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News / Rail services between China and Europe building a new head of steam

first_img By Alex Lennane 05/06/2020 Despite slightly increasing demand, the rates per container were relatively stable, added the company – on average, 50% cheaper than air freight.And services are increasing. Yesterday, Russian Railways, SNCF Forwardis and Cosco Group launched a 20-day train service connecting Jiangxi with Paris.Transloading occurs at the Dostyk/Alashankou (China/Kazakhstan) and Brest/Małaszewicze (Belarus/Poland) border crossings.“One container train can deliver the equivalent of up to six planes of cargo, which ultimately increases the difference in transport costs up to thirty times,” noted the companies, which said they were also developing a high-speed container rail link.Meanwhile last month, RZD Logistics began to test moving sanctioned goods from Europe to China via Zabaikalsk.“The opening of a new route for the transport of sanctioned goods is a significant and fundamental milestone on the path of increasing the transit flow of goods from European countries in the eastern direction,” said Dmitry Murev, general director of RZD Logistics JSC.“This was made possible thanks to the introduction of advanced technical innovations integrated into the transport technology of Russian Railways Holding and our partners.“Without exaggeration, I think this is the result of the painstaking, systematic, and well-coordinated work of the team of RZD Logistics and our partners from the Center of Corporate Transportation Services of Russian Railways and Digital Platforms Development Center.“In addition to the existing southern transit route through Kazakhstan, the northern route opens additional opportunities for our customers and partners.”Container volumes on the China-Europe rail route have blossomed. April saw United Transport and Logistics Company – Eurasian Rail Alliance (UTLC ERA) move 41,200 teu, double last year’s volumes, in a record month.“The crisis caused by the spread of coronavirus is a problem, but it’s also an opportunity for rail logistics,” said Alexey Grom, chief executive of UTLC ERA. “It is already obvious to many that the railway is not just an alternative, but is the main mode of cargo transport in conditions where high speed, clarity and stability are required.” © Christopher Rawlins railcenter_img Rail services between China and Europe are growing fast, with the reliability, speed and cost looking increasingly attractive in the face of blanked container shipping services and very high air freight rates.“The freight trains on the new Silk Road are well booked,” said Patrick Merkel, managing director of 4PL Prologue Solutions.“Freight forwarders advise their customers to reserve capacities two weeks in advance.“Rail transport between China and Hamburg currently takes only 18 days, instead of 32 or more by sea transport.”last_img read more

