners using hydrocarbons - which cause little warming or ozone depletion - are already coming off assembly lines in small numbers but have not yet been approved for sale, in part because the chemicals are flammable.
Yet in Europe, refrigerators that cool with hydrocarbons have been in use for years, and some companies in the U.S., such as Pepsi and Ben and Jerry's, have recently converted in-store coolers from HFCs to hydrocarbons as part of sustainability plans.
Said Wypior, whose agency is trying to promote climate-friendly air-conditioning industries in India and China: "The technologies are available. They're well known. They're proven - though not at scale. So why aren't we moving?"
SOURCE: New York Times

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Equivalent Carbon Price for Synthetic Greenhouse Gases


Under the Australian Government's Clean Energy Future Plan, synthetic greenhouse gases listed under the Kyoto Protocol have an equivalent carbon price applied through the Ozone Protection and Synthetic Greenhouse Gas Management legislation. Gases covered will include hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons (excluding gases produced from aluminium smelting) and sulfur hexafluoride, and any equipment or products which contain these gases.
These arrangements commenced on 1 July 2012 with a levy applied at the point of import or manufacture.
The price per tonne of synthetic greenhouse gas is based on the carbon price and the global warming potential for each gas relative to carbon dioxide. Applying an equivalent carbon price to synthetic greenhouse gases will create an incentive to reduce emissions by placing a price tag on every tonne of synthetic greenhouse gases. The equivalent carbon price will encourage businesses and customers to:
increase recycling of synthetic greenhouse gases
improve servicing of existing equipment to reduce leakage of refrigerant gases
a switch to purpose-designed equipment using lower global warming potential (GWP) refrigerants, only where this is appropriate and meets relevant safety standards and legislative requirements
innovation by manufacturers to develop safe, low GWP refrigerants and suitably designed equipment for those refrigerants.
From 1 July 2013, incentives will be provided for the destruction of waste synthetic greenhouse gases and ozone depleting substances, recovered at end of life. Further information will be released as part of a consultation process commencing in August 2012.
SOURCE: Australian Government website

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Berlin Air show: Airbus and Boeing are finding it difficult to sell A380 and 747-8


In Berlin Air show one of the things that become obvious is that Airbus and Boeing are finding it difficult to sell A380 and 747-8. They are huge aircrafts and each can carry about 500 passengers. 

Cloud computing probably derived its named from the cloud which was used to represent Internet in flowcharts and diagrams. It has three components , IaaS, Paas, Saas.

Cloud computing probably derived its named from the cloud which was used to represent Internet in flowcharts and diagrams. This domain has three essential components: Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS).

France should be carrying out the experimental drilling of shale oil and natural gas. The country has anti-fracking law.


France should be carrying out the experimental drilling of shale oil and natural gas. The country has anti-fracking law. The energy lobby of the country is trying hard to keep this door open.

Stuart Smith who is the lawyer for hundreds of properties on the Gulf Coast has sent a letter to the U.S. magistrate asking him not to approve the BP Plc. proposed $7.8 billion settlement claim of 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill.


During the last month’s hurricane Isaac large amount of weathered oil and tar were washed up on the shore.  Stuart Smith who is the lawyer for hundreds of properties on the Gulf Coast has sent a letter to the U.S. magistrate asking him not to approve the BP Plc. proposed $7.8 billion settlement claim of 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill. 

Iberdrola SA is the largest utility firm in Spain. The stocks of the company is one of the worst performing utility stock in 2012


Iberdrola SA is the largest utility firm in Spain. The stocks of the company is one of the worst performing utility stock in 2012. The company is planning to cut costs and maintain the dividends. The company is also planning to fight the European government for its tax on nuclear power.

Environmental Working Group has published an online safety and disclosure guide. According to it products by Clorox, SC Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser has received failing grades.


Environmental Working Group has published an online safety and disclosure guide. According to it products by Clorox, SC Johnson and Reckitt Benckiser has received failing grades. 

INSEAD says that sustainability has to become a part of the corporate strategy


INSEAD says that sustainability has to become a part of the corporate strategy. It has been a lingering question in every organization about sustainability if Sustainability can be a central part of Corporate Strategy.

Germany’s top court rejects bids to block the ESM. However the court has put in certain conditions to Germany’s participation.


