КУПУЙ

Luxury air travel faster than the speed of sound: A US start-up is aiming to revive commercial supersonic flight 50 years after the ill-fated Concorde first took to the skies.

Blake Scholl, the former Amazon staffer who co-founded Boom Supersonic, delivered the pledge this week in front of a fully-restored Concorde jet at the Brooklands aviation and motor museum in Weybridge, southwest of London.

The company aims to manufacture a prototype 55-seater business jet next year but its plans have been met with scepticism in some quarters.

“The story of Concorde is the story of a journey started but not completed — and we want to pick up on it,” Scholl said at an event that coincided with the nearby Farnborough Airshow.

“Today … the world is more linked than it’s ever been before and the need for improved human connection has never been greater.

“At Boom, we are inspired at what was accomplished half a century ago,” he added, speaking in front of a former British Airways Concorde.

Boom Supersonic’s early backers include Richard Branson and Japan Airlines, and other players are eyeing the same segment.

Speaking to AFP at Farnborough on Wednesday, Scholl indicated that the air tickets could be beyond the reach of some.

“What we’ve been able to do thanks to advances in aerodynamics and materials and engines is offer a high speed flight for the same price you pay in business class today,” he said. 

He said this works out to around $5,000 (4,300 euros) round-trip across the Atlantic.

“Now I know that might sounds like a lot, because it is, but it’s actually the same price you pay for a lay flat bed on airlines today,” he said.

‘Baby Boom’

Boom Supersonic’s aircraft, dubbed Baby Boom, is expected by the company to fly for the first time next year.

The company is making its debut at Farnborough and hopes to produce its new-generation jets in the mid-2020s or later, with the aim of slashing journey times by half.

The proposed aircraft has a maximum flying range of 8,334 kilometres (5,167 miles) at a speed of Mach 2.2 or 2,335 kilometres per hour.

If it takes off, it would be the first supersonic passenger aircraft since Concorde took its final flight in 2003.

The Concorde was retired following an accident in 2000 in which a Concorde crashed shortly after takeoff from Paris, killing 113 people.

“The one accident that did happen on Concord actually happened on the runway,” Scholl told AFP on Wednesday.

“It had nothing to do with high-speed flight so there’s no actual barrier to creating a highly safe, efficient supersonic airplane and we have super high standards for safety.

“We’ll be going through the same safety testing process that every other aircraft goes through and the FAA (US Federal Aviation Administration) and EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) will not let our airplane fly unless we pass a very high safety bar.”Some analysts meanwhile remain sceptical over the push back into supersonic, with consumer demand booming for cheap low-cost carriers.

“Supersonic is not what passengers or airlines want right now,” said Strategic Aero analyst Saj Ahmad.

Ahmad said supersonic jets were “very unattractive” because of high start-up development costs, considerations about noise pollution and high prices as well as limited capacity.

‘Untried and untested’

Independent air transport consultant John Strickland noted supersonic travel was unproven commercially.

“If there is an economic downturn or something happens where the market for business class traffic drains away, then you have nothing else left to do with that aircraft,” Strickland said.

“I think it’s going to be some time before we see whether it can establish a large viable market … in the way that Concorde never managed to do.”

These concerns have not stopped interest from other players.

US aerospace giant Boeing had last month unveiled its “hypersonic” airliner concept, which it hopes will fly at Mach 5 — or five times the speed of sound — when it arrives on the scene in 20 to 30 years.

And in April, NASA inked a deal for US giant Lockheed Martin to develop a supersonic “X-plane.”

Tesla and SpaceX CEO Elon Musk has apologized for calling a British diver involved in the Thailand cave rescue a pedophile, saying he spoke in anger but was wrong to do so.

There was no immediate public reaction from diver Vern Unsworth to Musk’s latest tweets.

Musk’s initial tweet calling Unsworth a “pedo” was a response to a TV interview Unsworth gave. In it, he said Musk and SpaceX engineers orchestrated a “PR stunt” by sending a small submarine to help divers rescue the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach from a flooded cave. Unsworth said the submarine, which wasn’t used, wouldn’t have worked anyway.

“My words were spoken in anger after Mr. Unsworth said several untruths …” Musk tweeted.

“Nonetheless, his actions against me do not justify my actions against him, and for that I apologize to Mr. Unsworth and to the companies I represent as leader. The fault is mine and mine alone.”

