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Archive for the tag “Canada”

Romeo Dallaire says Syria reminds him of Rwanda (Youtube-Clip)

“Retired Canadian general Romeo Dallaire says some of the horrors seen during the Rwandan genocide are being repeated in Syria. The former senator says the situation isn’t being treated with enough “urgency.” (May 31)” (The Canadian Press, 2016)

Press Statement: Minister Dion welcomes formation of South Sudan’s transitional government (29.04.2016)

Machar Kiir

TORONTO, Canada, April 29, 2016 – The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Minister of Foreign Affairs, today issued the following statement:

“Canada welcomes the formation of South Sudan’s Transitional Government of National Unity under the leadership of President Salva Kiir and First Vice-President Riek Machar.

“This is an important step toward national reconciliation in South Sudan. We urge the government to make genuine efforts toward addressing the challenges the country faces.

“Most urgently, every possible step must be made by the national leadership to put an end to persistent conflict across the country and to give humanitarian agencies unfettered access to those in dire need of assistance.

“If South Sudan is to avoid returning to a cycle of violence and impunity, it is crucial for the government and the legislature to move quickly to establish the accountability institutions called for in the 2015 Agreement on the Resolution of the Conflict in the Republic of South Sudan.

“Canada is committed to assisting the Transitional Government of National Unity as it sets out a new path for South Sudan.”

Statement by Canadian High Commissioner in Kenya David Angell on the Ugandan Elections (22.02.2016)

NTV 20.02.2016

Canada congratulates the people of Uganda for holding largely peaceful presidential and parliamentary elections, despite delays in the opening of polls in some regions and other voting irregularities.

We are concerned by the arrest and continued detention of opposition political figures, and the prospect of those actions inciting violence. 

The blackout of social media platforms is troubling given the impact on the right to freedom of speech, particularly as it relates to the democratic process.

We note with regret the preliminary findings of various international election observation missions which highlighted, amongst others, concerns over the transparency and independence of Uganda’s Electoral Commission, and alleged misuse of state resources for campaign financing purposes.

Canada encourages authorities, the government, and opposition leaders to work in collaboration to address these issues, in support of the full rights of all Ugandans and the electoral process.

Mbabazi M7 Besigye

All Canadians in Uganda should limit their movements, avoid demonstrations and large gatherings, follow instructions of local authorities and monitor local news and consult http://travel.gc.ca/destinations/uganda for further advice.

Letter from the South Sudanese Diaspora Accept the Reservations on the IGAD-Plus Peace Deal read by Salva Kiir Mayardit (28.08.2015)

SouthSudanDiasporaLetter2 P1SouthSudanDiasporaLetter2 P2SouthSudanDiasporaLetter2 P3

Ranking of Peace in the East Africa Countries in 2015

East-Africa

First and foremost I will address what the trending and ranking means. What kind of things that the Global Peace Index does and what kind of attributes and recent history means for individual countries. All of this makes violence, homicides, social security, militarization which is part of the evaluation of the scores which makes the Index. The countries that will take on is Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Somalia, Tanzania and Uganda. Which have different histories, though they are close to each other? Why are the numbers so far apart? What makes this? We can wonder. But look through what been said in the report and the numbers.

Last years trend:

“Over the past eight years the average country score deteriorated 2.4 percent, highlighting that on average the world has become slightly less peaceful. However, this decrease in peacefulness has not been evenly spread, with 86 counties deteriorating while 76 improved. MENA has suffered the largest decline of any region in the world, deteriorating 11 per cent over the past eight years (GPI, P: 2).

Economic price of violence:

“The economic impact of violence on the global economy in 2014 was substantial and is estimated at US$14.3 trillion or 13.4 per cent of world GDP. This is equivalent to the combined economies of Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Spain and the United Kingdom. Since 2008, the total economic impact on global GDP has increased by 15.3 per cent, from US$12.4 trillion to US$14.3 trillion” (GPI, P: 3).

“Societal safety and security:

This section analyses the effects of urbanisation on violence, and finds that peace generally increases with higher levels of urbanisation. This is a by-product of higher levels of development. However, countries that have weak rule of law, high levels of intergroup grievances and high levels of inequality are more likely to experience deteriorations in peace as urbanisation increases” (GPI, P: 3).

“Militarisation:

Since 1990, there has been a slow and steady decrease in measures of global militarisation, with large changes in militarisation occurring rarely and usually associated with larger, globally driven geopolitical and economic shifts” (GPI, P: 3).

Important evaluation that makes the GPI:

  • Ongoing domestic and international conflict
  • Societal safety and security
  • Millitarisation
  • Indirect cost of violence: Accounts for costs that are not directly related to an act of violence and accrue over the long run. This can include losses of income due to injury or pain or grievance of others who were not directly involved in the crime.
  • Internal Peace: A set of indicators that measures how peaceful a country is inside its
  • national borders
  • Negative Peace: The absence of violence or fear of violence.
  • Positive Peace: The attitudes, institutions and structures which create and sustain peaceful societies. These same factors also lead to many other positive outcomes that support the optimum environment for human potential to flourish.
  • Positive Peace Index (PPI): A composite measurement of Positive Peace based on 24 indicators grouped into eight domains.
  • Resilience: The ability of a country to absorb and recover from shocks, for example natural disasters or fluctuations in commodity prices.
  • Violence containment: Economic activity related to the consequences or prevention of violence where the violence is directed against people or property.

(GPI, P: 4).

Listings of Peaceful ratings:

World Rank: Country: Score: State of the Peace: Change in Score: Regional Rank:
130 Burundi 2,323 Low +,0,009 34
155 Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) 3,085 Very Low -0,033 41
119 Ethiopia 2,234 Low -0,143 27
133 Kenya 2,323 Low -0,086 35
139 Rwanda 2,420 Low -0,027 38
157 Somalia 3,307 Very Low -0,079 42
159 South Sudan 3,383 Very Low +0,107 44
64 Tanzania 1,903 Medium -0,024 10
111 Uganda 2,197 Medium +0,013 24

(GPI P: 8-9, P: 13)

The Regional Rank is set for the region of Sub-Saharan Africa. Therefore the regional rank is different from the World Rank. In the World rank it goes from 64 of Tanzania and 159 of South Sudan. That is 100 countries in between in the World, when we talk about peaceful environment and the fear should be one South Sudan (159), Somalia (157) and DRC (155).  Tanzania which is on top is the 64. Next place is for Uganda was ranked on 111, the third and fourth country in the region which was near each other was Kenya (133) and Rwanda (139). And the fifth place is Burundi (130) – which I am certain will fall on the rank after the elections in 2015. But for the GPI 2015 there is still high level for the region.

On Armed Conflicts and War in Sub-Saharan Africa: “Although sub-Saharan Africa has the highest number of conflicts, these conflicts tend not to last as long as in other regions. There were only three conflicts in sub-Saharan Africa in 2013 which started more than three years ago, two of which are long-standing conflicts in Ethiopia” (GPI, P: 51).

On Peacefulness in the region: “In 2008, MENA had the same level of peacefulness as sub-Saharan Africa, and was the 6th most peaceful region in the world. By 2015 it has become the least peaceful region in the world, deteriorating by 11 per cent over the period” (GPI, P: 55).

On South Sudan: “South Sudan’s ranking declined by only three places, but this was on top of by far the sharpest fall in the 2014 GPI. It remains embroiled in the civil conflict that broke out in December 2013, and which has thus far proved immune to numerous peace efforts” (…) “South Sudan also fell for its third consecutive year, slipping a further 3 places to 159. (GPI, P: 13, 16).

