News from Notch Consulting, Inc.

January 10, 2011

New fuel oil terminal to be built in Houston

Filed under: Carbon Black — Notch @ 7:05 am

From Tom Fowler in the Houston Chronicle comes news that a company called Battleground Oil Specialty Terminal Co., or Bostco, is building a 7.8 million-barrel black oil terminal on an 187-acre lot on the Houston Ship Channel. The company’s principal, John McDonald, started the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal more than 30 years ago. Today that company is the largest handler of heavy refining byproducts called black oil (i.e., bunker and residual fuel oil). The Bostco facility will be located several miles closer to the Gulf of Mexico along the Ship Channel than the Houston Fuel Oil Terminal, on land previously owned by power plant operator NRG Energy and directly adjacent to the company’s 765-megawatt natural gas-fired NR Bertron power plant. The Bostco facility will have two docks capable of handling tankers with 45-foot-deep draughts, 12 spots for barges, 12 rail car spots, and pipeline connections for crude. Construction should begin in the second half of 2011 and the terminal should become operational in the first half of 2013.

Indian Supreme Court quashes anti-dumping duty on nylon tire cord

Filed under: Tire Cord — Notch @ 7:02 am

Anti-dumping duty on tyre manufacturers quashed

The Supreme Court last week set aside the ruling of the Customs, Excise and Service Tax Appellate Tribunal (CESTAT) and quashed the levy of anti-dumping duty imposed under a notification dated April 27, 2005. The order was passed in the appeal case, Automative Tyre Manufacturers Association vs Designated Authority (DA). The association represented domestic tyre manufacturing units, who import nylon tyre cord fabric from various countries, including China, as one of their basic raw materials for manufacture of tyres. The tribunal had dismissed the appeals, preferred by the association, Apollo Tyres, J.K. Tyres and Ningbo Nylon of China and confirmed the levy of anti-dumping duty in terms of the notification. It held that taxing is a legislative function and therefore, the DA need not hear the parties before taking action. Overruling this view, the Supreme Court declared that the order passed by the DA “offended the basic principle of natural justice. Therefore, the notification having been issued on the basis of the findings of the DA, who failed to follow the principles of natural justice, cannot be sustained.”

More information here and here.

High tech haven emerges in Israeli desert

Filed under: Silica — Notch @ 7:00 am

Here’s an interesting article about the recent emergence of booming high tech and alternative energy industries in the Negev desert in southern Israel. One of the companies active in the region is Dimona Silica Industries, which has developed a novel process for producing silica from porcellanite, a waste product of the phosphate mining industry.

Working with what a desert has in abundance, Israel’s Dimona Silica Industries (DSI) has discovered that Negev sand (silica) has unique properties – specifically, that it is rich in porcellanite, a waste material in the phosphate mining industry in Israel, which provides a more environmentally-friendly way to manufacture tires.

DSI discovered that instead of having to heat up silica to 1,500 degrees in order to extract liquid silica – used to manufacture tires and many other items – Negev silica need only be heated to about 90 degrees centigrade in order to turn it into liquid form. This is made possible by the unique properties of the porcellanite in the Negev silica. “Our production process is much more environmentally-friendly and cheaper, so we believe the world is going to prefer our Negev silica,” says DSI CEO Ronen Peled.

DSI has a pilot plant for the process and plans to enter commercial production down the road.

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