Donbas Without Water: The Ecology of the East Ukrainian Frontline

first_imgThe conflict between Ukraine and combined Russian-separatist forces in Donbas (a region encompassing the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces), which erupted in 2014, has damaged one of the largest water delivery systems in Europe’s East. Water shortages and poor water quality are worsening an already difficult humanitarian, socio-economic and political situation in a war-torn area of Ukraine abutting the frontline territories. Constant shelling threatens access to safe water and sanitation for more than 3.9 million people (including 500,000 children) in eastern Ukraine. Every fourth resident near the contact line lacks a reliable source of drinking water. On September 16, the Verkhovna Rada (parliament) of Ukraine adopted the resolution “On the appeal to the Cabinet of Ministers of Ukraine to take measures to provide the population of Donetsk region with an uninterrupted water supply” (Rada.gov.ua, September 22). But due to the difficult economic situation in the country, it is not quite clear how effective such legislation can be considering the massive financing it would require.Most of the Donbas region’s water originates from the 300-kilometer Siverskyi Donets–Donbas canal, which supplies 300 settlements on both sides of the contact line. The canal was built back in 1958, and its associated water supply infrastructure has since almost totally deteriorated. But the main problem is that the waterway is located within the combat zone. Since 2014, the canal, water pipes and pumping stations have been damaged more than 300 times (Novosti.dn.ua, August 31). The northern part of the region relies on the Second Donetsk water supply system. Its length is more than 100 km and provides water to residents of Sloviansk, Kramatorsk, Druzhkovka, Konstantynivka and nearby villages. According to the Municipal Enterprise “Water of Donbas,” which manages the region’s water supply, 100 percent of its pipes are now worn out. Due to water leaks, civilians are experiencing daily or weekly shortages (V-variant.com.ua, June 21).In addition, armed conflict threatens regional wastewater treatment, which will likely, sooner or later, lead to widespread water pollution and the spread of infections. It is noteworthy that the Donetsk and Luhansk provinces host a concentration of a whole range of potentially dangerous objects, including mines, chemical production entities, industrial facilities and landfills. For instance, Ukraine has a total of 464 tailing dumps (large artificial dams used to store radioactive, toxic, and other waste or by-products after industrial processes) holding 6 billion tons of material; 199 of these tailing dumps are in Donbas. Importantly, many of these objects were built near bodies of water (Rubryka.com, October 28, 2019), so the destruction of or damage to them could lead to a massive ecological disaster. More than 900,000 people live one kilometer away from dangerous industrial sites, most of them found near Donetsk, Makiivka, Horlivka and Toretsk, on the contact line. An investigation by the Donetsk Region Prosecutor’s Office established that, due to the constant damage being done to local critical infrastructure, the ecological balance in the region has been upended. The full extent of the harm done to the potentially hazardous objects in Donbas has yet to be studied; but unquestionably, a further degradation of measures to protect regional toxic and radioactive waste storage facilities could result in the contamination of groundwater, which flows into the Severskyi Donets River and the Sea of Azov. The resulting pollution could perhaps irreparably harm the ecosystem of a massive area (Don.gp.gov.ua, May 21).Another serious problem—with large-scale environmental and economic implications—is the flooding of mines and discharge of polluted mine water in Donbas. After the beginning of the conflict, the authorities of the so-called Donetsk and Luhansk “people’s republics” (DPR, LPR) closed at least 39 mines and stopped pumping out mine water. The history of coal mining in Donbas goes back over 100 years, during which time, local operators built up a complex drainage system, which is particularly expensive to properly maintain. But the Moscow-backed separatist authorities turned off the pumps and sold them for scrap, allowing many of the mines to thoroughly flood. The water that used to be pumped out to the surface now seeps into numerous hollows. The result is the disappearance of surface water reservoirs previously designated for further industrial use. For example, in Alchevsk, the Isakovsky Reservoir, which was built for the needs of the Alchevsk Iron and Steel Works, has almost completely dried up (Glavcom.ua, July 8). Additionally, contaminated mine water gradually rises to the earth’s surface, comes into contact with regional groundwater and surface water, and contaminates them on both sides of the line of contact (Freeradio.com.ua, May 22). Coal dust, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides enter the atmosphere through boiler houses, ventilation shafts, rock heaps and coal depots. Discharged mine water pollutes the environment with suspended solids, affects the mineralization of the soil and spreads toxic heavy metals (Rubryka.com, October 28, 2019). Crucially, such pollution respects no boundaries. Every year, the “Zolote” mine alone dumps 9,300 tons of water laced with sulfur impurities into the Rostov region, across the border. Southern Russia’s granaries use this water for irrigation, and local residents rely on those same sources as well (Spektr.press, October 17, 2019).Meanwhile, studies suggest that drinking water in Donbas may already be contaminated with radioactive substances from the flooded Yunkom coal mine. In 1979, the site was famously used for a non-military, 0.3-kiloton underground nuclear test, which produced the infamous “Object Klivazh,” a cavernous glass-lined chamber 900 meters below the surface. For 39 years, the radioactive glassy capsule was kept dry. But in April 2018, the DPR authorities turned off the pumps and started to allow Object Klivazh to flood. Reportedly, water carrying low-level radioactive waste has already reached Debaltsevo, Uglegorsk, Zhdanivka and Shakhtarsk (Freeradio.com.ua, July 10).Until now, the separatist authorities hushed up the issue of water and ecological problems plaguing the DPR-LPR. But in recent months, the situation has become so serious that even the “LPR Ministry of Natural Resources” has admitted that something needs to be done (Lug-info.com, September 21). The difficulty for Kyiv is that the Ukrainian government lacks complete information as to the true ecological situation in the occupied territories. The DPR-LPR authorities blame Ukraine for everything and reject any negotiations on this issue. However, if those environmental safety concerns are not resolved soon, the compounding ecological disaster threatens to affect a vast landmass and potentially millions of people. For now, ordinary Donbas residents are left alone with their problems.last_img read more