On Somalia: Somalia is on the highest cost of violence percentage of GDP which was 22%. “The majority of” (…) “Somalia’s costs stem from IDPs and refugees and homicides” (…) “The same category represents 54 per cent of Somalia’s total costs. (GPI, P: 77).

The difference is staggering from Somalia and South Sudan to the best state of peace in Tanzania. The other countries in between is ranked so close and with scores that could easily point them further down for next year if the militarization and violence inside the countries continue. Like I have a grand feeling that Burundi will fall on the ranking next year, also Uganda with the recent attacks and continuously going against opposition to the Presidential elections in 2016. Rwanda will sure shut down anybody who goes against the third term of Paul Kagame. There are also issues that are meeting Joseph Kabila’s planed third term in Democratic Republic of Congo. Ethiopia is in a stalemate of totalitarian regime that keeps the borders clear and with the resistance that comes from Somalia or the Omoro Liberation Front (OLF). Kenya has issues with building the border to Somalia where they has also taken districts in Somalia. And Kenya has the fear of Al-Shabab after the terrorist attack in Nairobi (2013) and that has happen also in Kampala (2010) in Uganda.

Therefore these rankings are important to look at because you can see what the state of ease is at, this is about the peace and impact of the authoritarian and totalitarian regimes in these countries. And will be good to follow and see how it really turns out in the next year rankings from the same place the Institute for Economic and Peace.

Hope it’s been a drop of enlightenment for you as well. Peace.

Reference:

Institute for Economics and Peace: “Global Peace Index – 2015 – Measuring Peace, its causes and its economic value”

Here are international statements on todays voting and Presidential elections in Burundi

BurundiNTVNews

You can see usual suspect Didier Reynders from Belgium speaking on the country again. U.S. has to speak and does say it softly. Canada’s foreign affairs also had an opinion on the election. Red Cross is concerned about the refugee situation concerning the violence in Burundi and how it affects the bordering countries and their refugee camps.

Kenyan TV report:  – This is from today and is a Youtube clip.

U.S. Response:

“The legitimacy of the electoral process in Burundi over the past few months has been tainted by the government’s harassment of opposition and civil society members, closing down of media outlets and political space, and intimidation of voters. Dozens have been killed, and as many as 167,000 Burundians are now refugees in neighboring nations” (…) “Attempts by the Government of Burundi to deny citizens the ability to choose their leadership freely, without intimidation and threat of violence, will force the United States to carefully review all aspects of our partnership not yet suspended, including the imposition of visa restrictions on those responsible for — or complicit in — promoting instability in Burundi through violence” (Kirby, 2015).

Belgium response:

“Didier Reynders deeply regrets the organisation of presidential elections in Burundi, today 21 July. These elections do not meet the minimal requirements of inclusiveness and transparency. They are not credible and will not contribute to a solution for the crisis in the country” (…) “Belgium calls on Burundi to revive the spirit of consensus and inclusiveness of the Arusha agreement, that is still the cornerstone for constitutional order and stability in Burundi” (Reynders, 2015).

Canada response:

MP for Foreign Affairs Rob Nicholson says: ““His bid has unleashed instability and violence characterized by the unrestrained use of force by militias acting with total impunity, exacerbating an already dire humanitarian crisis. Close to 170,000 Burundians—including prominent members of government and key democratic institutions as well as journalists—have fled to neighbouring countries fearing for their lives. Dozens of people have already died in violence related to the political unrest” (…) “Canada calls on President Nkurunziza and his government to protect the rights and interests of all Burundians and work with the East African Community and the African Union in accordance with the Arusha Peace Accords” (Quinney, 2015).

EAC response:

“he EAC Election Observer Mission started arriving in the Republic of Burundi on 17th July 2015 and underwent briefing on Election Observation Methodologies and from CENI” (…) “The EAC Election Observer Mission was deployed today, 20th July 2015 to various Provinces of Burundi to observe the polling and counting processes” (…) “The EAC has been involved in the Burundi Electoral process since January 2015 through the Panel of Eminent Persons (PEP), Pre-Election Expert Mission (PEMi), the Council of Ministers, and the Summit of the EAC Heads of State” (EAC, 2015).

Red Cross fears:

“In one day alone, more than 30 malnourished Burundian children were admitted and showing secondary complications including malaria, pneumonia, worms, anemia and diarrhea. At least four known deaths of malnourished infants have been recorded so far” (…) “Burundian Presidential elections, set to take placed on Tuesday, July 21st. An estimated 25,000 people have fled to the Tanzanian border camp in the last month alone, bringing the total number of Burundian refugees to around 78,000; a fifth of which are thought to be children under five” (…) “Tensions are running high between new arrivals and the long-established refugee population from eastern Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), most of whom arrived in 1996 following the Rwandan genocide and the subsequent regional instability” (Carrol, 2015).

Last thought: 

Hope you found this interesting while the voting and polling is coming. I can’t wait to see what the EAC report on the election says and we all know kind of already what result will be. The numbers is the thing we wonder about. But the winner and third term is happening because like for instans the opposition parties Agathon Rwasa FNL has pulled out and so has other parties done. So you can just see what happens and it sure will be the winner of Presidential Election of 2015. The third term of the CNDD-FDD… so many means is breaking with the Arusha Peace Agreement of 2006. Well, Pierre doesn’t agree and doesn’t care. He is on the Power Kool-Aid and can’t have enough. All of the people of Burundi don’t all agree with the President Nkurunziza. Peace.

Reference:

Carrol, Phil – ‘Child Malnutrition Levels Soar in Tanzanian Refugee Camp as Burundian Presidential Election Approaches’ (21.07.2015) link: http://www.savethechildren.org/site/apps/nlnet/content2.aspx?c=8rKLIXMGIpI4E&b=9241315&ct=14743281

EAC – ‘EAC Election Observer Mission to the Presidential Elections in the Republic of Burundi’ (20.07.2015) link: http://eac.int/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=1916:eac-election-observer-mission-to-the-presidential-elections-in-the-republic-of-burundi&catid=146:press-releases&Itemid=194&utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

Kirby, Jon – ‘Elections in Burundi Will Lack Credibility’ (21.07.2015) link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2015/07/245104.htm

Reynders, Didier – ‘Didier Reynders regrets the organisation of presidential elections in Burundi today 21 July’ (21.07.2015) link: https://appablog.wordpress.com/2015/07/21/didier-reynders-regrets-the-organisation-of-presidential-elections-in-burundi-today-21-july/

Quinney, Johanna – ‘Canada Condemns Use of Violence for Political Goals in Burundi Ahead of Election (21.07.2015) Link: http://foreignaffairs.co.nz/2015/07/21/canada-condemns-use-of-violence-for-political-goals-in-burundi-ahead-of-election/#sthash.A17ljQ8C.dpuf

Danakil Depression in Ethiopia – A little dig into the mining operations there

Danakil1

In this day and age there can still come some surprises like out of the wind a leaf will fall to the ground. It makes a sound and a whistle. You can never be up to speed about everything. I know about the Ethiopian dam projects, but certain industrial projects have gone in the wind. But then out of nothing the ICL buying out Allana Potash in the Danakil Depression caught my eye. Therefore I started doing research and seeing if I could get some information on the matter. A lot of information isn’t above the sea level yet, it’s still loose ends though. The licenses and the agreements between any company and the sovereign nation of Ethiopia are not at bay. But all the other information is saying certain stories. And tell how big of an issue this can get. Especially when you see how many companies is a-part of this shindig. Hope you get some information that you didn’t before and learn about the Danakil Depression in the Afar Region in Ethiopia.