Musk’s Sunday tweet, later deleted, had sent investors away from Tesla stock, which fell nearly 3 percent Monday but recovered 4.1 percent Tuesday. Unsworth told CNN earlier this week that he was considering legal action. He did not respond to requests for comment from The Associated Press.

In his latest tweets, Musk said the mini-sub was “built as an act of kindness & according to specifications from the dive team leader.”

Musk has 22.3 million followers and his active social media presence has sometimes worked well for Tesla. The company has said in its filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission that it doesn’t need to advertise because it gets so much free media attention.

But straying away from defending his companies into personal insult brought Musk some unfavorable attention at a time when Tesla, worth more than $52 billion, is deep in debt and struggling for profitability. 

In northern Thailand on Wednesday, the 12 Thai soccer players and their coach answered questions from journalists, their first meeting with the media since their rescues last week. Doctors said all are healthy.

U.S. President Donald Trump’s top economic adviser accused Chinese President Xi Jinping Thursday of stalling efforts to resolve a growing trade dispute with the U.S.

White House National Economic Council Director Larry Kudlow said he believed lower-level Chinese officials want to end tariffs the world two largest economic powers have imposed on each other, but that Xi has refused to amend China’s technology transfer and other trade policies.

“So far as we know, President Xi, at the moment, does not want to make a deal,” Kudlow said in an interview on CNBC. “I think Xi is holding the game up,” Kudlow said, and added, “The ball is in his court.”

Kudlow said China could end U.S. tariffs “this afternoon” if it took measures that include cutting tariff and non-tariff barriers to imports. The U.S. has also called on Beijing to end the “theft” of intellectual property and allow full foreign ownership of companies operating in China.

Kudlow also said he expects European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker to make a trade offer when he meets with Trump at the White House next week.

Trump has demanded that the EU cut its 10 percent tariffs in auto imports at a time when his administration is conducting a national security study that could result in a 25 percent U.S. tariff on imported vehicles.

A 25 percent tariff would have a significant financial impact on European and Japanese automakers, and while Juncker has said he would make an trade offer to Trump next week, he did not offer details.

Earlier this month, Trump imposed 25 percent tariffs on Chinese goods valued at $34 billion, with another $16 billion set to take effect in the near future. Trump has also announced 10 percent tariffs on an additional $200 billion of Chinese products that could be imposed as early as next month.

Beijing retaliated to the first tariffs by placing duties on the same dollar amount of American imports, and has vowed to counter any further U.S. actions.

Trump imposed the tariffs after an Office of the U.S. Trade Representative investigation concluded China was violating intellectual property rules and forcing U.S. companies operating in China to hand over technology secrets in exchange for access to the Chinese market.

Facebook announced several new hires of top academics in the field of artificial intelligence Tuesday, among them a roboticist known for her work at Disney making animated figures move in more human-like ways.

 

The hires raise a big question — why is Facebook interested in robots, anyway?

 

It’s not as though the social media giant is suddenly interested in developing mechanical friends, although it does use robotic arms in some of its data centers. The answer is even more central to the problem of how AI systems work today.

 

Today, most successful AI systems have to be exposed to millions of data points labeled by humans — like, say, photos of cats — before they can learn to recognize patterns that people take for granted. Similarly, game-playing bots like Google’s computerized Go master AlphaGo Zero require tens of thousands of trials to learn the best moves from their failures.

 

Creating systems that require less data and have more common sense is a key goal for making AI smarter in the future.

 

“Clearly we’re missing something in terms of how humans can learn so fast,” Yann LeCun, Facebook’s chief AI scientist, said in a call with reporters last week. “So far the best ideas have come out of robotics.”

 

Among the people Facebook is hiring are Jessica Hodgins , the former Disney researcher; and Abhinav Gupta, her colleague at Carnegie Mellon University who is known for using robot arms to learn how to grasp things.

 

Pieter Abbeel, a roboticist at University of California, Berkeley and co-founder of the robot-training company Covariant.ai, says the robotics field has benefits and constraints that push progress in AI. For one, the real world is naturally complex, so robotic AI systems have to deal with unexpected, rare events. And real-world constraints like a lack of time and the cost of keeping machinery moving push researchers to solve difficult problems.