Germany’s top court rejects bids to block the ESM. However the court has put in certain conditions to Germany’s participation. After the ruling the stock markets across the world rose. 

VA Tech Wabag Ltd. makes water treatment plants in India and is the largest player in India. The company expects the sales to grow by at least 20%.


VA Tech Wabag Ltd. makes water treatment plants in India and is the largest player in India. The company expects the sales to grow by at least 20%. The company has received orders from French cities, Qatar and Reliance Industries Ltd. 

The Federal Reserve may announce QE3 tomorrow with open ended bond buying. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke along with his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee are not happy with the labor market and high unemployment


The Federal Reserve may announce QE3 tomorrow with open ended bond buying. Chairman Ben S. Bernanke along with his colleagues on the Federal Open Market Committee are not happy with the labor market and high unemployment.  Employment has been over 8 % for 43 months.

Successful field tests open the door to the future transport system


Successful field tests open the door to the future transport system 

Trucks that impose hardly any load on the environment because their carbon emissions are virtually zero. Could this be a future scenario? Well, in actual fact, Volvo Trucks is already running successful field tests with vehicles powered by bio-DME, a fuel that can be produced from biomass both cost and energy efficiently. For the transport industry, this could reduce dependence on oil and thereby reduce the environmental impact. 

Since last autumn, ten specially adapted Volvo trucks have been operating on Swedish roads. They do not stand out in the traffic – they do not travel more slowly and they do not look any different – but they are revolutionary. The reason is that they are powered by bio-DME, a fuel that is produced from biomass – in other words, renewable, totally natural raw materials – which reduces carbon emissions by 95 per cent compared with diesel. The field tests have now reached the halfway point and the results so far have both met and exceeded expectations. 

“We have, for example, demonstrated both that the technology works in practice, when it comes to both the production of fuel and trucks in traffic, and that the infrastructure with filling stations in different parts of Sweden works effectively. The test results bode well for the future,” says Lars Mårtensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks. 

The field tests, which are being conducted in collaboration with companies including Preem and the Swedish company, Chemrec, which is responsible for fuel production, has aroused interested worldwide – an unexpected bonus, according to Lars Mårtensson.

“We have shown that it’s possible to take an idea from the laboratory to full-scale operation and we have also successfully spread this knowledge all over the world. There is now a clear-cut interest from countries including China, Russia and the USA and they are markets with huge potential,” he says.

Bio-DME, dimethyl ether produced from biomass, is a liquid, so-called second-generation biofuel that can be made from wood or by-products and waste from agricultural production. 
“According to the calculations, bio-DME could replace up to 50 per cent of the diesel that is currently being consumed by commercial vehicles in Europe within the next 20 years. We have a chance to make a fantastic contribution to help the environment,” he adds. 

The bio-DME that is being used in the Volvo Trucks field tests is made from black liquor, a by-product from the production of pulp. The black liquor is actually used in the flow of energy that powers the pulp mill. Chemrec’s process takes part of the black liquor, gasifies it and turns it into usable fuel which can currently, during the on-going field tests, be obtained at four filling stations in different parts of Sweden. 

To date, the drivers who are operating the trucks in the field tests have reported that everything is as expected, which is a major success for the project – filling up with biofuel and driving should not be more complicated in any way or constitute a disadvantage in terms of performance. Yngve Holm is transporting pulpwood in northern Sweden in a DME-adapted Volvo FH 440. He is one of the test drivers and he has also reported a number of advantages, such as lower noise levels and, first and foremost, environmental aspects. 
“I can drive about 650 kilometres on one tank and the truck runs just as well as it does on any other fuel. It is actually much quieter, both internally and externally.” 

He has been participating in the field tests since last September and so far he has driven 40,000 kilometres. He has also been asked many questions about the new fuel. 
“Many people are curious and want to know how it works. I usually say that it works really well. The most important thing is that we are doing something for the environment and the future and that’s good for the soul, as I see it.” 

The bio-DME he is using is produced just a stone’s throw from the filling station he uses, at the Chemrec plant in Piteå in northern Sweden, next to the Smurfit-Kappa Kraftliner paper mill. This plant is the first of its kind in the world. The process takes place in a high structure with no walls, consisting entirely of stainless pipes, stairs and tanks that make up a complicated system. Chemrec has quite simply connected itself to the existing mill infrastructure and set up another production line at the mill. It is then able to demonstrate on a small scale a highly cost- and environmentally-effective method for producing bio-DME. The capacity is approximately four tonnes of bio-DME a day.