Introduction to the area:

“The potash potential of Ethiopia was dormant until World War II where Italian and other foreign companies initiated exploration activities in different parts of the extremely hot Danakil Depression of northern Ethiopia, where temperatures regularly exceed +50°C. The companies exploited a number of mineral resources, such as potash and sulphur. The Danakil depression is found down to 110 m below sea level. The evaporites of the central parts of the Danakil Depression cover an area of 1165 km2, the major part of which is known as the Salt Plain” (…) “The Afar region of north-east Ethiopia is covered by Quaternary lacustrine sediments and volcanic rocks of the East African Rift Valley. The central part of the Danakil Depression is covered by a thick evaporite succession (Salt Formation), which is partially covered by Quaternary volcanic rocks” (Geus, 2010).

Potashforgrowth

“ETHIOPIAN POTASH CORP. (ETHIOPIAN POTASH) has signed an Option Agreement to buy over G&B Central African Resources, which holds the title for the G&B Mineral Property in the Danakil Depression, Afar State, Ethiopia” (…) “Pursuant to the Option Agreement, upon the Option Closing, the Founders will also receive, on a pro rata basis, an aggregate of 20,000,000 Resulting Issuer Common Shares at a deemed price of $0.20 per Resulting Issuer Common Share, as incentive payments for their roles in reorganizing, financing and developing the business of G&B and in negotiating the Option Agreement” (…) “The value of the Danakil Potash Permits, the option and the payments under the Option Agreement were determined and negotiated through arm‟s length negotiations. The Danakil Technical Report was filed with the Exchange on December 3, 2010” (…) “ETHIOPIAN POTASH commissioned the production of a Technical Report in compliance with NI 43-101 to both summarise past exploration and to provide guidance for further project development. As a first step this Preliminary Resource Assessment Study (PRAS) from the independent consultant ERCOSPLAN, a German consultancy firm with more than half a century of experiences in industrial potash mining and processing was prepared” (…) “According to official information, exploration and mining licences were granted to Sainik Coal Mining Private Limited from the Ethiopian Ministry of Mines and Energy in 2007. Referring to this source, the deposit is estimated to contain resources of 160 million tonnes (without further specification)” (…) “ALLANA POTASH CORP. reports in 2008 for the part of the Musley deposit within their property an inferred resource amounting to 31.3 million tonnes of sylvinite at 25.4% KCl and 73.9 million tonnes of kainitite at 18.8% KCl, not taking into account mining and processing losses” (…) “The Musley Deposit, in the extension as defined by PARSONS, contains 171.27 million tonnes of mineralised material (55.63 million tonnes KCl) and partly extends onto the G&B Danakil Property. Six of the historical drill holes are located within the south western part of this property” (…) “The modelling of the 6 drill holes within the G&B Danakil Property and nearby drill holes south of the property resulted in inferred geological sylvinite resources of 28 million tonnes at an average grade of 29% KCl from the so-called Sylvinite Member, with additional inferred geological sylvinite/carnallitite resources of 5 million tonnes at an average grade of 22% KCl from the sampled part of the intermediate Member and inferred geological kainitite resources of 95 million tonnes at an average grade of 18% KCl. In these numbers, no deduction for mining and plant losses are considered. Resource estimations refer to the G&B Danakil Property only” (…) “The Danakil Depression stretches some 200km between Lake Bada (lake level 50m below sea level) in the NNW and Lake Acori (lake level 94m below sea level) in the SSE. The deepest point is located at Lake Assale where the lake level is 128m below sea level. This desert area is characterised by a flat surface that is interrupted by only few hills known as Mount Dallol, Black Mountain and Ashe Ale” (…) “Danakil Potash Exploration: Licence 3137-3150/2000 – 265.05km²” (…) “The mining policy of Ethiopia has received partial updating via the Mining and Income Tax Proclamations in 1993 and the supporting Mineral Operations Regulations in 1994 . These laws were established to stimulate the development of mining and to guarantee the property rights of both local and foreign investors. The preamble to the new mining law states that the law recognizes the significant role of private investment in capital formation, technology acquisition and marketing of minerals. The laws foresee different kinds of permits. The permit holders have both rights and obligations”  (…) “The Danakil Depression is known as the hottest place on Earth, and is consistently hot throughout the year. Dallol‟s record high of the annual average temperature for an inhabited location on Earth of 34°C was recorded between the years 1960 and 1966” (…) “Because of the harsh conditions, the area of the G&B Property is very sparsely populated, and is mostly only temporarily inhabited by the Afari nomads. In the north western part of the G&B Danakil Property the small (temporary?) settlements of Ghebro (local salt extraction), and Iremle are located. In the northernmost part of the G&B Bada Property several small settlements are situated adjacent to the agriculturally used area on the alluvial fan of the Ragali River delta” (…) “road access is limited, but since 2010 it is in relatively good condition. No railway facility is available. No supply of electrical energy, fresh water and internet access is present. Connection to global system for mobile phone communication (GSM) is not available; the only option for communication at the site is via satellite telephone or radio. Mechanical and technical services as well as fuel cannot be obtained on site. Reasonable infrastructure for this is either present at Mekele or Afdera” (Raushe, 2011).

agriminco

Information on AgriMinco:

“Following the completion of the maiden National Instrument 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate, the operator of Danakil Holdings Ltd., Plinian Capital LLP, requested a preliminary investigation into the economic viable mining and processing options for the Danakil potash resources” (…) “AgriMinco’s chief executive officer, Bruce Cumming, comments: “Whilst the results are encouraging, they must be seen against the backdrop of uncertainty that the company continues to face due to the difficulties experienced in attempting to raise additional finance and the existing debt burden the company carries. We continue to focus our efforts on completion either of a capital raise or a corporate transaction. Under the terms of the JV agreement and the amendment thereto, AgriMinco was required to contribute 30 per cent of expenditure in excess of the agreed free carry by April 7, 2014” (…) “The operator of the joint venture, Plinian Capital, and Circum Minerals Ltd., the 70-per-cent joint venture partner, have consented to the release of the information contained herein” (Cumming, 2014).

140122_BHPBillitonLogo

140122_BHPBillitonLogo

BHP Billiton pulls away:

In 2012 pulled BHP Billiton out of the Danakil Depression. The spokesman for the company commented on it like this: “They already informed the ministry they want to leave” (…) “We have made a decision to discontinue exploration activities in Ethiopia” (…) “This was because following completion of sufficient work it’s not expected to meet BHP’s investment criteria”. The company didn’t deliver any more information to why they pulled away from the project at the time (Davison, 2012).

investor-presentation-allana-potash-1-638

License giving to Allana:

“The Ethiopian Ministry of Mines has issued a mining license for the country’s Danakhil Potash Project to Allana Potash – a Canadian mineral exploration company. The license was issued after its approval by the Ethiopian council of ministers.  A detailed review of the projects feasibility study and the Environmental, Social and Health Impacts Assessment (ESHIA) by the Ministry of Mines and other government departments had been carried out” (Wanene, 2013). “Approval of the ESHIA is conditional on the fulfillment of several action plans, most of which are identified in the ESHIA and already in place. These include monitoring ground water in the region (ongoing), resettlement of two small villages (in progress) and a commitment to community development (part of Allana’s Community Development Plan). Approval of the Company’s ESHIA is necessary for the granting of a Mining License in Ethiopia. The Ministry continues to review Allana’s application for the Mining License and meetings last week in Ethiopia indicate significant progress has been made in the evaluation of the Company’s Feasibility Study. While this work is ongoing, Allana is optimistic that the granting of the Mining License will occur in the next few months” (Mbendi, 2013).