 

“Robotics forces you into many reality checks,” Abbeel said. “How good are these algorithms, really?”

 

There are other more abstract applications of learnings from robotics, says Berkeley AI professor Ken Goldberg. Just like teaching a robot to escape from a computerized maze, other robots change their behavior depending on whether actions they took got them closer to a goal. Such systems could even be adapted to serve ads, he said — which just happens to be the mainstay of Facebook’s business.

 

“It’s not a static decision, it’s a dynamic one,” Goldberg said.

In an interview, Hodgins expressed an interest in a wide range of robotics research, everything from building a “compelling humanoid robot” to creating a mechanical servant to “load and unload my dishwasher.”

 

While she acknowledged the need to imbue robots with more common sense and have them learn with fewer examples, she also said her work in animation could lead to a new form of sharing — one in which AI-powered tools could help one show off a work of pottery in 3-D, for example.

 

“One thing I hope we’ll be able to do is explore AI support for creativity,” she said.

 

For Facebook, planting a flag in the hot field also allows it to be competitive for AI talent emerging from universities, Facebook’s LeCun said.

 

Bart Selman, a Cornell computer science professor AI expert, said it’s a good idea for Facebook to broaden its reach in AI and take on projects that might not be directly related to the company’s business — something that’s a little more “exciting” — the way Google did with self-driving cars, for example.

 

This attracts not just attention, but students, too. The broader the research agenda, the better the labs become, he said.

Boeing has received a $3.9 billion contract to build two 747-8 aircraft for use as Air Force One by the U.S. president, due to be delivered by December 2024 and painted red, white and blue, officials said on Tuesday.

The Pentagon announced the decision on Tuesday, saying Seattle-based Boeing’s previously awarded contract for development work had been expanded to include design, modification and fielding of two mission-ready presidential 747-8 aircraft.

The contract followed the outlines of the informal deal reached between Boeing and the White House in February. That agreement came after President Donald Trump objected to the $4 billion price tag of a previous Air Force One deal, complaining in a Twitter post that “costs are out of control” and adding “Cancel order!”

The White House said in February the new deal would save taxpayers more than $1.4 billion, but those savings could not be independently confirmed.

Air Force budget documents released in February for fiscal year 2019 disclosed a $3.9 billion cost for the two-aircraft program. The same 2018 budget document, not adjusted for inflation, showed the price at $3.6 billion.

The Boeing 747-8s are designed to be an airborne White House able to fly in worst-case security scenarios, such as nuclear war, and are modified with military avionics, advanced communications and a self-defense system.

A congressional official briefed on Tuesday about the deal indicated it was little changed from the informal agreement reached in February, calling for two 747-8 aircraft to be built for $3.9 billion and delivered by December 2024.

Trump told CBS in an interview that aired on Tuesday that the new model Air Force One would be updated on the inside and have a different exterior color scheme from the current white and two shades of blue dating back to President John F. Kennedy’s administration.

“Red, white and blue,” Trump said. “Air Force One is going to be incredible. It’s going to be the top of the line, the top in the world. And it’s going to be red, white and blue, which I think is appropriate.”

Prototypes? Passe. Fashion company Betabrand saw that knitwear was a hot style in sneakers and wanted to quickly jump on the trend for dressier shoes. It put a poll up on its website asking shoppers what style they liked, and based on that had a shoe for sale online in just one week.

 

What web shoppers saw was a 3-D rendering — no actual shoe existed yet. Creating a traditional prototype, tweaking the design and making a sample would have taken six to nine months, and the company might have missed out on the interest in knit.

 

“The web attention span is short,” said Betabrand CEO Chris Lindland. “So if you can develop and create in a short time, you can be a real product-development machine.”

Shoppers looking at the shoe online could examine the peekaboo detail or check out how the sole was put together, as they would from photos of a real product. They don’t get the actual shoes instantaneously — they have to wait a few months. But the use of digital technology in designing and selling means hot trends are still getting to people far faster than under the old system.

 

“Retailers and brands who are embracing this are going to be winners of the future,” said David Bassuk, managing director of consulting group AlixPartners. “This is flipping the business model on its head.”

