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SmallGEO’s first flight reaches orbit

 

PROGRAMME / PROJECT NEWS

ESA’s new small telecom platform successfully launched on first mission

28 January 2017 – Paris, France – The European Space Agency (ESA) announced that the Hispasat 36W-1 satellite, based on the SmallGEO platform, successfully lifted off on a Soyuz rocket at 01:03 GMT this morning from Europe’s Spaceport in Kourou, French Guiana. SmallGEO is Europe’s response to the market demand for more flexible, modular telecommunications platforms. It marks the first time the German satellite manufacturing company OHB System AG have been the prime contractor for a telecommunications satellite mission. Its Hispasat payload marks the first ESA partnership with a Spanish operator.

170128-pmwj55-esa-SmallGEO-IMAGEThe three-tonne satellite was released by Soyuz into its transfer orbit 29 minutes after liftoff this morning. It will now use its own thrusters to make its way to its final destination over the course of the next few weeks.

It is heading towards ‘geostationary’ orbit at an altitude of 36 000 km over the equator, where it will take a day to circle Earth and therefore appear to hang over the same point, in this case at 36°W over the Atlantic Ocean. OHB will test the satellite’s health and performance, making sure the sensitive technology made it unscathed through the violence of the launch. After all is deemed well, they will hand the control over to Hispasat and the satellite will begin providing broadband services to Europe, South America and the Canary Islands.

“The launch of this first SmallGEO platform marks another major success for ESA’s programme of Advanced Research in Telecommunications Systems, known as ARTES, which aims to boost the competitiveness of its Member State industry through innovation,” noted Magali Vaissiere, ESA’s Director of Telecommunications and Integrated Applications. “SmallGEO is part of our continuous efforts to strengthen the position of European and Canadian industry in the commercial telecommunications market, expanding the current range of available products. The next satellite based on SmallGEO will be EDRS-C, as the second node to the European Data Relay System.”

Carlos Espinós Gómez, CEO of Hispasat, said: “For Hispasat, this new satellite represents an important step forward in its innovation strategy. Hispasat 36W-1 is not only the first mission of the new SmallGEO platform, but also incorporates an advanced regenerative payload that will provide the satellite with greater flexibility and signal quality thanks to its reconfigurable antenna and onboard processor, thus improving the telecommunications services it will provide to our clients. We are very satisfied with our collaboration with ESA, which has allowed us to participate in a leading technological project to which they have added significant value with their knowledge and experience in the space sector.”

Marco Fuchs, CEO of OHB System AG, commented: “The launch is a major milestone in the history of OHB. Hispasat 36W-1 proves that OHB’s concept of a modular and flexible SmallGEO platform fits into the market. SmallGEO is destined to build a cornerstone for Europe’s future activities in the segment of geostationary satellites in the three-tonne class. For OHB, Hispasat 36W-1 is the first project of a wide scope of future missions based on the SmallGEO platform, including a revolution in satellite technology: the full electric propulsion mission Electra.”

To learn more about the SmallGEO programme, click here.

The European Space Agency (ESA), Europe’s gateway to space, is an intergovernmental organisation created in 1975 with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 20 Member States, of whom 18 are members of the EU. ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other EU Member States and with Canada, and works with the EU on the Galileo and Copernicus programmes. ESA develops launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities, and launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. Learn more about ESA at www.esa.int

Source: European Space Agency

 

 

Manantiales-Behr Wind Farm Project

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

Argentina’s largest wind farm project will contribute to reduce the carbon footprint and diversify the energy matrix in the country

22 December 2016 – Buenos Aires, Argentina and Washington, DC, USA – The Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) has announced that the Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), acting on behalf of the IDB, has granted a $200 million syndicated loan to YPF Energía Eléctrica S.A. in Argentina for the construction, operation and maintenance of the 100 MW Manantiales Behr wind farm and related facilities. The project includes a 20 km transmission line of 132 kV and is located about 40 km northeast of the city of Comodoro Rivadavia.

wind-turbine-3The project will contribute to the diversification of Argentina’s energy matrix and will avoid 245,311 tons of carbon dioxide equivalent per year, supporting the country’s goal of generating 30 percent of its energy from non-traditional renewable sources.