Beginning information on Allana:

Allana had already before 2010 was finished had 60 drilling holes in the Danakil Depression. “Allana tacked on 28 drill holes from its wholly-owned Nova project, which occupies roughly 132-sq.km adjacent to its Dallol concessions and was picked up in a merger with Nova-Ethio Potash in November 2012”. The president and CEO Farhad Abasov is excited and was quoted saying: “We are excited to see the large increase in total mineral resources on the project and the significant conversion of inferred mineral resources into measured and indicated mineral resource categories” (…) “Potash resources continue to expand with our exploration activities which are ongoing on the Nova license. We are encouraged that significant additional mineralization of [carnallite and kainitite] has been delineated and will initiate further study on these resource estimates” (Northern Miner, 2013).

Basic information on Allana:

“Allana’s potash project is comprised of four potash concessions (Danakil Potash Project) located in Ethiopia’s northeastern Danakil Depression totaling approximately 312 square kilometers” (Allana).

“Major Advantages:

Allana has completed a NI 43-101 compliant technical report for the three concessions. The technical report highlighted several unique advantages of this project:

  • An inferred mineral resource of 105,200,000 tonnes of potash mineralization (Sylvinite and Kainitite) with a composite grade of 20.8% KCI
  • Near-surface (shallow-depth) potash mineralization (within 50 metres of surface)
  • Potential for solution or open-pit potash mining
  • 16 drill holes immediately on Allana’s property
  • 2 hole intersect 45 metres of potash mineralization at a depth of 680 metres – demonstrate significant potential to expand potash resource
  • Unique environment that may provide for low-cost production utilizing solar evaporation and geothermal power
  • MOP (muriate of potash) and SOP (sulphate of potash) production is feasible (NaFinance, 2009)”

ethiopia-figure2

Allana raised funds for construction:

“Abasov and company have raised over $90 million in equity markets and has sufficient cash reserves to reach the construction stage. And the news keeps getting better. Just last month, Allana’s debt financing process reached a new milestone as the company further de-risks the project” (InvestorIntel, 2013). “At this stage, little is known about the role of Ethiopian banks in the transaction for the loans between Afreximbank and Allana Potash” (Keffyalew, 2013). Allana Potash, a Vancouver-based mining company listed on the Toronto Stock Exchange, is set to acquire financing for its mammoth potash mining project in Danakil Depression in the Afar Regional State of Ethiopia in the order of 11.1 billion birr from the little-known-in-Ethiopia Africa Export/Import Bank-Afreximbank (Seyoum, 2013). “In Ethiopia, we are at the moment looking at potash project. It is about $600 million and we are still at the preliminary stage, but we are positive about that,” said Denys Denya, AfrEximBank’s Executive Vice-President for Finance, Administration and Banking Services” (Andualem, 2013).

Getting power-supply to the Danakil depression:

“The study is initiated by the request of Ethiopotash SC for 70MW of power. Ethiopotash, a company established by Dutch investors, is now managed by Yara International, which, in May 2012, upped its share in the company from 16pc to 51pc. Yara International, the Norwegian fertiliser manufacturer, itself is established with a majority share by the Norwegian government” (…) “The area will get power supply from Mekele, Tigray.

“We have studied all options, but Mekelle is better,” Mekuria said. “Since the area is not included under the EPPCo electricity expansion projects, the company will cover the project cost,” he added. However, both Mekuria and WondimuTakele (Eng), state minister for MoWE, say that it is not yet known how much it could cost supplying electricity to the Danakil Depression. The company wants the power supply to be ready for 2014, according to the company’s request” (…) “The project cost of the Danakil Depression concession could reach two billion Birr, according to Hoslestad” (Mesfin, 2012).

The Yara study itself confirms the mining potential in Ethiopia:

“The independent study identified an annual production of 600,000 metric tons sulfate of potash (SOP) over 23 years from reserves (Kainite, Carnallite and Sylvinite) at Yara’s Danakil concession. The company, which aims to begin mining activities in 3Q, 2018, is now seeking equity partners to develop the project” (Yara, 2015).

The potash from Danakil depression goes further:

“The product will be trucked 790 kilometres to Tadjoura, Djibouti, where the project includes a product storage and handling terminal at the new port currently under construction by the Djibouti Port Authority” (Topf, 2015).

ICL-Allana-300x211

Allana Potash getting bought by ICL:

On 22nd June 2015 bought the whole company of 100%, even if it had already bought 16.22% in 2014. So ICL bought the rest now in June 2015. With this trade the ICL get rights to develop the Potash project in Danakil depression. ICL has faith in the Ethiopian government and plans for infrastructure to succeed with the development of the potash mines at the sight in the Afar region of Ethiopia.  ICL President & CEO Stefan Borgas, said, “We are delighted to complete our acquisition of Allana Potash and appreciate the strong support of Allana’s Board, management team and shareholders in conducting the process expeditiously. Our purchase of Allana is in line with ICL’s “Next Step Forward” strategy to broaden our sources of raw materials globally and to focus on high growth, emerging markets. Allana gives us a major mining concession in Africa, as well as a talented on-the-ground team with whom we intend to pursue our development of potash resources in Ethiopia. We are excited about the potential of establishing a strong potash platform in the Afar region that will enable us to serve rapidly growing fertilizer markets throughout Ethiopia and Africa, at large, as well as our growing customer base in Asian markets, and which will complement our existing potash operations in Israel, Spain and the UK. We are encouraged by the initial support of our activities by the Ethiopian government, which we trust will be translated into the assistance that we require to fully develop Ethiopia’s natural resources for the benefit of Ethiopia, its farmers and its people, as well as for ICL” (ICL, 2015).

Afterthought:

I won’t write much here now. Because this piece is already at a major size, but I look forward to follow the Danakil Depression and see how this industrial and mining adventure will go. How the companies will earn their cash and how the reports from the area will be. Especially how the Ethiopian government will deliver information on the matter, which will be amazing. Because they keep so much information at bay and never really release anything. Hope you got some knowledge and understand better how this is in Afar Region in Ethiopia. Peace.

Reference:

Topf, Andrew – ‘Study confirms potash potential at Danakil Depression, Ethiopia’ (17.02.2015) Link: http://www.mining.com/study-confirms-potash-potential-at-danakil-depression-ethiopia-96831/

AllanaPotash:

http://www.allanapotash.com/projects/ethiopia/

Yara – ‘Yara study confirms potash mining potential in Ethiopia’ (13.02.2015) Link:

http://yara.com/media/press_releases/1894170/press_release/201502/yara-study-confirms-potash-mining-potential-in-ethiopia/

Ministry of Mines of Ethiopia (Geus) – ‘Potash in Ethiopia’ (December 2010) Link:

http://extra.geus.info/cet/ethiopia/EthiopiaFS_Potash_Web.pdf

Davison, William – ‘BHP Billiton Abandoning Potash Project in Ethiopia’s Danakil’ (09.07.2012) Link:

http://ecadforum.com/articles/bhp-billiton-abandoning-potash-project-in-ethiopias-danakil/

Northern Miner – ‘Allana adds major potash tonnage at Danakil’ (26.06.2013) Link:

http://www.northernminer.com/news/allana-adds-major-potash-tonnage-at-danakil/1002435807/?&er=NA

Rauche, Dr. Henry – ‘PRELIMINARY RESOURCE ASSESSMENT STUDY – Danakil Potash Deposit, Afar State/Ethiopia (01.02.2011) Link: http://agriminco.com/home/ul/Technical%20Report%20(NI%2043-101)%20Danakil%202%20Feb%202011.pdf

