Today in the pressTuesday 08 April 2014 09.14
METHANE EXTRACTED FROM HOUSEHOLD WASTE WILL POWER 8,500 HOMES - Methane from household waste will be used to generate enough electricity to power 8,500 homes, writes the Irish Independent. Bord na Mona will turn waste into 5.6 megawatts of renewable power at its new state of the art landfill-gas plant in Drehid, Co Kildare. Chief executive Gabriel D'Arcy said the firm has invested heavily in new and innovative ways of capitalising on all its resources to create further value and uses. "This gas power plant is the result of a transformation in the way we look at spent materials, turning household waste into green energy that in turn helps create jobs and a sustainable electricity supply," he said. The plant burns 6,000 tonnes of methane and converts it to carbon dioxide and water, which if left untreated would have a greenhouse gas impact of 126,000 tonnes of Co2. It also displaces the equivalent amount of carbon sourced power on the grid as it is carbon neutral. A leading benefit of using landfill gas for the provision of electricity is its ability to deliver stable, continuous supplies of electricity to the power grid, the company said.
CRH WAITING IN WINDS TO BENEFIT FROM LAFARGE-HOLCIM DEAL SHAKE-OUT - News that rivals Lafarge and Holcim plan to mix up the world's cement industry by creating a $50 billion giant with operations in virtually every significant market sparked interest in Irish player CRH yesterday, writes the Irish Times. Shares in the Dublin-based group, which has close to €20 billion revenues and businesses throughout Europe, the US, China and India, surged by about 2% early in the day while 2.2 million of its equities changed hands. Investors believe CRH is waiting in the wings to benefit from the shake-up that is likely to follow the merger of the Swiss and French giants. The pair know their plans threaten to create a headache for anti-trust watchdogs in Europe and the US. They anticipated this by pledging to sell off assets in markets where the overlap between the two is likely to damage competition. The two say that the newly merged entity - to be called Lafargeholcim - will not derive more than 10% of its revenues from operations in any single country. There are eight where they have more than half the market between them.
NO DATE YET FOR PERMANENT TSB PLAN - There is no visibility on when the restructuring plan for Permanent TSB might be approved by the European Commission, according to the Minister for Finance Michael Noonan. “Discussions are ongoing at a technical level involving the commission, the Department of Finance and Permanent TSB in relation to the plan, details of which are confidential between the parties and commercially sensitive. “I do not intend to speculate on when that process might be concluded,” Mr Noonan told Fianna Fáil finance spokesperson Michael McGrath in response to a parliamentary question. The broad outline of the plan is that PTSB will be split into three divisions: a good bank; a non-core division; and a separate unit for its UK assets, says the Irish Examiner. Under the original plan, an asset management unit would manage the bank’s loss-making tracker mortgages. It is believed negotiations had focused on securing funding from either the ECB or the ESM to support the asset management unit. However, these talks failed to yield an agreement and the unit is now part of the core bank.
DATA SHAK-UP TURNS UK INTO NATION OF SAVERS - A radical overhaul of the UK's national accounts this autumn will double the official measure of household savings, presenting Britons as a nation of unexpected prudence and undercutting their widely held reputation for profligacy. For the first time in 15 years, the Office for National Statistics is preparing to rip up the way it measures Britain’s economy, with the new techniques showing a huge increase in the size of the economy, a higher level of public debt and a much increased savings ratio. There is also a good chance that the statisticians will significantly revise up growth recorded in the economy in 2012 and last year, writes the Financial Times. The reforms will have the potential both to overturn Britain’s reputation as a spendthrift nation and significantly improve the poor productivity performance of the past few years. The ONS will introduce new global accounting standards to gross domestic product and related measures in September, following similar changes already introduced in the US, Canada, Australia. Under the new system of accounts, research and development spending will count towards GDP rather than being seen as a cost of production, and building aircraft carriers and other weapons of war will also add to the size of the economy. The ONS said the change would add between 2.5% and 5% to the level of GDP, adding £40 billion to £75 billion to the total.