The IIC led the financial structuring of the project, which consists of a $100 million 9-year A loan and a $100 million 6-year B loan. The participating banks are BBVA, Banco Santander and Citibank.

The Inter-American Investment Corporation (IIC), a member of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) Group, is a multilateral development bank committed to supporting the private sector in Latin America and the Caribbean. The IIC finances sustainable enterprises and projects to achieve financial results that maximize social and environmental development for the region. With a current portfolio of $7 billion under management and 330 clients in 20 countries, the IIC works across sectors to provide innovative financial solutions and advisory services that meet the evolving demands of its clients. For more about IIC, visit http://www.iic.org/en. For more about IIC projects in Argentina, go to http://www.iic.org/en/countries/regional-developing/argentina-0

Established in 1959, the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is a source of multilateral financing for sustainable economic, social and institutional development programs and projects throughout Latin America and the Caribbean. More information about the IDB is at www.iadb.org. For more about IDB projects, visit http://www.iadb.org/en/projects/projects,1229.html.

Source: Inter-American Development Bank

 

 

Zimbabwe Government Commissions US$150million Victoria Falls Airport Upgrade Project

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

21 November 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe has commissioned a new look US$150 million Victoria Falls International Airport. The airport was official opened by his Excellency the President of the Republic of Zimbabwe Mr Robert Mugabe on 18 November 2016. Project sponsors, the Civil Aviation Authority of Zimbabwe (CAAZ), say the project development is expected to boost the airport’s aircraft handling capacity and tourism in the resort town of Victoria Falls.

Named after one of the seven natural wonders of the world, the Victoria Falls, the resort town has the potential to become a commercial centre due to the anticipated increased traffic. Passenger traffic is expected to increase from the current 500 000 to about 1,8 million per year.

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The airport, able to handle long-haul jets such as the Airbus A340, Boeing 777 and Boeing 747, is expected to increase efficiency in Zimbabwe’s tourism sector as well as improve the southern African nation’s image, which has had a severe bashing for the past decade or so due to socio-economic challenges.

CAAZ also took advantage of the presence of about 400 global airline executives at the African Airlines Association (AFRAA) annual general assembly which was held in Victoria Falls during the same week to market to the world the upgraded Victoria Falls International Airport.

161121-pmwj53-banda-photo2The airport, funded by a US$150 million Export-Import Bank of China loan to the Zimbabwean government, was constructed by a Chinese construction company, Jiangsu International Economic and Technical Cooperation Group.

“The airport is the gateway to the mighty Victoria Falls, a world heritage site and one of the seven natural wonders of the world. The New Victoria Falls International Airport’s features include: The new international terminal building, a new four-kilometre long by 60 metre wide runway, extended parking areas for aircraft, new control tower, new fire station, new road networks; a new state of the art international passenger terminal building and a refurbished domestic terminal with a capacity to handle 1,5 million passengers per annum. The apron area has a capacity to handle aircraft in the class of the B747 and equivalent,” said CAAZ.

The airport expansion project started in February 2013. The new terminal would be used for international flights while the existing terminal would be converted to domestic use.

CAAZ is already marketing the new facility to lure new airlines. “The airport has modern passenger facilities which include a compatible baggage handling system, flight information display system and common use passenger processing system. This new state-of-the-art airport will now accommodate long haul flights from around the globe, which is expected to increase the inflow of tourists into Zimbabwe,” CAAZ said

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

Giant Chernobyl Arch Slides into Place

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New structure shields nuclear reactor destroyed in 1986 disaster

14 November 2016 – London, UK and Kiev, Ukraine – One of the most ambitious projects in the history of engineering passed a major milestone today as the arch shielding radioactive waste caused by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear power station accident has started sliding into place.

Chernobyl’s New Safe Confinement (NSC) is the largest moveable land-based structure ever built, with a span of 257 metres, a length of 162 metres, a height of 108 metres and a total weight of 36,000 tonnes equipped. It will now be moved into its resting place over Chernobyl’s reactor 4 which was destroyed in the accident 30 years ago.