Rescue Teams Search for Missing Navy Crew Members

first_imgThe crews of Coast Guard and Navy helicopters and of boats from several agencies had joined the search for the missing. The site is off the northwest Mexican coast, near the Coronado Islands. SAN DIEGO — Bodies were found Wednesday of three of the five crew members who were aboard a Navy helicopter that crashed into the ocean southwest of San Diego, military officials said. Rescue teams continued looking for the other two crew members, said Navy Lt. Karen Burzinski. There was no information Wednesday on a possible cause, and the names of the crew members were not released. Associated Press writer Pauline Jelinek in Washington contributed to this report.center_img The training exercises had involved the Nimitz and a half-dozen other ships in its strike group. The SH60 Seahawk helicopter, from Carrier Air Wing 11, had taken off from the aircraft carrier USS Nimitz as part of a training exercise before it went into the sea late Tuesday. On the Net: Carrier Air Wing 11:http://www.csfwp.navy.mil/cvw-11/last_img read more

Maine Scientists Say Acid Rain Effects Are Reversing Much Faster

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore“Two Maine scientists are celebrating good news about the environment, after a decades-long study has shown that the negative effects of acid rain have been reversed much faster than expected,” reports the Bangor Daily News.The study looked at lakes throughout most of New England and New York, and it found that environmental regulations and the voluntary actions of industry have sharply reduced sulfur emissions in rain and snow. It also found that soils are recovering quickly, without taking centuries to bounce back that some had predicted would be necessary.(READ the story from the Bangor Daily News)Photo by Benjamin Edelstein Photography AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

CGA’s new certification programme

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

ALE steps on the gas

first_imgThe 12 components comprised of six radiant sections, weighing between 92.2 tonnes and 130.8 tonnes, and six convection sections, weighing between 85 tonnes and 66 tonnes. According to ALE, due to some of the radiant sections measuring over 10 m in height, overhead power lines had to be shut down in order to allow the convoy to pass through. ALE unloaded all 12 items using a 400-tonne capacity and a 250-tonne capacity mobile crane. Also in Iraq, ALE completed the installation of four water tank roofs, and oil drums at the degassing station in Zubair. The four water tank roof sections weighed 82.7 tonnes each, while the hot oil drum weighed 45.8 tonnes and the expansion oil drum weighed 47.8 tonnes. In order to lift the hot oil drum, ALE rotated it 90 degrees using a 500-tonne capacity crawler crane and a 250-tonne capacity mobile crane. The installation was completed using the 500-tonne capacity crawler crane.The expansion oil drum was installed at a height of 40 m, over and into a steel structure, using a 500-tonne capacity crawler crane. www.ale-heavylift.comlast_img read more

Celebrate your birthday against the Baggies

first_imgThe Baggies arrive at Ashton Gate on Tuesday, April 9th (7.45pm KO) for the Sky Bet Championship fixture which has been chosen for live broadcast by Sky Sports.Priced at £200, the package includes:Ten kids and two adult tickets in the Lansdown StandPre-match buffet in the Birthday LoungeBirthday e-invitationsPhoto & birthday message in the match day programmePA announcementPitch-side group photoLine the perimeter of the pitch as flagbearers at kick-offIf you are interested this experience, please email [email protected] or call 0117 963 0600.Mascot and birthday party packages have sold out for the remainder of the season so if you want to enjoy a behind the scenes experience, this is your final chance.BUY YOUR TICKET NOWlast_img read more