“Bio-DME is produced in three stages. After collecting the black liquor from the pulp mill, we convert it into gas using pure oxygen and thereby produce syngas, a gas that can be synthesised. We wash the gas and then convert it to bio-DME. After that, the quality is checked and the fuel is transferred to a large tank near the mill for storage. The mill is then compensated with biomass known as forest slash, which is branches and the tops of trees that are left over when forests are cut down – a highly effective form of energy exchange,” explains Ingvar Landälv, technical director at Chemrec.

Bio-DME production is still in its infancy, but the potential is enormous.
“At the present time, we are only using one per cent of the black liquor produced at the mill. If we can use our technology to convert all the black liquor to bio-DME, it would be able to power around 2,500 trucks, so we envisage incredible potential,” says Ingvar Landälv. “The black liquor capacity in Sweden alone corresponds to about 20 mills like this one.” 

“We are focusing on industrialising our product together with the pulp industry both in Sweden and abroad,” says Max Jönsson, managing director of Chemrec. 

A full-scale investment in bio-DME, using Chemrec’s production technology, Volvo Trucks’ automotive engineering and a fully developed filling station network, requires substantial funding. 

“To realise their true potential and help to create the conditions for a climate-neutral transport system, the rules for the second generation of biofuels need to be set. We have shown that the technology works. The ball is now in the decision-makers’ court. It is up to them to create the conditions for this kind of production,” concludes Max Jönsson.

Facts about bio-DME
As a fuel in a diesel engine, bio-DME produces the same level of efficiency and lower noise levels compared with a traditional engine. Compared with diesel, bio-DME generates no less that 95 per cent fewer carbon emissions. Combustion also produces extremely low levels of particulates and nitrogen oxide. Taken as a whole, this makes bio-DME an ideal fuel for diesel engines. 
DME is a gas, but it is converted into liquid at a pressure of just 5 bar. Handling is uncomplicated and resembles that of liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). DME can be produced from both natural gas and different kinds of biomass. When it is made from biomass, it is called bio-DME.
The production of DME from natural gas is already substantial. DME then has the same positive characteristics as a fuel in diesel engines, but its environmental impact is not as low. 
Facts about the bio-DME project
The bio-DME project demonstrates all the aspects of the vehicle fuel bio-DME, from renewable forest raw material to use in heavy-duty trucks. The gasification unit in Piteå is being run by Chemrec in collaboration with the pulp producer, Smurfit Kappa Kraftliner, while Volvo Trucks is conducting field tests with ten DME-powered trucks, together with specially selected transport and logistics companies, in 2011-2012. Total, one of the world’s largest oil companies, is responsible for the global standardisation of DME as a vehicle fuel and the adaptation of its lubrication properties to enable it to function in engines, for example. Other companies included in the project include Haldor Topsøe, Preem, Delphi and ETC, with grants from the Swedish Energy Agency and the EU.

Facts about Chemrec’s technology
It was developed as a way of extracting additional energy and heat from black liquor in order to improve the energy produced by pulp production. Black liquor is one of the by-products of this production process and, instead of burning it, it is gasified and converted into a synthetic gas which can then be used to produce dimethyl ether, DME, for example. The plant in Piteå in northern Sweden is the first of its kind in the world and it has the capacity to produce up to four tonnes a day. This only utilises one per cent of the black liquor produced at the mill. The technology could in fact be applied to 100 per cent of it and this would produce enough bio-DME to power 2,500 trucks. 
The black liquor is compensated for with different kinds of biomass, which means that running the mill is still energy and cost effective.
Chemrec’s black liquor technology is just one of a number of production methods and black liquor is not the only raw material that can be used to produce bio-DME.



For further information, please contact: 
Marie Vassiliadis, Volvo Trucks, phone +46 31 322 41 27 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE +46 31 322 41 27 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, e-mail marie.vassiliadis@volvo.com 

Captions

T2012_1110:
Yngve Holm is one of the test drivers in Volvo Trucks’ field tests of bio-DME. He is pleased with the result – a truck that performs very well, is quieter and is virtually carbon neutral. 

T2012_1107:
The Volvo bio-DME truck has been modified and equipped with two tanks which are filled with liquid bio-DME.