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Photo courtesy of EBRD

The sliding is done with help of a special skidding system that consists of 224 hydraulic jacks to push the arch 60 centimetres each stroke. It is anticipated that the total skid time will be around 40 hours of operation spread over a period of up to 5 days. The NSC was constructed in a clean area near reactor 4 of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant and will be slid over 327 metres to seal off the unit. It will make the site safe and allow for the eventual dismantling of the aging shelter currently housing the reactor and the management of the radioactive waste within the structure.

The New Safe Confinement, the giant arch built to secure Chernobyl’s damaged Reactor 4, is currently being slid into position. The record-breaking structure will secure the radioactive remains for at least a century. The EBRD manages the funding and is the biggest single donor to the project.

Ostap Semerak, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of Ukraine, said: “The start of the sliding of the Arch over reactor 4 at the Chernobyl NPP is the beginning of the end of a 30-year long fight with the consequences of the 1986 accident.  The credit for construction of this one-of-a-kind technological structure goes to an expert team of engineers and builders. This is a historic step towards the improvement of environmental safety throughout the world, as well as in the Chernobyl exclusion zone.  And it has only become possible thanks to immense international support.  The fact that more than 40 contributing countries and donor countries united around the goal of protecting humanity from the radioactive consequences of the tragedy is another demonstration that environmental safety remains a priority for global policymakers.  And I believe that the transformation of the exclusion zone into a safe area will demonstrate the change in Ukraine’s overall environmental policy, too.”

Igor Gramotkin, Director General of the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant, commented: “For us the arch is not just 36.000 tonnes of prefabricated metal. It is 36.000 tonnes of our belief in success, of trust in our site, our people and in Ukraine.”

Vince Novak, EBRD Director, Nuclear Safety, added: “This is the culmination of many years of hard work by Ukraine and the international community. The New Safe Confinement project would not have been possible without the support of the over 40 donor countries who are contributors to the Chernobyl Shelter Fund. The new structure illustrates what is possible in a spirit of determined and coordinated joint effort and thanks to the generous support of EBRD shareholders.”

Nicolas Caille, project director for Novarka – the French construction consortium formed by VINCI Construction and Bouygues Construction – said: “This is a one-of-a-kind project serving the aims of the Ukrainian authorities. We are immensely proud of what we together with our partners have achieved. The New Safe Confinement shows what is technically possible. At the same time, given the circumstances, we must all hope that never again will a similar structure have to be built on the site of a nuclear accident and in a contaminated environment.”

The construction of the New Safe Confinement by Novarka started in 2012 after extensive preparatory works on the ground. Because of its vast dimensions the structure had to be built in two halves which were lifted and successfully joined together in 2015. The arch-shaped structure is fitted with an overhead crane to allow for the future dismantling of the existing shelter and the remains of reactor 4. The New Safe Confinement has a lifespan of at least100 years and will cost €1.5 billion.

For more about this project, click here.

To learn about other EBRD projects in Ukraine, go to http://www.ebrd.com/ukraine.html

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

Source: EBRD

 

 

Karpatsky Wind Farm in Western Ukraine receives international funding

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New 20.7MW wind farm to boost energy security and supply mix

4 November 2016 – London, UK and Kiev, Ukraine – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is mobilising resources to support the development and operation of a new wind farm located near the town of Staryi Sambir in the Lviv region of western Ukraine. Through this sustainable energy initiative the Bank will continue to promote renewable energy generation in Ukraine, which is increasingly important for the country’s energy security.

The Karpatsky wind farm, with an installed capacity of 20.7MW, will operate six wind turbines and will improve energy supply in the region. The financing package of €23.1 million arranged by the Bank consists of €8.6 million from the EBRD, €4 million from the Climate Investment Funds’ Clean Technology Fund (CTF), a senior loan of €5.5 million from the Investment Fund for Developing Countries (IFU) and a senior loan of €5 million from the Nordic Environment Finance Corporation (NEFCO).

161104-pmwj52-ebrd-wind-imageThe project is supported through the Bank’s Ukraine Sustainable Energy Lending Facility (USELF) designed to provide finance to private local enterprises wishing to invest in small renewable energy projects in Ukraine. Implementation of USELF is supported by technical cooperation funds provided by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), Sweden and Japan.

