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Sinopec goes big on geothermal

Le 17 August 2017, 05:24 dans Humeurs 0

Refiner to create 20 smokeless cities by replacing coal with clean energy


State-owned China Petroleum & Chemical Corp, also known as Sinopec Corp, said it will further develop geothermal energy in Xiongxian county, Hebei province, as it seeks to make the region smokeless.


Sinopec Corp is also diversifying beyond oil and gas production.


The company said its geothermal energy heating capacity in Xiongxian has reached 4.5 million square meters by July.


It now plans to create 20 smokeless cities nationwide replacing coal with geothermal energy, covering 100 million sq m during the 13th Five-Year Plan (2016-20).


Geothermal energy is the heat from the Earth, which is considered sustainable and clean. Typically, such heat can be harnessed from hot water resources, shallow ground, underground hot rock and molten rock called magma.


"Geothermal energy has the capacity to partially replace coal-fired heat and reduce carbon footprint, especially in big cities," said Wang Zizong, deputy chief engineer of Sinopec Corp, Asia's largest refiner.


Xiongxian county is part of the Xiongan New Area, a zone located some 100 kilometers southwest of downtown Beijing.


The area was set up for coordinated development of the Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei region, which also spans Rongcheng and Anxin counties in Hebei province.


According to Sinopec, up to 60 percent of the Xiongxian county is rich in geothermal energy resources, with its reserves of hydro-geologic water amounting to 82.1 billion cubic meters.


The local groundwater temperature exceeds 55 C, equivalent to 6.63 billion metric tons of standard coal.


Sinopec has cooperated with Iceland in geothermal energy development long ago. It signed a framework agreement on the expansion of geothermal development and cooperation with Orka Energy Holding Ehf in 2012 and formed a joint venture with the company in 2006.


The JV, Sinopec Green Energy, moved its headquarters to Xiongan in April, seeking to provide over 16 million sq m of heating area generated by clean energy.


According to Li Yangzhe, deputy director of the National Energy Administration, is taking energy transformation place at a rapid pace globally, and renewable energy will play an increasingly significant role in shaping the global energy system.


"The Chinese government is devoted to promoting energy transformation in the country, and has set a goal to raise the percentage of nonfossil energy consumption in primary energy consumption to 15 percent by 2020, which will rise to 20 percent by 2030," Li said.


China is rich in geothermal energy resources, with the Tibet autonomous region, and Yunnan and Sichuan provinces considered the best among them. The country plans to boost geothermal energy generation in these areas.


In 2016, to promote clean energy development and improve the environment, China launched the 13th Five-Year Plan for geothermal energy, the first such plan in this field.


During the 2016-2020 period, China plans to increase installed capacity in the geothermal segment by 500 gigawatts, attracting 40 billion yuan ($5.8 billion) in investment. Meanwhile, China will also enlarge the geothermal heating area by 1.1 billion sq m.


By 2020, China will have 530 million watts of installed capacity in geothermal power as well as 1.6 billion sq m geothermal heating area, according to the country's energy planner.


Zhang Jiehui, deputy governor of Hebei province, said the geothermal resource in Hebei province equals 5 billion tons of standard coal, ranking second in the country.


It is estimated that the total energy consumption of Hebei province this year will reach 350 million tons.

Jaguar Land Rover to build SUV model in China

Le 27 July 2017, 05:55 dans Humeurs 0

British automaker Jaguar Land Rover has announced it will build its new E-PACE compact SUV in Austria and China.


The company said its plants in the United Kingdom are close to full capacity, and it expects there will be high demand for the five-seat E-PACE after the F-PACE performance SUV became the fastest-selling car in the company's history, with 80,000 sold so far this year.


JLR launched the E-PACE in London on Thursday, with a stunt driver making it into the Guinness Book of World Records after making a 15.3 meter jump and 270-degree barrel roll in the vehicle Dating Service.


Chinese automaker Chery, JLR's joint-venture partner in China, will build the cars at its factory in Changshu, Jiangsu province. Vehicles produced there will be for Chinese customers. The car will go on sale in China in 2018.