T2012_1108:
Yngve Holm is part of the bio-DME chain at two points: he is transporting pulpwood to the pulp mill and he is testing the fuel in the field tests. He can drive about 650 kilometres with a load of 60 tonnes on a full tank. 

T2012_1109:
Pulpwood from the neighbouring forests in Norrland in northern Sweden is transported by truck to the Kappa pulp mill in i Piteå.

T2012_1102:
Quieter than diesel. A truck that is powered by bio-DME is quieter and this can be heard both outside and in the cab. 

T2012_1103:
Every day, 150 trucks carrying pulpwood arrive at the pulp mill. 

T2012_1104:
The pulpwood is lifted into the chipper…

T2012_1105:
… and becomes chips that are used to produce pulp. 

T2012_1095:
Forest slash, branches and the tops of trees, is the name given to the so-called biomass that is used to compensate the mill for the energy it loses when the black liquor is put to another use. Using forest waste makes production more environmentally sustainable. 

T2012_1096:
Black liquor is a by-product that is “left over” when the chips are boiled. In normal circumstances, it is used as a source of energy at the mill, but, in this case, the black liquor is taken to the gasification plant, where it is gasified and converted into bio-DME.

T2012_1097:
Bio-DME production takes place in a closed system, so the only sign that the fuel is being produced is the measurement equipment and computer screens in the control room.

T2012_1098:
Ingvar Landälv is technical director at Chemrec and he is also one of the people who developed this totally unique bio-DME process. 

T2012_1100:
The gasification plant in Piteå is the first of its kind. At the present time, only one per cent of the black liquor produced at the mill is being used, so the development potential is enormous.

T2012_1099:
The tubular bridge is the “navel cord” between the mill and the gasification plant and it supplies the process with black liquor from pulp production. 

T2012_1101:
The black liquor is separated from the pulp in the chip tower at the mill. 

T2012_1112:
Max Jönsson, managing director of Chemrec.

T2010_1059:
Lars Mårtensson, environmental director at Volvo Trucks.

Visit http://www.thenewsmarket.com/volvogroup to access broadcast-standard video about the Volvo Group’s various production plants and products. You can download graphic images in the form of MPEG2 files or order them on Beta SP tape. Registration and video are free to the media.
Images are available in the Volvo Trucks image bank http://images.volvotrucks.com. 
Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,300 dealers and workshops in more than 140 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 16 countries across the globe. In 2011 more than 115,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo´s work is based on the core values quality, safety and environmental care. 

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Beneficios reportados para la Iniciativa Aduanas Verdes (IAV) por parte de las Alertas generadas por el Sistema de Gestión de Riesgo (SGR)


El Sistema de Gestión de Riesgo se ha convertido en una valiosa herramienta para el monitoreo y control de las mercancías que son objeto del comercio internacional y que se encuentran en las listas de los Convenios Ambientales a los que la Dirección General de Aduanas le está dando seguimiento, como son: El Protocolo de Montreal, los Convenios de Rotterdam, Estocolmo, Basilea, Biodiversidad, CITES y Armas Químicas. Desde hace un tiempo atrás se han ido estableciendo cuales son los códigos del Sistema Armonizado que pertenecen a estos productos ambientalmente sensibles. Desde hace dos meses, el SGR ha estado funcionando correctamente y las alertas no han parado de llegar cada vez que un importador hace una declaración con estos códigos.
A la fecha, ya se han producido aproximadamente 200 alertas, o lo mismo es decir, 200 declaraciones de importación, tanto de Baterías o Acumuladores Eléctricos de la Partida 8507, como de Gases Refrigerantes de las Partidas 2903, en su estado Puro, o la 3808 cuando son Mezclas. Estos productos pertenecen al
Convenio de Basilea (Desperdicios y su Movimiento Fronterizo) y el Protocolo de Montreal (Sustancias que Agotan la Capa de Ozono).
Estas alertas se producen tan pronto el Importador hace una declaración y digita una subpartida de un producto ya incluido en el SGR. Esta declaración es verificada a través del Sistema Integrado de Gestión Aduanera (SIGA). Entre los beneficios que este sistema de alerta temprana ha producido, es que, aparte de que verificamos la mercancía antes de que salga de nuestras administraciones, podemos corregir el código arancelario si está mal clasificado; ver si tienen los permisos otorgados por las otras instituciones que son regentes de los Convenios Ambientales; llevar un inventario de las cantidades importadas, siempre que estos productos están sometidas a cuotas; o verificamos si estos importadores están dentro de los sectores que tienen permisos y licencias para la importaciones o exportaciones.
Dos casos se dieron recientemente, uno en Haina Oriental, en relación a unas importaciones de Baterías, que declararon como nuevas, mas in embargo, verificamos que eran usadas y se paró el despacho de esta mercancía. La otra incidencia se produjo en Multimodal Caucedo, con unos Gases Refrigerantes que llegaron declarados como Sustancia Pura, cuando en realidad eran Mezclas. La diferencia está en que ambos productos, aunque sean en esencia lo mismo, un Gas Refrigerante, se clasifican en Partidas diferentes y Capítulos distintos (2903 y 3824).
Esta vigilancia se hace en contacto institucional con el Ministerio de Medio Ambiente, Agricultura, Salud Publica y las Fuerzas Armadas, dependiendo el Acuerdo Ambiental que se le esté dando seguimiento.
Próximamente estaremos incluyendo los códigos arancelarios de los demás Acuerdos Medio Ambientales con la finalidad de fortalecer los controles informáticos, que también están siendo acompañados por la capacitación sobre uso y manejo de los Convenios Ambientales, de nuestro personal en las Administraciones, en compañía del Ministerio de Medio Ambiente y Recursos Naturales.
Fuente: DGA Aduanas