 

It’s a big cultural change for clothing makers. For decades, the process meant designers sketched ideas on paper, a design got approved, and the sketches went to a factory that created prototypes. Designers and product developers made tweaks and sent prototypes back and forth. Once a final version was approved, it was sent to the factory to be copied for mass production. Getting something from design to a store could take at least a year.

Now, some companies have designers sketching on high-resolution tablets with software that can email 3-D renderings of garments with specifications straight to factories, as better technology makes the images look real and the pressure to get shoppers new products swiftly intensifies. The goal is to reduce to six months or less the time it takes to get to store shelves.

 

Even chains like H&M, which once set the standard for speed by flying in frequent small batches, are realizing that’s not fast enough. H&M, which has seen sales slow, is starting to digitize certain areas of its manufacturing process.

 

For clothing makers and retailers, the shift means design decisions can happen closer to when the fashions actually hit the shelves or website. That means less guessing so stores aren’t stuck with piles of unsold clothes that need to be discounted.

 

The 3-D technology is used in just 2 percent of the overall supply networks, estimates Spencer Fung, group CEO of Li & Fung, which consults with more than 8,000 retailers including Betabrand and 15,000 suppliers globally. But he believes that will change as retailers begin prioritizing speed and realize that cutting down on design time and prototypes saves money.

 

“You can actually essentially create an entire collection before you even cut one garment,” said Whitney Cathcart, CEO of the Cathcart Technologies consulting firm. “So it reduces waste, it reduces lead times, it allows decision making in real time, so the entire process becomes more efficient.”

 

Fung imagines a scenario where a social media post with a celebrity in a red dress gets 500,000 “likes.” An alert goes to a retailer that this item is trending. Within hours, a digital sample of a similar dress is on its website. A factory can start to produce the dress in days.

 

“Consumers see it and they want it now,” says Michael Londrigan of fashion college LIM in New York. “How do you bring it to market so you don’t miss those dollars?”

 

Nicki Rector of the Sonoma Valley area in California bought a pair of Betabrand’s Western-style boots last summer based on the 3-D rendering.

 

“It looked real,” said Rector, who examined the images of the heel and the insoles. She didn’t worry about buying off a digital image, reasoning that if you’re buying online you can’t really know how something’s going to fit until you put it on your feet. She said knowing it was designed from customer input also helped make the wait OK.

 

Betabrand has sold 40,000 pairs of shoes priced from $128 to $168 over the past year, all from digital renderings, and plans to add 15 to 20 such projects this year.

At a Levi Strauss & Co. research and development facility in San Francisco, designers use programs that offer the look of a finished garment and let them make changes like adding pockets quickly, rather than requiring a new prototype. When they’re set, they can send a file to the factory for mass production. Using digital samples can shorten the design time to one week or less from an eight-week timeframe, Levi’s says.

 

Few companies are yet selling directly to shoppers off digital renderings like Betabrand, and are instead showing them to store buyers or to factories rather than using traditional samples.

 

Xcel Brands uses them for its own brand of women’s tops and for the company’s Judith Ripka jewelry line. The company, which also makes clothes for Isaac Mizrahi and Halston, will start using them for other brands within the year. CEO Robert D’Loren hopes to start putting 3-D samples on its website next year.

 

Tommy Hilfiger has an interactive touchscreen table where buyers can view every item in the collection and create custom orders. And Deckers Brands, the maker of Ugg boots, is using digital renderings of the classic boot in 10 colors, eliminating the need for 10 prototypes for store buyers. That helps reduce cost and increases speed.

 

Using digital designs also mean the exact specifications for different Levi’s design finishes can be uploaded to a machine that uses lasers to scrape away at jeans. No need to teach employees how to execute a designer’s vision, in a minute and a half the lasers have given the jeans the exact weathered look that took workers wielding pumice stones twenty minutes to half an hour.

 

“Thirty years ago, jeans were only available in three shades — rinse, stonewash and bleach,” said Bart Sights, head of the Levi’s Eureka lab. “Our company now designs 1,000 finishes per season.” Such a long lead time “pushes production and creation too far away.” Levi’s latest technology alleviates this issue, he said.

Time and effort have gone down the drain for Steve Gould, who is scrambling to find new customers for his gin, whiskey and other spirits since the United States has taken a tough stance on trade issues.

