Energy R&D programs in Europe receive €100M
The European Investment Bank (EIB) and Prysmian Group announce the finalization of a €100 million loan to fund the European research and development (R&D) programs of the Group, a leader in the energy and telecom cables and systems industry, over the period 2013-2016.
The loan represents about 50 percent of the planned investment expenditure in Europe during the period concerned. The Prysmian Group's global budget for R&D over the four-year period is some €300 million.
The EIB loan will be used in particular for:
· Industrial Research: research into innovative materials using nanotechnology, network monitoring and management systems, optimization of cable design to reduce electrical losses and optical cables for use in electricity distribution networks.
· Innovation and Experimentation: the focus is on using alternative materials for cable design and on optimizing product projects.
· New Product Development: underground and submarine power transmission cables and systems, high voltage P-Laser cables, cables for the renewable energy sector, high-performance optical fiber, cables for Fiber-to-the-Home and Fiber-to-the-Antenna applications, connectivity and development of smart cables and systems for monitoring and management.
The EIB loan is particularly intended to support projects developed in the Group's R&D centers in six countries: France, Great Britain, Holland, Spain, Germany and Italy.
Italy, which is due to receive a significant share of the funding, is home to the Group's R&D headquarters as well as to a number of centers of manufacturing excellence for optical fiber and power transmission cables and submarine systems. The Prysmian Group has 17 R&D centers around the world, located in Europe, North and South America and Asia, with 550 researchers and technicians and a portfolio of more than 5,600 patents.
“Lending for research and development is one of the pillars of the European Union's bank's business," said Dario Scannapieco, EIB vice president. “We are therefore very pleased about this operation with Prysmian, an Italian company with a long history but with an important European and international outlook, which places investment in innovation at the heart of staying highly competitive even in economic times when initial signs of recovery are less visible.”
Trafigura and Yara International explore clean ammonia usage
Reducing shipping emissions is a vital component of the fight against global climate change, yet Greenhouse Gas emissions from the global maritime sector are increasing - and at odds with the IMO's strategy to cut absolute emissions by at least 50% by 2050.
How more than 70,000 ships can decrease their reliance on carbon-based sources is one of transport's most pressing decarbonisation challenges.
Yara and Trafigura intend to collaborate on initiatives that will establish themselves in the clean ammonia value chain. Under the MoU announced today, Trafigura and Yara intend to work together in the following areas:
- The supply of clean ammonia by Yara to Trafigura Group companies
- Exploration of joint R&D initiatives for clean ammonia application as a marine fuel
- Development of new clean ammonia assets including marine fuel infrastructure and market opportunities
Magnus Krogh Ankarstrand, President of Yara Clean Ammonia, said the agreement is a good example of cross-industry collaboration to develop and promote zero-emission fuel in the form of clean ammonia for the shipping industry. "Building clean ammonia value chains is critical to facilitate the transition to zero emission fuels by enabling the hydrogen economy – not least within trade and distribution where both Yara and Trafigura have leading capabilities. Demand and supply of clean ammonia need to be developed in tandem," he said.
There is a growing consensus that hydrogen-based fuels will ultimately be the shipping fuels of the future, but clear and comprehensive regulation is essential, according to Jose Maria Larocca, Executive Director and Co-Head of Oil Trading for Trafigura.
Ammonia has a number of properties that require "further investigation," according to Wartsila. "It ignites and burns poorly compared to other fuels and is toxic and corrosive, making safe handling and storage important. Burning ammonia could also lead to higher NOx emissions unless controlled either by aftertreatment or by optimising the combustion process," it notes.
Trafigura has co-sponsored the R&D of MAN Energy Solutions’ ammonia-fuelled engine for maritime vessels, has performed in-depth studies of transport fuels with reduced greenhouse gas emissions, and has published a white paper on the need for a global carbon levy for shipping fuels to be introduced by International Maritime Organization.
Oslo-based Yara produces roughly 8.5 million tonnes of ammonia annually and employs a fleet of 11 ammonia carriers, including 5 fully owned ships, and owns 18 marine ammonia terminals with 580 kt of storage capacity – enabling it to produce and deliver ammonia across the globe.
It recently established a new clean ammonia unit to capture growth opportunities in emission-free fuel for shipping and power, carbon-free fertilizer and ammonia for industrial applications.