Bayer AG and Nestle SA are some of the companies who are focusing on cutting carbon emissions


Bayer AG and Nestle SA are some of the companies who are focusing on cutting carbon emissions. Various companies are trying to contribute in various forms to the cause of fighting climate change. Big companies are recognizing that various natural events like floods, droughts have serious repercussion on the economic environment. Companies have had to shut down factories because of natural calamities. 

Radio Frequency Treatments Perform Well Against Stored Nut Pests


A group of researchers, led by Washington State University food engineer Juming Tang, continues to make progress on a quick way to treat dry commodities, such as nuts, for storage pests.
Since 2000, they have looked at radio frequency and how it might be a possible alternative to methyl bromide to disinfest nuts and legumes, according to a news release. Other possible methyl bromide alternatives include controlled atmosphere treatments, but they typically require exposure times of several days. Cold storage, conventional heating and irradiation also have drawbacks. Radio frequency treatments harness high-frequency electromagnetic waves to rapidly heat agricultural products and the pests inside. Lethal exposure times are minutes rather than days.
Because the exposure time is relatively short, product quality isn't compromised.
The group has conducted several studies that examined mortality of codling moth, navel orangeworm, Indianmeal moth and cowpea weevil through all life stages.
Their research showed complete insect mortality in 4 to 10 minutes at temperatures of 50-60 degrees Celsius—122-144 Fahrenheit.
The group then expanded the work and validated the treatment for insect control of in-shell walnuts at a large commercial facility in California.
They have since expanded the research to include legumes, raisins and other dry commodities.
Also involved in the work are engineers, entomologists and plant physiologists from the University of Califoria, Davis, and U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service in Washington, Califorina, Texas and Hawaii.
SOURCE: The Grower.com

Friday, September 7, 2012

New I-See from Volvo Trucks cuts haulage firms’ fuel bills


The truck industry is searching high and low for solutions that cut fuel consumption. One method is to use the vehicle’s kinetic energy to propel the truck. Now Volvo Trucks has developed I-See, which operates like an autopilot and takes over gearchanging and utilises gradients to save fuel.

Kinetic energy is the mechanical work needed to reduce an object’s speed to zero. When an object in motion is slowed down, its kinetic energy has to be transformed into some other form of energy. When a vehicle brakes, its kinetic energy is converted into heat. Many manufacturers in the automotive world are now examining solutions for harnessing kinetic energy instead of releasing it as surplus heat. 

“If kinetic energy can be exploited to a greater extent, it may help cut fuel consumption. This will benefit both the environment and the industry’s economy, something that is very important today as fuel costs are becoming an increasingly heavy burden on many haulage firms,” relates Anders Eriksson, product developer at Volvo Trucks. 

And it is precisely this that Volvo Trucks has succeeded in developing with its new I-See solution. The system harnesses the truck’s own kinetic energy to “push” the vehicle up hills. On downhill gradients the same energy is used for acceleration.