NaFinance – ‘Allana Resources Inc’ (2009) Link:

http://www.nafinance.com/Listed_Co/english/allana_e.htm

Mesfin, Mahlet – ‘Ethiopotash Seeking 70MW Dedicated Power Supply to Danakil Plant’ (07.10.2012) Link:

http://www.addisfortune.com/Vol_13_No_649_Archive/Ethiopotash%20Seeking%2070MW%20Dedicated%20Power%20Supply%20to%20Danakil%20Plant.htm

InvestorIntel – ‘Significantly de-risked, potash powerhouse Allana Potash is on the fast track to production’ (25.09.2013) Link:

http://investorintel.com/agbusiness-mmj-intel/significantly-de-risked-potash-powerhouse-allana-potash-fast-track-production/

Gebremedhin, Keffyalew – ‘Axis between Ethiopia-Allana Potash-African Export Import Bank: What cost to Ethiopia?’ – Seyoum, Arat – (23.06.2013) Link:

http://ethiopiaobservatory.com/2013/06/23/axis-between-ethiopia-allana-potash-african-export-import-bank-what-cost-to-ethiopia/

Wanene, Grace – ‘Ethiopia issues potash mining license to Canada’s Allana Potash’ (10.10.2013) Link: http://www.zegabi.com/articles/4772

Mbendi – ‘Allana Potash Announces Approval of ESHIA by Ethiopian Ministry of Mines, Danakil Potash Project’ (22.05.2013) Link:

http://www.mbendi.com/a_sndmsg/news_view.asp?I=134101

Andualem, Sisay – ‘AfrEximBank eyeing $600m Ethiopia potash deal’ (20.06.2013) Link:

http://www.africareview.com/Business—Finance/AfrEximBank-eyeing-Ethiopia-potash-deal/-/979184/1889238/-/6hnpnj/-/index.html

Cumming, Bruce – ‘AgriMinco’s Danakil report to look into mining options’ (18.03.2014) Link:

http://www.stockwatch.com/News/Item.aspx?bid=Z-C:ANO-2156224&symbol=ANO&region=C

ICL – ‘ICL COMPLETES ITS ACQUISITION OF ALLANA POTASH’ (22.06.2015)

A look into the Coke’s BioPET-PlantBottle™ 1.0 – Is it really Green or is it Greenwashing?

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We live in a time where big multinational companies who do what they can do their business. Buy for one, sell for two. That is capitalism and the dream of getting wealth and generating it. We live in a day and age where multinational companies have vast powers and can use it whatever way they like. They can if wanting to make as much of wealth to circus of companies and hide the earnings in a tax-haven in the Caribbean or in Lichtenstein. But this article or blog will be about that. It’s about another possibility that they can do.

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Milking a special type of cow:

Something that isn’t right. Companies can if they feel tell stories and express themselves as they please. Until a certain extent they can if they want to make them look extra good, but if so they shouldn’t play in-between reality and fiction. Especially not portraying stories about their products – they can make their milk being squeezed out a most beautiful cow ever. Even if wasn’t most purebred highland cattle from the western islands of Scotland. Instead it’s made with some lame ass country cow. If a Milk producing company said their entire product was made from Highland Cattle, we as consumer expect the product to be that, right? So if the pieces of production and process is made with fractions of other milking cow it want be pure Highland. It will be milk, but not as promised. Some people would be devastated. Some people would call it fraud. And partly it is, even if pieces of it made with the milk. This piece here will be about similar way of acting one way, and acting another. While telling the public something else. This here is a kind of way to make something greener then it really is. It isn’t really green, but said so. In a way that mislead the public. Some people calls that way of acting for Greenwashing. It’s a nice way to express them in similar incidence. First certain words will be translated like PEF, PET, PTA and LRB. So that people will know what they are. After that I will show what a certain company called the Coca-Cola Company makes which a famous Bottle the famous PlantBottle™.

Words to know:

  • polyethylene furanoate (PEF)
  • polyethylene terephthalate (PET)
  • purified terephthalic acid (PTA).
  • liquid refreshment beverages (LRB)

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Bio-Plastic information:

The first information is that it’s renewable made from Sugercane-polyethylene which has the ability to replace 30% of the petroleum that would have been used for making certain type of plastic. The other good piece of using bio-plastic will be lower-carbon footprint (Sugercane.org).

Hitachi company explains what PTA is: “Purified terephthalic acid (PTA) is made by causing a reaction between the secondary petroleum product paraxylene (PX) and acetic acid”. When Hitachi describes PET its like this: “Polyethylene terephthalate(PET) is a general-purpose plastic made through polycondensation of PTA with ethylene glycol (EG). This material has many outstanding properties: resistance to both heat and cold, transparency, electrical qualities, chemical proof and abrasion proof” (Hitachi).

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How Coca-Cola endeavors to make the PlantBottle™:

Here is how it has gone from 2011, when Gevo made an agreement with the Coca-Cola Company to make the second generation plant-bottle with Isobutanol.  Further commenting on the important factor between Coca-Cola and GEVO: “The global market for PET is approximately 50 million metric tons and has a value of $100 billion, with approximately 30 percent used for plastic bottles. In this next generation of PlantBottle™ packaging, Coca-Cola plans to produce plastic beverage bottles made entirely from renewable raw materials” (Gevo, 2011).

PlantBottle-productline

In the same year (2011) Coca-Cola Company made already a deal with Virent: “signing multi-year, multi-million dollar Joint Development and Supply Agreements to scale-up Virent’s plant-based Paraxylene (PX), trademarked BioFormPX, as a route to commercially viable, 100% renewable, 100% recyclable PlantBottle PET resin. In the past, Coca Cola’s PlantBottles have included only 30% plant-based plastic. Virent’s chemical allows the remaining 70% of the bottle to be plant-based” (…) “Virent is one of three companies working with Coca-Cola on PlantBottle technology. The others are Colorado-based Gevo and Avantium, which is based in the Netherlands” (Lane, 2014).

In South Africa in Wadeville outside of Johannesburg, South Africa there is coming a new bottle-plant. This is Africa’s first: “Coca-Cola approved technology for carbonated soft drink bottles thus enabling the closure of the loop in the biggest sector in the beverage market. The 3000m2 Phoenix PET plant, equipped with Starlinger technology, will supply an additional 14 000 tonnes of PET resin per year to the PET packaging industry. It will eventually divert an additional 22 000 tonnes of post-consumer PET bottles from landfills each year, reducing resource consumption, creating jobs and assisting industry in meeting its target of a 50% recycling rate for 2015” (Parkes, 2015).

Later JBF Industries and Coca-Cola went into a partnership in 2012 to produce bio-glycol that will be used in the new plant-bottle. This will end up with a deal and an agreement that will do this: “Construction on the new facility is expected to begin at the end of this year and will last 24 months. At full capacity, it is estimated the facility will produce 500,000 metric tons of material per year. By using plant-based materials instead of nonrenewable materials, the facility will remove the equivalent of 690,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide, or the equivalent of consuming more than 1.5 million barrels of oil each year” (Mohan, 2012).

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The Dreams of Coca-Cola Company and their PlantBottle™ 2.0:

A spokesman for Coke Scott Vitters commented in 2014 this: “Coca-Cola introduced the world to PlantBottle in 2009. The technology uses natural sugars found in plants to make ingredients identical to the fossil based ones traditionally used in polyester fiber and resins. PlantBottle packaging looks, functions and importantly recycles just like traditional polyester (or PET) plastic, but with a lower dependence on fossil fuels and a lighter environmental footprint on the planet” (…) “Today our first generation PlantBottle technology replaces one of the two ingredients that make PET plastic. Our long-term target is to realize a 100% renewable, fully recyclable plastic bottle. To realize this goal, Coca-Cola is investing millions in local technology companies – companies like Virent in Madison, Wisconsin; Gevo in Englewood, Colorado and Avantium in Amsterdam, the Netherlands” (Vitters, 2014).