Sevki Acuner, EBRD Director for Ukraine, said: “This is a very important project for the region and for the country. It shows how big the renewable energy potential is in Ukraine. It also paves the way for similar private investments across the country.”

The CTF was established in 2008 to provide middle-income countries with support for the adoption of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies that have high potential for minimising greenhouse gas emissions in the long term. The CTF already finances programmes in 15 countries and one region. It is the largest multilateral climate finance instrument in operation.

IFU is an independent fund owned by the government of Denmark which offers advisory services and risk capital to Danish companies wishing to do business in developing countries and emerging markets.

NEFCO is an international financial institution established by the Nordic governments in 1990, after the collapse of the Soviet Union, to provide green financing and support the Nordic countries’ objective of increasing environmental awareness in eastern and central Europe by financing projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions to the environment. In 2015, NEFCO approved 458 projects to a total value of €459 million.

The EBRD is the largest international financial investor in Ukraine. To date, the Bank has made a cumulative commitment of almost €12 billion through 369 projects since the start of its operations in the country in 1993. To learn more about those projects, click here.

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses. For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

 

 

Global Fund and USAID distribute insect nets in Zimbabwe

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

18 October 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – The United States government and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis, and Malaria (Global Fund) supported distribution of 1,785,000 long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) to communities in Zimbabwe at risk for malaria in August and September of this year.  This effort, which is coordinated and led by the Ministry of Health and Child Care’s National Malaria Control Program (NMCP), was timed to precede the annual seasonal malaria transmission peaks witnessed during the rainy season.  Correct and consistent use of LLINs is one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to prevent malaria.

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In picture: A young woman holds long-lasting insecticidal net from a USAID-supported distribution in Mbire District.

As part of the U.S. President’s Malaria Initiative (PMI), the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) distributed 938,000 LLINs, which were combined with 847,000 Global Fund-procured nets, to maximize coverage and protection of Zimbabweans while sleeping during peak mosquito biting time.  As a result, 1,785,085 sleeping spaces and even more people are now protected.

USAID Mission Director Stephanie Funk stated, “Ensuring that communities have access to long lasting insecticides is a critical component of USAID’s work to reduce malaria prevalence in Zimbabwe.  The nets we distributed will reduce malaria transmission by protecting the people sleeping under them as well as reducing the number of mosquitoes.”

Malaria is the third leading cause of illness and death in Zimbabwe, with over half of the population living in high risk areas.  However, the coordinated efforts of USAID, the Global Fund, and the NMCP have contributed to substantial progress in Zimbabwe.  The reported cases of malaria decreased from 1.8 million in 2006 to less than 392,000 in 2015 – a 73 percent reduction.

Since 2008, USAID has provided approximately $90 million to prevent and treat malaria in Zimbabwe.  USAID support ensures provision of vital commodities such as LLINs, rapid diagnostic tests, and life-saving medications, while also supporting Zimbabwe’s NMCP to strengthen the health system, conduct operational research, train health care workers, and provide social and behavior change communications support.  USAID also provides technical assistance to the NMCP to implement indoor residual spraying of homes in high burden areas with organophosphate insecticide to protect over 350,000 people from malaria each year.

About USAID

For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have contributed over $3 billion in assistance to Zimbabwe.  Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote a more democratic system of governance.

About PM Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

 

 

AfDB approves 570 million rand for affordable housing in South Africa

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMMES AND PROJECTS

12 October 2016 – Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire and Pretoria, South Africa – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced  approval of a Senior Loan of ZAR 570 million to South Africa’s Housing Investment Partners Trust 2 -HIP2), also known as Vulumnyango Trust, to help finance affordable housing programmes in the country. The loan will help improve access to long-term affordable housing finance to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners currently with limited opportunities to access affordable mortgages.

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It will also consolidate the growth of a strong affordable housing sector within South Africa. The project provides a demonstration effect of tapping local currency capital from Africa’s premier development bank, local asset managers and a State Owned Enterprise to foster South Africa’s economic growth through affordable housing. The project also reduces fiscal pressures on the South African government in respect of housing for a specific market segment and enables HIP2 to mobilize funding from other sources, including eventual access to South Africa’s capital markets.