Automaker Magna Steyr will build the E-PACE in Austria, starting late 2017, and also make the all-electric Jaguar I-PACE model from 2018.


Wolfgang Stadler, JLR's executive director of manufacturing, said:"The UK is the heart and soul of our manufacturing, design and engineering capabilities. However, with our UK facilities operating close to capacity, our contract manufacturing partnership with Magna Steyr and our joint venture in China provide additional volume, agility and flexibility to deliver the new Jaguar E-PACE, alongside our other exciting vehicle launches this year boutique hotel hongkong."


JLR signed a joint venture with Chery in 2012 and has made the Range Rover Evoque, Land Rover Discovery Sport, and Jaguar XFL in China Dating Service.


China, where 120,000 JLR vehicles were sold in 2016, is the company's largest single-country market, generating one-fifth of global sales. Retail sales for June were up 65.3 percent year-on-year in China, with UK sales up 3.8 percent, Europe up 3.7 percent and North America up 3.2 percent.


Andy Goss, JLR sales operations director, said: "Jaguar Land Rover saw another positive performance in June, led by strong sales in China, both from imported vehicles and our Chinese joint venture."


JLR, which manufactures vehicles under the Jaguar, Land Rover, and Range Rover brands, said Jaguar sold 15,343 vehicles in June, up 16.4 percent from last June. The company said sales of the new Land Rover Discovery continue to grow, following its launch in North America and China.

Faraday Future's dreams of mass production hit a bump in the road

Le 20 July 2017, 05:06 dans Humeurs 0

One Chinese internet tycoon who has vowed to make luxury electric vehicles faces a bumpy road to survive the race for investment, as Jia Yueting, founder of Chinese technology company LeEco, is seeking to reboot his currently failing Faraday Future project.


Electric vehicle startup Faraday Future has publicly admitted its $1 billion plant construction plan has been dropped after work halted on its site outside Las Vegas in November, despite its founder Jia previously saying the plant work had been relocated to fulfill the plan to produce the electric FF91 model in 2018, according to a letter through his WeChat public account.


Industrial insiders said Jia was caught in a dilemma of whether he should burn through more cash to finally get the volume product on the road, or quit the game by selling his equity at a much lower price than his initial, huge investment.


"Jia made a large equity investment in Faraday Future. He needs this volume production in a brick and mortar plant, so as to get a higher valuation in the way a conventional carmaker does," said Shu Chang, a partner of Roland Berger Strategy Consultants.


"Without mass production, a company without a history, but only his story, won't get a high valuation, so his equity in Faraday Future would be worth very little. Jia may even struggle to find a buyer."


Shu said he foresees the best scenario as the FF91 rolling off the production on time in the United States.


Then Jia would share the brand's halo effect, resources, experience and advantages with his LeSEE project, and finally boost the market performance of the LeSEE Pro model.


Jia is also operating a LeSEE electric supercar project in China almo nature.


The company's public relationship department said that an announcement is "coming soon".


But similarly, the LeSEE Pro vehicles have not been put into mass production, despite the company announcing last August it had bought 2.87 square kilometers of land for an auto park, with plans to invest 20 billion yuan ($2.95 billion).


"But it's a tough job to establish a positive cycle among vendors and suppliers, and to realize technology breakthroughs in the United States," Shu added.


There were estimates that Faraday Future's failed Nevada plant plan has cost more than $120 million. Those sources, who declined to be named, said that Faraday Future is operated by the same team of people who launched Tesla, so both the FF91 and LeSEE Pro are going to be built on a similar electric vehicle chassis LPG M6.


The sources said Jia's opportunities depend on whether he has a constant supply of cash to put into the full-electric supercar projects.


The reason is that developing an automobile propulsion system requires a huge amount of investment, much larger than an internet player's imagination. The existing example is Qoros Auto, which burned money for about six years from its establishment in 2007 to its first product, the Qoros 3 sedan, launched on the market in 2013. Industry insiders estimate investment totaled about 20 billion yuan for the Sino-Israeli company, but the emerging brand is still losing money Sensodyne.


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