“Continuing in rigid high-barrier packaging, polyethylene furanoate (PEF) bottle development remains on track. Avantium has entered into an agreement with ALPLA for development of PEF bottles, with the first bottles targeted to reach market by 2016. Avantium has also partnered with Coca-Cola and Danone in the development of PEF bottles”. (…) ”PEF is a next-generation, bio-based, recyclable polyester developed by Avantium on the basis of furanics technology. According to Avantium, PEF has 50-60 percent lower carbon footprint compared to petroleum-based PET” (Rosato, 2014).

Right now the Coca-Cola Company together with other industry packaging companies as Virent, Gevo and Avantium has made this possible: “The PlantBottle 2.0 represents an upgrade to the existing bio-based PlantBottle the beverage company already uses for some of its drinks. This substitute for polyethylene terephthalate (PET) bottles has a 30% bio-based content, principally derived from Brazilian sugar cane supplied by Braskem”. In the future the same companies hope for “The 100% bioplastic bottle is the result of collaboration between Coca-Cola, Geno and Virent to perfect bio-purified terephthalic acid (PTA). Commercial rollout of PlantBottle 2.0 will take place over the next five years, culminating in a full replacement in 2020” (SustPack).

Ringier Plastics commented this: “From traditional PET to recyclable (also known as R-PET) to bio-based PET, technology and environmental properties have come a long way. PET generally consists of 70% terephthalic acid and 30% monoethylene glycol (MEG). But now it is quite possible to produce bio-based MEG from renewable raw materials instead of fossils. Coca-Cola is a pioneer is adopting bio-PET packaging with its PlantBottle™, producing the first ever fully-recyclable PET plastic beverage bottle using 30% of non-fossil material and resulting in less carbon footprint. Coca-Cola aims to convert all its plastic packaging to PlantBottle by 2020 and entered into a partnership with H.J. Heinz Co. to produce ketchup bottles using PlantBottle material” (Ringier Plastics, 2015).

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The Marketing Companies making PlantBottle™ what it is:

“Fahrenheit 212 worked with Coca-Cola’s global packaging team to translate a complex and contentious advance in polymer production into a clear and compelling consumer proposition.  The PlantBottle brand name evolved from the concept development and strategic positioning work undertaken by Fahrenheit 212 and the PlantBottle icon, which has been now been featured on over 10 billion packages since its launch in 2010, was conceived and created by our in-house design team” (…) “In its first year, PlantBottle was launched in nine global markets, including Brazil, Canada, Chile, Denmark, Japan, Mexico, Norway, Sweden and the United States across brands such as Coca-Cola, Sprite, Dasani and vitaminwater”  (Fahrenheit 212). The other marketing plan of Coca-Cola company was merged with another agency they did this: “Ogilvy & Mather’s campaign uses Coca-Cola’s iconic red and white color scheme and optical illusions to create intriguing images for the new bottle. The print ads all emphasize a way that plants make us happy, followed by the message that Coca-Cola’s PlantBottle is “Up to 30% made from plants” and “100% recyclable.”“ (Oster, 2014). One of Ogilvy & Mather’s ads just below.

plantbottle_posters_Page_4

It all sound beautiful doesn’t it. Mixing PEF and PET like its nothing? Plastic turned fantastic from petroleum based sort of bottle into plant heaven, right? Is there a reason why it just sounds so magnificent! If so, why does it for the last five years show up a dirty dozens of similar quotes from Scott Vitters in all kind of outlets from the Guardian to the New Zealand Scumbag post? That makes a brother like me curious. Especially when they been cooking this for so long.

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Well, there isn’t everybody who has a piece of pay from Coca-Cola Company. This reports I come with now haven’t a clear connection or are in business with the Company. They are separated from it and are on their own. So you should see what their saying and be fascinated.

There many ways of telling how it really is: “Coke invented the Plant Bottle.  The Plant Bottle is made from sugarcane, a food source.  The Plant Bottle is a PET plastic bottle.  The Plant bottle is 100% PET, 70% made from oil and 30% from sugarcane.  The Plant Bottle is not biodegradable and lasts as long as the petroleum-based PET however a large segment of the population believes that the Plant Bottle is, in fact, biodegradable” (…) “Coke has invested heavily in rPET bottle-to-bottle recycling.  Coke is a large buyer of rPET pellets in China and reputedly is putting rPET in small” (…) “The largest producer of rPET pellets in China is tripling its capacity in 2011” (…) “Krones, one of the world’s largest developers and supplies of machinery to the bottling industry is introducing a series of super efficient PET washing and flaking recycling equipment.  rPET flakes and pellets can be manufactured at prices less than virgin PET” (N.Michaels).

Another example of renewable resources usage are PET bottles – called Plant Bottle. Those bottles are composed of PET, produced from terephthalic acid (70 % of mass) and ethylene glycol (30 % of mass). Terephthalic acid comes from oil, whereas glycol is produced from ethanol (deriving from fermentation of vegetable feedstock). Such bottles can be easily recycled, and they can be collected with other (classical) PET bottles. This partially bio-based PET saves global fossil resources and also reduces CO2 emissions. Plant Bottle is 20 % biobased (20 % of the carbon present in the material comes from renewable resources) and 30 % bio-massed (30 % of the mass of the material comes from renewable resources) and a simple scheme on figure 12 shows how the Plant Bottle is made (Plastice).

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Gendell said in 2012 this about the PlantBottle: “The first complexity is that only a portion is plant-based, so the PET is also composed of some things that ought to stay within a technological closed loop” (…) “The other complexity is that there must be a mechanism by which the plant-based material may return to nature and participate in the biological cycle. Even if the first complexity were resolved by making PET entirely from plant-based materials (which is not truly possible today, considering all the catalysts and polymer chemistry whatsits that are not made from plants), the PET would still be an inherently non-biodegradable material” (Gendell, 2012).

In Denmark a Henrik Saugmandsgaard Øe is a Danish Consumer Ombudsman says this: “criticized Coke’s use of several marketing ploys, including the use of the word “plant,” excessive green colors and a circular-arrow logo inspired by the familiar symbol for recyclability. The ombudsman also noted a lack of documentation to support Coke’s claim that PlantBottle is “environmentally friendly” or has a “reduced carbon footprint.”” (…) “the bottle contains only a maximum of 15 percent plant material — a percentage he said hardly justifies the designation “PlantBottle.”” (…) “The Consumer Ombudsman requested the trader to indicate the minimum percentage of plant material in the bottle or to explain more clearly why the plant material proportion of the bottle was specified as ‘up to 15 percent” (Zara, 2013).

PETPlantbottleProcess

The issue with getting a 100% Bio-PET bottle is a big issue for Coca-Cola Company. Ordinary PET or 30% Bio-PET bottle has Petroleum-based component considering the bio-based in PEF. The Plastic Packaging Expert Gordon Bockner: “PEF molecule is a contaminant in the existing PET stream. A very small amount of PEF will (a) reduce the performance characteristic of the resulting PET/PEF blend and (b) neither will the blend be crystal clear and glossy, which are two of the key (marketing) attributes OPET. It is, therefore, not realistic to suggest that the two resins might be successfully blended to make a commodity LRB packaging resin” (Pierce, 2014).