Kinetic energy can save 5 per cent
I-See is linked to the transmission’s tilt sensor and obtains information about the topography digitally. The fact that the system is not dependent on maps makes it more dependable since it always obtains the very latest information. I-See can recall about 4000 gradients, corresponding to a distance of 5000 kilometres.

“I-See is an autopilot linked to the truck’s cruise control, taking over and handling gearchanges, throttle and brakes on gradients, ensuring they all operate in the most fuel-efficient way possible. I-See freewheels as much as possible – so on certain stretches of road no fuel is used at all,” explains Hayder Wokil, product manager at Volvo Trucks.

“In this way fuel consumption can be cut by up to 5%. This figure is based on the results of simulations and tests on public roads. I-See requires use of the cruise control, and we know that on average drivers use cruise control about half the time. For a truck in normal operation, covering 140,000 kilometres a year, the saving will be about 1000 litres of fuel annually. This makes a big difference to the haulage firm’s profitability,” says Hayder Wokil. 

Biggest effect on small hills
I-See carries out six different operations to utilise the kinetic energy to the very maximum. For instance, I-See accelerates up hills, remains in a high gear for as long as possible and freewheels on descents to exploit the truck’s weight as a propulsion motor.
“I-See works best in undulating terrain. With moderately long and steep slopes, I-See ensures that you can freewheel for long distances without using the engine,” explains Anders Eriksson, who was responsible for the development of I-See.

“It is this freewheeling capability that makes the system special,” he adds. When the truck rolls freely, virtually no fuel is used. But in order to freewheel, a whole lot of data is required. 
“It imposes high demands on precision. For instance, you have to know whether your speed will drop or increase over the next stretch of road. A gradient of just a few per cent can be the decisive factor,” reveals Anders Eriksson.

Other factors that make a difference are air resistance and the truck’s weight. All told the system has to keep track of and process a lot of information. Many truck drivers who test I-See will recognise the driving style it adopts.

“I-See imitates the driving style of good drivers. They utilise the vehicle’s kinetic energy, accelerate in time and avoid unnecessary gearchanging,” says Hayder Wokil, and continues:
“But unlike a driver, I-See never gets tired – it’s like an autopilot.” 
This allows the driver to focus more on the surrounding traffic and other aspects of the journey. What is more, progress on the road is more relaxed.
“And an alert driver is a better driver. That’s something we know for sure,” says Hayder Wokil.

Anders Eriksson also points out that it is not only fuel that is saved.
“I-See reduces brake and tyre wear, for instance. And that naturally benefits the environment,” he says. 

I-See will become available on the market in 2013.


See a film about I-See on http://www.youtube.com/VolvoTrucks. 


FACTS?
I-See has functions for six different scenarios on a gradient: 

• It accelerates before the incline starts. 
• If you are near the brow of a hill, the system avoids changing gear if possible. Every gearchange means a drop in speed.
• It does not accelerate when approaching a descent, but instead waits and utilises gravity.
• It starts freewheeling ahead of an approaching descent.
• It starts braking well before the downhill slope ends, but: 
• It releases the brakes at the end of the slope to pick up speed ahead of a new ascent.

[842 words]

For further information, please contact: 
Per Nilsson, Media Relations, phone +46 31 323 3349 begin_of_the_skype_highlighting FREE +46 31 323 3349 end_of_the_skype_highlighting, e-mail per.nilsson.pr@volvo.com 


Visit http://www.thenewsmarket.com/volvogroup to access broadcast-standard video about the Volvo Group’s various production plants and products. You can download graphic images in the form of MPEG2 files or order them on Beta SP tape. Registration and video are free to the media.
Images are available in the Volvo Trucks image bank http://images.volvotrucks.com/ .
Volvo Trucks provides complete transport solutions for professional and demanding customers, offering a full range of medium to heavy duty trucks. Customer support is secured via a global network of 2,300 dealers and workshops in more than 140 countries. Volvo trucks are assembled in 16 countries across the globe. In 2011 more than 115,000 Volvo trucks were delivered worldwide. Volvo Trucks is part of the Volvo Group, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of trucks, buses and construction equipment, drive systems for marine and industrial applications, aerospace components and services. The Group also provides solutions for financing and service. Volvo´s work is based on the core values quality, safety and environmental care. 
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