Although South Africa is one of the more developed economies in Africa, the country still faces acute shortage of affordable housing in its main urban areas, estimated at 3 million units in 2014. This has resulted in more than 2,600 informal settlements springing up around 70 of South Africa’s major urban areas, making it very difficult for the government to reduce inequality and achieve inclusive growth targets.

Despite several government direct interventions in the sector, especially through the Reconstruction and Development (RDP) program which between 1994 and 2015 delivered over 2.9 million low cost houses for vulnerable and low income households, the housing needs of the lower-middle income earning households (otherwise referred to as the Gap Market) remain huge and unaddressed. HIP 2, which has now raised ZAR1.82 billion from National Housing Finance Company, Old Mutual Group, Futuregrowth and AfDB is targeting at offering more than 4,000 affordable mortgages to South Africa’s lower-middle income earners.

The intervention will generate other significant benefits including moving 2,500 – 6,500 out of informal settlements and create about 3,250 permanent jobs mainly for the youth. Overall, financing 4,386 affordable housing units is expected to generate over 10,000 jobs, including 950 – 1,296 direct jobs for women.

For more information about this story, click here.

For more about AfDB funded projects in South Africa, go to http://www.afdb.org/en/news-and-events/south-africa/

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a regional multilateral development finance institution established in 1964 to mobilize resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. Headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Bank promotes economic and social development in African states, providing financing for programs and projects across the continent.  For more information, visit www.adbg.org.

Source: African Development Bank

 

 

City of Bulawayo launches $37m water, sewerage project

 

PROGRAMME/PROJECT NEWS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

1 October 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – Zimbabwe’s second largest urban local authority, Bulawayo City Council has launched a $37 million water and sewerage services project aimed at improving service delivery and curbing environmental pollution from raw sewage.

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The programme, co-funded by the government and the African Development Bank (AfDB), is expected to run until 2019.

Speaking at the launch of the programme at a local city hotel on 27 September 2016, AfDB representative Eskendir Demise said they chipped in with funding following a request from Zimbabwe. “These are lofty, big, desirable outcomes, but achieving them requires a sustained effort by municipal authorities through overhauling the service provision and this project will be a catalyst for that to happen,” Demise said.

Bulawayo Mayor Martin Moyo said the injection of $37 075 000 would help the local authority reduce non-revenue water, frequent burst pipes, environmental pollution and sewer bursts.

“The City of Bulawayo, like many local authorities in the country, was affected by many years of under-investment in maintaining its water and sewerage infrastructure due to economic challenges,” he said. “The city is also further affected by limited water resources as a result of drought and despite these factors, the revenue collected by the local authority is not at 100%, as the rest is lost through leaks and burst pipes.”

Bulawayo Provincial Affairs Minister Eunice Sandi-Moyo, in a speech read on her behalf, said the AfDB grant was “one of the biggest channelled towards water and sanitation infrastructure in Zimbabwe”. “The partnership highlights the Government’s commitment towards sustainable infrastructure in line with Government’s economic blue print, the Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-economic Transformation (ZimAsset),” she said.

“Sustainable water and sewerage infrastructure is key in ensuring economic growth and repositioning Zimbabwe in the region and African continent. Water and sewerage infrastructure depletion has become a major challenge for our urban areas, leading to pollution of water bodies and contaminated drinking water.” Sandi-Moyo said pipe bursts had led to untreated sewage being deposited into water bodies on a daily basis. “Addressing this problem is also a key component in ensuring that we have industry that is viable and able to grow,” she said. “Damages to the environment, through poor sewage systems in some cases across the world, have been catastrophic. Cleaning up the environment is a costly exercise, as toxins are very difficult to clean up.”

According to the official Zimbabwe Government National statistics from the population census carried out in 2012, the City of Bulawayo has a population of slightly over 650 000 and about 96% of the households in this population currently have access to clean water.

Source:  Project Management Zimbabwe

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes.  For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

 

DOE’s National Synchrotron Light Source II wins PMI Project of the Year Award

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

26 September 2016 – Philadelphia, PA, USA – The Project Management Institute (PMI®) has announced that the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Synchrotron Light Source II (NSLS-II) project has been awarded the profession’s highest accolade — the 2016 PMI Project of the Year Award.