Liz Baird the Environmental Consultant has said this about the PlantBottle:”When a company uses their marketing to appeal to the eco-conscious consumer, but they are spending more money marketing than they spend on being green, it’s called greenwashing” (…) “For example, there are some companies who tout their products as green, but if you look at the list of ingredients, palm oil is one of them. Harvesting palm oil is extremely dangerous to the orangutans” (EcoDaily, 2015).

GPC Cycle

After thought:

This here story here is about the 30% Bio Sugarcane based PET Resin and the rest of the bottle 70%. Not the newly released bottle that is supposable 100% BioBased Plant bottle. It hasn’t been addressed yet because I don’t see how it’s made possible and there aren’t reports or scientific how the whole PET resin is made. Therefore I won’t address it today. This here is just a full case on how Coca-Cola Company has described the infamous Plantbottle™. So since this original Plantbottle™ 1.0 is 30%. And call all natural you get the feel of a greenwash perception scheme. That isn’t fair for the consumer or society. It even got a Danish Ombudsman on the tail, but the same scenario and drop hasn’t made a fuzz where else it has been released, this is something about the leniency towards the Coca-Cola Company in these countries that has this specific bottle. That you have many companies on all sides of the globe focusing on how to make a Sugarcane bottle instead of a petroleum-based one, the first step was using 30% of the Bio PET resin. If they will fix it and make it, also make sure that it can contain the material that it’s talking about. It can’t be either or. Has to been made for a certain type of PET-Resin to make it hard enough to be a bottle for production-line and to contain the sugar-caffeine-carbonated-liquid called Coke from Coca-Cola Company.

Wonder how it will be 100% compared to the 1.0 type of bottle. That will be another story. Would be another story to see how the produce and production of Plantbottle 2.0 who supposed to be 100% made of sugarcane. And I might go into detail about that if I get the hold of that information. I can’t write it out of the thin air. Got to taste the carbonated sugar-water and then get the feel of the flavors and ways. Peace.

Reference:

EcoDaily – ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green – Labeling Can Be A Guise’ (01.07.2015) Link: http://ecodaily.org/its-not-easy-being-green-labeling-can-be-a-guise/

Parkes, Lisa – ‘Africa’s first Bottle-2-Bottle Plastic Recycling Plant Opens its Doors in Wadeville’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.petco.co.za/ag3nt/system/about_petco_dynamic_blog.php

Oster, Erik – ‘Ogilvy & Mather NY Introduces PlantBottle for Coca-Cola’ (09.06.2015) Link: http://www.adweek.com/agencyspy/ogilvy-mather-ny-launches-plants-make-us-happy-for-coca-cola/67789

Mohan, Anne Marie – ‘Coca-Cola enters partnership to expand PlantBottle production’ (27.09.2012) Link: http://www.greenerpackage.com/bioplastics/coca-cola_enters_partnership_expand_plantbottle_production

Fahrenheit 212 – ‘Coca-Cola PlantBottle – Defining the Consumer Proposition for Bio-PET’ Link: http://www.fahrenheit-212.com/coca-cola-plantbottle/

Rosato, Don – ‘Green plastic barrier packaging material and process advances’ (28.07.2014) Link: http://exclusive.multibriefs.com/content/green-plastic-barrier-packaging-material-and-process-advances/food-beverage

Pierce, Lisa McTigue – ‘PEF will not oust PET for beverage bottles anytime soon’ (25.07.2014) Link: http://www.packagingdigest.com/resins/pef-will-not-oust-pet-for-beverage-bottles-anytime-soon140724

N.Michaels: ‘Why and When will Bottle-to-Bottle rPET Technology Dominate?’ (03.12.2010) Link: http://theplanetbottle.net/news/2010/12/why-and-when-will-bottle-to-bottle-rpet-technology-dominate/#sthash.QksuvCPg.dpuf

Lane, Isabel – ‘Coke invests further in scaling Virent’s paraxylene production for PlantBottle’ (09.09.2014) link: http://www.biofuelsdigest.com/bdigest/2014/09/09/coke-invests-further-in-scaling-virents-paraxylene-production-for-plantbottle/

Gendell, Adam – ‘The catch behind Coca-Cola’s switch to plant-based bottles’ (10.10.2012) Link: http://www.greenbiz.com/news/2012/10/10/catch-behind-coca-colas-switch-plant-based-bottles

Ringier Plastics – ‘Bio-based PET shows the way forward’ (07.05.2015) Link: http://www.industrysourcing.com/article/bio-based-pet-shows-way-forward

Vitters, Scott – ‘Statement of Scott Vitters General Manager, PlantBottle Innovation Platform The Coca-Cola Company United States Senate Committee on Agriculture Nutrition and Forestry United States Senate June 17, 2014’

PTA – ‘Production process for purified terephthalic acid (PTA)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pta.html

PET – ‘Production process for polyethylene terephthalate (PET)’ Link: http://www.hitachi.com/businesses/infrastructure/product_site/ip/process/pet.html

Sugarcane.org – ‘Bioplastics’ Link: http://sugarcane.org/sugarcane-products/bioplastics

SustPack – ‘Coca-Cola Gives Expo Debut To 100% Bio-Based PlantBottle’ Link: http://www.sustainability-in-packaging.com/news/coca-cola-gives-expo-debut-to-100-bio-based-plantb

Gevo – ‘Bio-based Isobutanol to Enable Coca-Cola to Develop Second Generation PlantBottle™ Packaging’ link: http://www.gevo.com/?casestudy=bio-based-isobutanol-to-enable-coca-cola-to-develop-second-generation-plantbottle-packaging

Zara, Christopher – ‘Coca-Cola Company (KO) Busted For ‘Greenwashing’: PlantBottle Marketing Exaggerated Environmental Benefits, Says Consumer Report’ (03.09.2013) Link: http://www.ibtimes.com/coca-cola-company-ko-busted-greenwashing-plantbottle-marketing-exaggerated-environmental-benefits

Patent – ‘Method of making a bottle made of fdca and diol monomers and apparatus for implementing such method’ (31.08.2012): http://www.google.com/patents/WO2014032731A1?cl=en

Plastice – ‘Bioplastics – Opportunity for the Future’ (2013) Link: http://www.central2013.eu/fileadmin/user_upload/Downloads/outputlib/Plastice_Bioplastics_Opportunity_for_the_Future_web.pdf

Corruption is like a ball of snow…

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“Corruption is like a ball of snow, once it’s set a rolling it must increase” – Charles Caleb Colton.

It’s been a while since I have addressed this matter. Well, the world continues to spin and the rain keeps falling. Still there is some Civil Servants, Government Officials or greedy corporate men who want to earn a quick buck. Here are a few stories from all around the world. To prove that it doesn’t matter where you live, it’s how you live. And for some reasons when somebody finds out it will be an easy way to get something extra without much work. But first I have to write about somebody who deserves credit. Then after this, I will tell stories about corruption cases that are going on all around the world.

The then editor of ‘The Elderly’ Vietnamese state-owned print and online magazine Kim Quoc Hoa he reported 2500 cases since 2007. He has been charged with “revealing confidential information related to national security” (…) “abusing freedoms and democratic rights in publishing articles that disseminated false information” (CPJ). The publication ‘The Elderly’ has also been shut down and gotten a fine of around $32 000. This is all happening before the Communist Party Congress of 2016 (News24).

In the American country of Panama a former minister has a case corruption case against him. The Former Finance Minister Frank De Lima has been charged with inflating multimillion dollar contracts with National Help Program (NHP) (PanAMPost). The embezzlement is that the money $1.7M for the NHP has been skimmed away. That was supposed to go “grain contracts” (Rodriguez).