“Riga” Dinamo “is missing 10 million rubles to the KHL salary…

first_imgAlexei Shevchenko: “Riga” Dynamo ” entered into a contract with the main sponsor Gazprom Export. But the money is less than the salary “floor” [KHL tā noteikta 270 rubļu apmērā]. Here I have a question – if the salary budget is less than the “floor”, then how can a club be allowed at all [spēlēšanai KHL]? Maybe hoping to find extra money in Riga, it’s about 10 million rubles [aptuveni 121 703 eiro] – not so much. “After acquiring a main sponsor, you can actively start working to get everything done. “There are several moments here. It is much easier for Riga to form a team than for Russian clubs, because there is no legionnaire limit. The Swedes and Finns consider Riga a neighboring region and are basically ready to go there. It does not cause them any inconvenience, it is the European Union. With this money 260 million rubles can compete with the salaries of mid-level players from mid-level Swedish, Finnish or even AHL clubs. There are also local guys with whom to negotiate carefully. Most unemployed Latvian players can not help KHL, “says the expert.It is not said that you will have to fight for the penultimate place again. “In principle, you can create a good average club. It will be difficult to get into the playoffs at the Western Conference, but it is possible to fight Sochi, Vityaz and Spartak, but there is no hope for the Top 5, where CSKA, SKA should be.” Lokomotiv “and” Dynamo “will also fight” Jokerit. “It is important that the club has a very good atmosphere,” admits Shevchenko.After attracting the main sponsor, the management of the club “immediately remembered the dusty list of coaches,” says a Russian hockey specialist. “At one point the list decreased, at another moment it increased, but Pēteris Skudra was always there. This coach is the main favorite for this position. Juris Savickis said that the head coach will be named on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. Well, excellent! Because I believe in Riga and hope that everything will be fine. “KHL is still not publishing the match schedule for the new season. “I am not reassured by KHL information – the game calendar is ready with a different number of players. What is ‘dead’? Maybe it’s Amur, who is in a difficult situation. They have already started training there, but there is no money and it is not expected yet,” says viewer.Resources used:Sport Express / sport-express.rulast_img read more

Want to get to know your cloud? Start with this video.

first_imgFor many people in IT, the road to cloud computing has one huge roadblock: security concerns. To get to the cloud, you’ve got to first get beyond all your security questions. And to do that, you’ve got to “get to know” your cloud.One place where this can begin is at the hardware level. That’s where you can establish the integrity of the server and use that knowledge to create trusted compute pools. Like the concrete footers on a house, trusted compute pools provide a foundation for a secure environment.So how do you go about creating this foundation? A good first step is to watch a new Intel video on YouTube. This video, “Securing a Cloud Infrastructure with Intel, HyTrust and VMware,” walks you through the process of configuration, policy creation, and implementation of a trusted compute environment.The demonstration is based on an Intel® Cloud Builders reference architecture that was put into action in a lab setting. In the demo, we established a five-server configuration and then activated Intel® Trusted Executive Technology (Intel® TXT) on four VMware vSphere* hosts.We configured one of the hosts as a management server, and then created three virtual machines on the server, with the following roles:Infrastructure serverVMware vCenter* ServerHyTrust* ApplianceAfter we configured these VMs, we used VMware vCenter Server to create a VMware vSphere cluster with the three remaining hosts. We then used the HyTrust Appliance to set up a trusted compute pool consisting of two of the three servers in the cluster. We left the third server untrusted so we could demonstrate how HyTrust Appliance can garner platform trust status, use that for defining security policies, and then enforce those policies.Along with the step-by-step demonstration, this video offers some great tips for building a trusted compute platform. So if you’re thinking about a cloud, you’ll definitely want to tune in to this video. It gives you a fast and easy way to see how you can get to know more about your cloud infrastructure, and then use that information to better protect your critical data and workloads.For a deeper dive:Watch the video.Download the VMware and HyTrust reference architecture.last_img read more