The ten-year, US$912 million project at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, New York has resulted in creation of the world’s most powerful photon microscope. The microscope creates X-rays that allow scientists to see how materials in systems — such as batteries or fuel cells — behave at the nano-level while operating in real-world conditions.

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Image: NSLS-II from above, courtesy of Brookhaven National Laboratory (BNL)

PMI’s Project of the Year Award recognizes the large (budgets of US$100 million or more) and complex project that best delivers superior performance of project management practices, superior organizational results, and positive impacts on society. This year’s award was presented in San Diego, California as part of PMI’s annual Professional Awards Gala the PMI® Global Congress 2016 — North America.

The ambitious design for NSLS-II centered around a light source that would be 10,000 times brighter and five times larger than the lab’s original facility. When the project began in 2005, the specifications were state-of-the-art, and the project team soon discovered that vendors had difficulty meeting the lab’s demanding requirements. The microscope’s electron beam, for example, must vibrate no more than 25 nanometers in any direction — 1,000 times smaller than the diameter of a human hair.

The team worked with the advisory committees to identify which requirements could be relaxed without compromising performance and held regular workshops with global scientific stakeholders throughout the project cycle to ensure the facility would achieve best-in-class status. By the time the project was completed in March 2015, it was six months ahead of schedule and under budget. An additional $US68 million in scope enhancements was made possible through careful planning and cost management across the ten-year span.

“The NSLS-II project gives researchers worldwide an incubator for the development of knowledge in science and technology that addresses pressing problems facing humanity today, and will continue to drive innovation,” said Mark A. Langley, President and CEO of PMI.  “By honoring this project as the 2016 Project of the Year recipient, we honor sound project management practices at their finest, and we provide an example of project and program success that other project managers can use in their own organizations and industries.  Congratulations to the Department of Energy’s Office of Science and the Brookhaven National Laboratory on this achievement.”

The nature of the project made it critical to mitigate the risks that come with innovation, noted Dr. Steven Dierker, PhD, former project director for the NSLS-II project and now a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. Collaboration with industry experts produced a comprehensive risk registry that could be managed proactively throughout the process.

The Department of Energy expects the NSLS-II to drive innovation for the next 30 years, a result of the project’s team close collaboration with facility end users and its commitment to long-range planning throughout the project cycle.  To learn more about the NSLS-II project and facility, go to https://www.bnl.gov/ps/nsls2/about-NSLS-II.php

PMI is the world’s leading not-for-profit professional membership association for the project, program and portfolio management profession. Founded in 1969, PMI delivers value for more than 2.9 million professionals working in nearly every country in the world through global advocacy, collaboration, education and research. PMI advances careers, improves organizational success and further matures the profession of project management through its globally recognized standards, certifications, resources, tools academic research, publications, professional development courses, and networking opportunities. For more, go to www.PMI.org.

Source: Project Management Institute

 

 

SEA-ME-WE 5 undersea fibre-optic mega project in Turkey goes

 

PROJECT / PROGRAMME NEWS

New generation data network to increase internet traffic between Europe and Asia receives EBRD loan and green light

21 September 2016 – London, UK and Istanbul, Turkey – The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) has announced that it is funding Turkey’s investment in a new high-tech fibre-optic submarine communications cable system that will carry data between 17 countries, from Singapore to France and Italy. The Bank is providing a US$ 50 million loan to Türk Telekom Group, Turkey’s largest telecommunications company, which is building the new submarine cable system in a consortium with 17 other telecommunications operators.

160921-pmwj51-turkey-fibre-optic-imageThe financing will be used to lay cables under the sea and build a branching unit in Marmaris on the Mediterranean coast, in Muğla Province, southwestern Turkey. Branching units are used in submarine cable systems to provide traffic and power routing between the trunk and branch cables.

The US$ 700 million network, dubbed SEA-ME-WE 5 (South-East Asia – Middle East – Western Europe 5), will be approximately 20,000 kilometres long and is expected to become operational in late 2016, connecting South-East Asia, the Indian subcontinent, the Middle East and Europe.