In Edinburgh, Scotland the former employees of the Edinburgh Council Charles Owenson and James Castello that wasn’t just some swell seats at football matches for Hibs or Hearts. They both worked for the Council of the town as part of Property Care Service. The Council members got extra services from ABC Limited. The money and services they got was after the company got contracts with the county. One even bragged about “One witness states that Costello bragged about the money being spent by ABC and on one occasion claimed a night out he had attended must have cost ABC £5000”. They have pleaded guilty and in a month time the sentencing will happen (STV).

In Fiji the former Minister for Transport and Infrastructure Pio Tikoduadua is claiming that the Land Transport Authority is widespread with corruption. He fears for quality of the roads and commuting on the roads with buses as well (Vuniwaqa).

In Canada in the city of Montreal last Wednesday a former construction entrepreneur Lino Zambito pleaded guilty in court of St. Jerome that he was guilty of offering kickbacks to public officials for a public contract to build a $28M Water Filtration Plant in Boisland (CTVNEWS Montreal).

I know I just picked a few for you. There are always more stories on this. And when you search for sweet stories you end up picking this ones, to prove that it’s a worldwide phenomenon. I know wanted to prove that it’s everywhere. Mr. Colton saying the facts: the snowball is running and it’s increasing in size. Wonder when it going to end. Peace.

Reference:

CTVNEWS Montreal – ‘Lino Zambito pleads guilty to corruption-related charges’ (13.05.2015) Link:  http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/lino-zambito-pleads-guilty-to-corruption-related-charges-1.2371937

CPJ – ‘Vietnamese editor faces anti-state charges for reporting on corruption’ (13.05.2015) Link: https://www.cpj.org/2015/05/vietnamese-editor-faces-anti-state-charges-for-rep.php

News24 – ‘Vietnamese editor charged for publishing graft reports’ (13.05.2015) Link: http://www.news24.com/World/News/Vietnamese-editor-charged-for-publishing-graft-reports-20150513

Rodriguez, Juan Jose/Business Insider – ‘Panama gripped by millionaire ex-president’s graft scandal’ (15.05.2015) Link: http://www.businessinsider.com/afp-panama-gripped-by-millionaire-ex-presidents-graft-scandal-2015-5

PanAMPost – ‘Panama Corruption Probe Arrests Key Martinelli Ally’ (14.05.2015) Link: http://panampost.com/panam-staff/2015/05/14/panama-corruption-probe-arrests-key-martinelli-ally/

STV – ‘Corrupt officials given lap dances in return for council contracts’ (15.05.2015) Link: http://news.stv.tv/east-central/1320605-corrupt-edinburgh-council-officials-given-lap-dances-by-builders/

Vuniwaqa, Bola-Bari – Fiji Times Online – ‘Corruption Concerns’ (18.05.2015) Link: http://www.fijitimes.com/story.aspx?id=306231

Press Release: First Ebola Vaccine to Be Tested in Affected Communities One Year into Outbreak Ring Vaccination Starts in Coyah, Guinea (25.03.2015)

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Conakry, 25 March, 2015 – The Guinean Government with the World Health Organization (WHO) initiated the very first efficacy trial of an Ebola vaccine this week in an affected community of the Basse-Guinée, one of the areas where most Ebola cases are found in the country. Ring vaccination tests of VSV-EBOV, a lead Ebola vaccine developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada, received an excellent response from the community in a small village in the Coyah prefecture, where the trial team arrived on 23 March.

“This landmark operation gives hope to all of us, in Guinea and in the world, that we might soon have an effective public health tool against Ebola, should the vaccine prove to be safe and effective,” stated the WHO Representative in Guinea, Dr. Jean-Marie Dangou. “The start of ring vaccination clinical testing today in Guinea is therefore one of the most important milestones we have achieved in seeking a modern line of defense against Ebola.”



Trained medical staff, vaccines and other essential equipment were dispatched from Conakry to Coyah to vaccinate contacts of recently infected people who have given consent in a village of the Coyah prefecture. Vaccinations for now will include only adults, who are most at risk of infection, with the exception of pregnant women.
“We are committed to ending this epidemic,” said Dr. Sakoba Keita, National Coordinator of the Fight against Ebola in Guinea. “Combined with control measures that we are putting in place with our partners, a safe and effective vaccine will allow us to close this trying chapter and start rebuilding our country.”

The ring vaccination strategy consists in identifying recently infected patients and vaccinating all their contacts, thereby creating a ‘ring of immunity’ around them to stop the virus from spreading.

“This very same strategy was a key contribution to eradicating smallpox in the 1970’s, and allows us to vaccinate all those at greatest risk,” explained WHO Coordinator for the Guinea Vaccine Trial, Dr. Ana Maria Henao Restrepo.

Dr. Bertrand Draguez, Medical Director for the Non-governmental Organization Médecins sans Frontières (MSF) stressed that: “The trial is organized on a voluntary basis, and participation is confidential, free and non-remunerated.”



The Guinean Government is fully committed to the success of the vaccine clinical trial. In a 20 March official letter addressed to all the Mayors, Prefects and local Health Officials in Guinea, the Head of the National Coordination Against Ebola in Guinea, Dr Sakoba Keita, asked all local public actors for their full cooperation and support.
A total of around 10 000 people are planned to be vaccinated in 190 rings within a six-eight week period. Volunteers will be followed for three months. Results could be available as early as July 2015.

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Note to editors

About the vaccine and the vaccination strategy:

VSV-EBOV Vaccine was developed by the Public Health Agency of Canada. The vaccine was licensed to NewLink Genetics, and on November 24, 2014, NewLink Genetics and Merck announced their collaboration on the vaccine.

The concept of ring vaccination applied to the Guinea Ebola vaccine clinical trial is based on vaccinating the “rings” (group of contacts of a newly diagnosed Ebola “index case”) either immediately after confirmation of the Ebola diagnosis of the “index case”, or three weeks later (delayed vaccination). This strategy allows all the known contacts to be vaccinated within a short period of time, and it constitutes an excellent alternative to the use of a placebo. The ring vaccination trial design was developed by an international group of experts from Canada, France, Guinea, Norway, Switzerland, United Kingdom, United States, and WHO. This group included Professor Donald A. Henderson, who led the WHO smallpox eradication effort.

The Guinea Ebola vaccine trial is a coordinated effort among numerous international partners. The trial is implemented under the responsibility of the Guinean government. The World Health Organization (WHO) is the sponsor of the study. The Government of Guinea, Doctors without Borders / Medecins sans Frontières (MSF), Epicentre, the Norwegian Institute of Public Health and WHO are coordinating its implementation. The trial is funded by MSF; the Research Council of Norway through the Norwegian Institute of Public Health; the Canadian government through the Public Health Agency of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, International Development Research Centre and Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development; and WHO, with support from the Wellcome Trust, United Kingdom.

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For more information, please contact:

Pr Jean-Marie DANGOU, WHO Representative to Guinea
Cel : + 224 623 23 55 55
E-mail: dangouj@who.int

Dr Ana Maria Henao Restrepo
E-mail : henaorestrepoa@who.int

M. Konaté Issiaga
Tel : +224 62 59 70 42
E-mail: konatei@who.int

Rodrigue Barry
E-mail : barryr@who.int
Tel : +224 624 827 240

Koné Souleymane
Email : koneso@who.int
Tel : +224 624 827 337

Mbengue Khalifa
Tel : +224 624 827 350
Email: mbenguek@who.int

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