Before the European Union retaliated against new U.S. tariffs with taxes of its own, Gould expected revenue from the EU at his Golden Moon Distillery in Colorado to reach $250,000 or $350,000 this year. Now he’s concerned that European exports will total just $25,000. Golden Moon already saw an effect when then-candidate Donald Trump made trade an issue during the 2016 campaign. Gould lost one of his Mexican importers and an investor, as overseas demand for small-distiller spirits was growing.

“We’ve lost years of work and hundreds of thousands of dollars in building relationships with offshore markets,” says Gould, who’s hoping to find new customers in countries like Japan. 

President Donald Trump’s aggressive trade policies are taking a toll on small U.S. manufacturers. The president has imposed tariffs of 25 percent on steel and 10 percent on aluminum imports from most of the world, including Europe, Mexico and Canada, driving up costs for companies that rely on those metals. And he has slapped 25 percent taxes on $34 billion in Chinese imports in a separate trade dispute, targeting mostly machinery and industrial components so far. Trump’s tariffs have drawn retaliation from around the world. China is taxing American soybeans, among other things; the European Union has hit Harley-Davidson motorcycles and Kentucky bourbon; Canada has imposed tariffs on a range of products — from U.S. steel to dishwasher detergent.

More businesses could be feeling the pain as the trade disputes escalate — the administration on Tuesday threatened to impose 10 percent tariffs on thousands of Chinese products including fish, apples and burglar alarms. And China responded with a tariff threat of its own, although it didn’t say what U.S. exports would be targeted.

Small businesses are particularly vulnerable to tariffs because they lack the financial resources larger companies have to absorb higher costs. Large companies can move production overseas — as Harley-Davidson recently announced it would do to escape 25 percent retaliatory tariffs in Europe. But “if you’re a small firm, it’s much harder to do that; you don’t have an international network of production locations,” says Lee Branstetter, professor of economics and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University’s Heinz College.

Shifting manufacturing away from items that use components that are being taxed is also harder since small businesses tend to make fewer products, he says. And if tariffs make it too expensive to export to their current markets, small companies may not be able to afford the effort of finding new ones.

Small-business owners have been growing more confident over the past year as the economy has been strong, and they’ve been hiring at a steady if not robust pace. But those hurt by tariffs are can lose their optimism and appetite for growth within a few months.

“They have narrow profit margins and it’s a tax,” says Kent Jones, an economics professor at Babson College. “That lowers their profit margins and increases the possibility of layoffs and even bankruptcies.”

Yacht company

Bertram Yachts is one company finding it trickier to maneuver. The U.S. has put a 25 percent tariff on hundreds of boat parts imported from China, where most marine components are made. And European countries have imposed a 25 percent tariff on U.S.-made boats. Last year, Bertram exported about a third of its boats, with half going to Europe.

“We have been squeezed on both sides,” says Peter Truslow, CEO of the Tampa, Florida-based boat maker.

Truslow doesn’t know how the tariffs will affect the company’s sales and profits, but dealers he’s spoken to in Europe have already gotten cancellations on boats that run into the millions of dollars. Bertram plans to try to build up its strong U.S. business and seek more customers in countries that aren’t involved in trade disputes with the U.S., including Japan and Australia.

Still, the company’s growth and job creation stand to slow. “It’s probably going to be more about a reduction in hiring than it is about layoffs,” Truslow says.

The ripples are being felt across the industry, says Tom Dammrich, president of the National Marine Manufacturers Association trade group. He estimates there are about 1,000 manufacturers, almost all small or mid-size businesses, and says some parts can only be bought from China.

Metal fabrication

Matt Barton’s metal fabrication company, which makes custom replacement parts for farm equipment, outdoor signs and people who race hot rods, is paying its suppliers up to 20 percent more for metals than it did a year ago.

Prices had soared as much as 40 percent months ago amid expectations of U.S. tariffs on aluminum and steel. They have since steadied, but are expected to remain high for three to six months. Barton’s Pittsboro, Indiana-based company, The Hero Lab, is absorbing part of the increases. Some racing customers are still delaying orders.

“What they budgeted to cost $1,000 now is now $1,200 or $1,500,” Barton says. “They’re pushing their orders back four to six weeks, waiting for a few more paychecks to come in.”

Cheese maker

Jeff Schwager’s cheese company, Sartori, is selling products to Mexico at break-even prices because of that nation’s retaliatory 25 percent tariff. Twelve percent of the Plymouth, Wisconsin-based company’s revenue comes from exports, which is the fastest-growing segment of the business.

Sartori and its Mexican importer are each absorbing half the costs of the tariff. Schwager, the CEO, doesn’t see leaving the Mexican market as an option.

“If you lose space on the grocery store shelf, or you’re taken out of recipes in restaurants, that takes years to get back,” he says. He hopes the trade dispute can be resolved and tariffs rolled back.

Flatware maker

But some small manufacturers believe they can benefit from a trade dispute. Greg Owens, president of flatware maker Sherrill Manufacturing, says if his competitors in China are hit by U.S. tariffs, he could see revenue increase.

“They would have to raise the retail price, which would allow us to raise our prices,” says Owens, whose company is located in Sherrill, New York. In turn, Owens says, that would allow “long overdue” raises for workers and upgrades to capital equipment.

Компанія «Нафтогаз» заявляє, що негайне проведення відокремлення оператора газотранспортної системи зараз неможливе через чинний транзитний контракт з російським «Газпромом». 

«Негайне проведення відокремлення оператора газотранспортної системи вимагатиме або отримання письмової згоди «Газпрому» на приєднання до контракту нового оператора, або досягнення домовленостей з «Газпромом» про внесення змін до існуючого контракту. Жоден із цих варіантів не є досяжним», – йдеться у заяві компанії. 

«Нафтогаз» опублікував частини арбітражного рішення, що стосуються анбандлінгу (передачі функцій видобування газу, його транспортування і розподілу незалежним компаніям – ред.).

«Що буде, якщо провести анбандлінг зараз, і чому ті, хто наполягає на цьому, ллють воду на газпромівський млин? Ми не хочемо надавати «Газпрому» можливість достроково розірвати чинний транзитний контракт, за яким ми, зараз вимагаємо у Стокгольмі ще понад 11 мільярдів доларів США», – зазначають у компанії. 

У «Нафтогазі» нагадують, що однією з позовних вимог у Арбітражному інституті Торгової палати Стокгольма було внесення змін до чинного контракту на транзит газу, які б дозволили «Нафтогазу» передати свої права та обов`язки за цим контрактом без письмової згоди «Газпрому» будь-якій третій особі – це мало дозволити Україні зберегти транзит газу за чинним контрактом і одночасно провести відокремлення оператора ГТС. Проте ці вимоги трибунал відхилив. 

Читайте також: Майбутнє «Нафтогазу»: відділення ГТС і ліквідація надбудов?

«Тепер, щоб здійснити відокремлення, «Нафтогаз» і новий оператор ГТС мають отримати згоду «Газпрому» на приєднання незалежного оператора до чинного контракту. Отримання такої згоди є малоймовірним, враховуючи неодноразово оприлюднену позицію Газпрому», – наголошують в українській компанії. 

«Нафтогаз України» здійснює повний цикл операцій розвідки та розробки родовищ, експлуатаційного та розвідувального буріння, транспортування та зберігання нафти і газу, постачання природного і скрапленого газу споживачам. Відокремлення функцій, зокрема, транспортування газу вимагає, серед іншого, так званий Третій енергопакет нормативних актів Європейського союзу, втілити які зобов’язалася й Україна. «Нафтогаз України» є одноособовим акціонером компанії «Укртрансгаз», яка займається транспортуванням газу.

Реформа «Нафтогазу» передбачає проведення демонополізації компанії. Оператор української ГТС має бути виділений в юридичну особу, не пов’язану ні з «Нафтогазом», ні з іншими підприємствами, які займаються видобутком і генерацією енергії.

Підприємство «Дніпроазот», яке розташоване у Кам’янському на Дніпропетровщині і є єдиним виробником рідкого хлору для знезараження питної води в Україні, готове відновити виробництво рідкого хлору і просить АМКУ узгодити збільшення ціни на цю продукцію. Про це у вівторок Радіо Свобода повідомив комерційний директор підприємства Андрій Пустовойт.

За його даними, завод підготував економічне обґрунтування необхідності підвищення цін на вироблену продукцію й направив звернення до Антимонопольного комітету України, де воно перебуває на розгляді вже два тижні. Мета даного звернення – отримати висновок про можливість підвищення підприємством ціни на рідкий хлор, зазначив комерційний директор.

«Нова ціна на хлор, яку пропонує наше підприємство, відповідає середньоринковій у 2018 році. Обладнання з виробництва хлору на підприємстві перебуває в робочому стані та готове до відновлення виробництва в будь-який момент», – сказав він.

Як зазначив Андрій Пустовойт, «Дніпроазот» пропонує вже зараз укласти прямі контракти (без підприємств-посередників) на поставку рідкого хлору. Ці контракти набудуть чинності відразу ж після отримання роз’яснень від АМКУ.

За його даними, через здорожчання енергоресурсів у червні «Дніпроазот» повністю зупинив своє виробництво, зокрема зупинила свою роботу хлорна група цехів, обсяг виробництва яких складала 10% від загального обсягу продукції підприємства.

Водночас у вівторок стало відомо, що комунальне підприємство «Аульський водовід» на Дніпропетровщині, який забезпечує питною водою Дніпро, Кам’янське, Верхньодніпровськ і прилеглі райони, отримав імпортний рідкий хлор. Як повідомив заступник голови облради Валерій Безус, поставку речовини здійснили автомобільним транспортом. Однак звідки саме надійшов хлор, не повідомляється.

У понеділок КП Дніпропетровської облради «Аульський водовід» заявило, що на підприємстві «склалась надзвичайна ситуація»: через відсутність постачання рідкого хлору водопостачання може бути призупинене з 17 липня.

Читайте також: Хлор для знезараження питної води буде – уряд

Минулого тижня «Асоціація водоканалів України» заявила, що через зупинку заводу «Дніпроазот» на підприємствах водопровідно-каналізаційного господарства України «виникла складна ситуація з знезараженням питної води». За даними Асоціації, на деяких підприємствах галузі залишків хлору залишилося від тижня до 20 діб. 

У середині червня на Дніпропетровщині на невизначений час зупинив роботу потужний хімічний завод АТ «Дніпроазот» у Кам’янському, який українські ЗМІ пов’язують з колом бізнес-інтересів бізнесмена Ігоря Коломойського.  Як пояснив тоді Радіо Свобода голова правління підприємства Сергій Сідоров, завод, який упродовж 80 років був провідним постачальником міндобрив і виробником дезінфектантів для питної води в Україні, вимушений зупинити роботу через здорожчання природного газу, який є сировиною для виробництва і складає близько 80% у вартості продукції.

Національний банк України 17 липня презентував банкноту номіналом 20 гривень зразка 2018 року з оновленим дизайном й удосконаленою системою захисту.

Як повідомляє прес-служба НБУ, оновлюючи дизайн і вдосконалюючи захист банкнот гривні, регулятор прагне до підвищення їх надійності.

Згідно з міжнародними стандартами, грошові знаки потрібно оновлювати з певною періодичністю, щоб мінімізувати або зовсім унеможливити спроби шахраїв підробити банкноти.

Оновлену 20-гривневу банкноту планують ввести в обіг 25 вересня цього року.

У Нацбанку додали, що банкноти зразка 2003 і 2018 років перебуватимуть в обігу одночасно, громадянам не потрібно буде обмінювати банкноти попереднього зразка на нові.

 

Японія та Європейський Союз уклали широкомасштабну угоду про вільну торгівлю, що, як вони сподіваються, стане противагою протекціоністським торговим заходам, запровадженим президентом США Дональдом Трампом.

Угода, підписана в Токіо 17 липня, є найбільшою з будь-коли укладених ЄС і створює найбільшу у світі відкриту економічну зону, де скасовуються тарифи на все – від японських автомобілів до французького сиру.

Угоду уклали на тлі побоювань, що торгівельна війна між Сполученими Штатами і Китаєм може зменшити роль вільної торгівлі у світовій економіці.

Прем’єр-міністр Японії Сіндзо Абе підписав торговий договір з головою Європейської ради Дональдом Туском та президентом Європейської комісії Жан-Клодом Юнкером.

Читайте також: ЄС закликає США, Росію та Китай уникати торгових воєн

На Японію та ЄС припадає близько третини світового валового внутрішнього продукту, і їхні торговельні відносини мають простір до зростання. На думку офіційних осіб ЄС, які оцінюють цю угоду, економіка ЄС зросте на 0,8%, а у Японії – на 0,3% у довгостроковій перспективі.

Національна акціонерна компанія «Нафтогаз України» заявляє, що в 2017 році отримала рекордний прибуток на рівні 39,4 мільярда гривень. Такі здобутки, відбиті в річному звіті, в компанії пов’язують із перемогою над російським «Газпромом» у Стокгольмському арбітражі.

«Презентуючи звіт, Андрій Коболєв (голова правління НАК «Нафтогаз України» – ред.) зазначив: один із головних підсумків нашої напруженої чотиричної роботи – історичні перемоги у Стокгольмі, здобуті в грудні 2017 та лютому 2018. Ми позбулися загрози боргового навантаження на країну і отримали право на компенсацію збитків на 4,7 мільярда доларів», – цитує керівника компанії Twitter-акаунт «Нафтогазу».

Комерційний директор «Нафтогазу України» Юрій Вітренко заявив 16 липня, що спори між українською компанією і російським «Газпромом» вже врегульовані у Стокгольському арбітражному суді, але Москва не виконує ці рішення. Так Вітренко відреагував на заяву президента Росії Володимира Путіна, що Москва готова зберегти транзит газу для України в разі врегулювання цього у Стокгольмському арбітражі.

​Читайте також: Арешт активів «Газпрому». Як «Нафтогазу України» повернути собі гроші?

30 травня «Нафтогаз» повідомив, що почав процес стягнення з російського «Газпрому» боргу в близько 2,6 мільярда доларів відповідно до рішення Стокгольмського арбітражу в справах щодо постачання і транзиту газу.

Стокгольмський арбітраж розглядав спір «Нафтогазу» і «Газпрому» про умови контракту на поставку і транзит газу, укладеного в 2009 році на 10 років. Сторони висували одна до одної претензії на кілька мільярдів доларів.

Scientists from Cranfield University in Britain have teamed up with the engineering firm Siemens to retro-fit a classic 1965 Ford Mustang with driverless technology. They recently tested it on a racetrack at the Goodwood Festival of Speed — considered the largest motoring garden party in the world. VOA’s Julie Taboh has more.

A former official at a Venezuelan state-run electric company pleaded guilty on Monday to U.S. charges that he participated in a scheme to solicit bribes in exchange for helping vendors win favorable treatment from state oil company PDVSA.

Luis Carlos De Leon Perez, 42, pleaded guilty in federal court in Houston to conspiring to violate the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act and to conspiring to commit money laundering, the U.S. Justice Department said.

He became the 12th person to plead guilty as part of a larger investigation by the Justice Department into bribery at Petroleos de Venezuela SA that became public with the arrest of two Venezuelan businessmen in December 2015.

The two men were Roberto Rincon, who was president of Tradequip Services & Marine, and Abraham Jose Shiera Bastidas, the manager of Vertix Instrumentos. Both pleaded guilty in 2016 to conspiring to pay bribes to secure energy contracts.

De Leon is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 24. His lawyers did not respond to requests for comment.

De Leon was arrested in October 2017 in Spain and was extradited to the United States after being indicted along with four other former Venezuelan officials on charges they solicited bribes to help vendors win favorable treatment from

PDVSA.

An indictment said that from 2011 to 2013 the five Venezuelans sought bribes and kickbacks from vendors to help them secure PDVSA contracts and gain priority over other vendors for outstanding invoices during its liquidity crisis.

Prosecutors said De Leon was among a group of PDVSA officials and people outside the company with influence at it who solicited bribes from Rincon and Shiera. De Leon worked with those men to then launder the bribe money, prosecutors said.

De Leon also sought bribes from the owners of other energy companies and directed some of that money to PDVSA officials in order help those businesses out, prosecutors said.

Among the people indicted with De Leon was Cesar David Rincon Godoy, a former general manager at PDVSA’s procurement unit Bariven. He pleaded guilty in April to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Others charged included Nervis Villalobos, a former Venezuelan vice minister of energy; Rafael Reiter, who worked as PDVSA’s head of security and loss prevention; and Alejandro Isturiz Chiesa, who was an assistant to Bariven’s president.

Villalobos and Reiter were, like De Leon, arrested in Spain, where they remain pending extradition, the Justice Department said. Isturiz remains at large.

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