The cable’s design capacity is 24 terabits per second on three fibre pairs. Once completed, its advanced 100 Gbps1 technology is expected to meet the rapid growth in demand for fast internet traffic between Europe and Asia.The system will also bolster Turkey’s internet infrastructure as the country’s growing economy needs greater connectivity and ever-stronger commercial ties with Europe, the United States of America and Asia.

Turkey has experienced a steep increase in internet use over the last couple of years thanks to investments by telecommunications operators and to enhanced competition in the market. Demand is also growing due to the popularity of video streaming, with high definition replacing lower picture qualities. The increased capacity for data traffic will result in higher quality for internet connections in Turkey and the neighboring countries.

Jean-Patrick Marquet, Director of EBRD Operations in Turkey, said: “This mega internet infrastructure project will serve as a brand new platform for future telecommunications business. It can help build a strong digital industry in the country and attract high-tech companies, content providers and major players in the digital economy.”

Cem Velipaşaoğlu, Chief Financial Officer at Türk Telekom International, added: “We are proud to receive the EBRD loan to finance Turkey’s SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium membership. The EBRD has long been an indispensable partner for the people of Turkey in sustainable growth and development, and now, by facilitating the expansion of our digital infrastructure, the EBRD is recognising the enormous economic potential created for our customers by this essential international project.”

Speaking on behalf of the SEA-ME-WE 5 consortium, Linette Lee, Chairperson of the SEA-ME-WE 5 Management Committee, said: “This new SEA-ME-WE 5 submarine cable system is a matchless, PoP (point of presence) to PoP, multi-regional data superhighway. It is a technological breakthrough which will mark a global communications milestone when it launches by the end of 2016. Designed with the latest upgradable 100 Gbps technology, enabling initial system capacity of 24 Tbps, it will provide the lowest latency, further enhancing the diversity and resilience of the heavily loaded Asia to Europe route.”

The EBRD started investing in Turkey in 2009 and currently operates from offices in Istanbul, Ankara and Gaziantep. Some 98 per cent of the Bank’s investments in the country are in the private sector. To date, the EBRD has invested over €8 billion in Turkey through some 200 projects in infrastructure, energy, agribusiness, industry and finance. It has also mobilised about €17 billion for these ventures from other sources of financing.  For more about EBRD projects in Turkey, go to http://www.ebrd.com/turkey.html

The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) was established in 1991 to nurture the private sector in Central and Eastern Europe and ex-Soviet countries. The EBRD uses investment to help build market economies and democracies from central Europe to central Asia. The EBRD is the largest single investor in the region and mobilizes significant foreign direct investment beyond its own financing. Owned by 61 countries and two intergovernmental institutions, the EBRD provides project financing for banks, industries and businesses.  For more information, visit http://www.ebrd.com/index.htm

Source: EBRD

 

 

Blue Line Trolley in San Diego secures $1 Billion from US DoT

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

14 September 2016 – Washington, DC and San Diego, CA, USA – The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) today announced a $1.04 billion federal grant agreement with the San Diego Association of Governments (SANDAG) to extend existing Blue Line Trolley service from downtown San Diego to the growing University City area. The extension will improve access to employment hubs and numerous educational and medical facilities north of downtown, making it easier for people to travel throughout the city.

160914-pmwj50-blue-line-imageFTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers made the announcement to commit the funds during a ceremony with representatives from SANDAG and the San Diego Metropolitan Transit System (MTS), which will operate the service once it is built.

“The Obama Administration is committed to investing in transportation projects that improve mobility and provide ladders of opportunity for residents,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “San Diego’s Trolley extension will do just that by helping thousands of transit riders to access employment, education, healthcare and other important services.”

The 10.92-mile light rail extension, referred to locally as the Mid-Coast Trolley, will serve major activity centers such as Old Town, Mission Bay Park, the Department of Veteran’s Affairs Medical Center, UC San Diego, and the Westfield UTC shopping center. Officials estimate the project will serve 24,600 transit trips every weekday, with service anticipated to start in 2021.

“FTA is proud to partner with San Diego to bring new transit options to this growing region,” said FTA Acting Administrator Carolyn Flowers. “With the population along the Mid-Coast corridor expected to grow nearly 20 percent in the coming decades, this trolley extension will offer a much-needed alternative to traffic congestion in the years ahead.”

With the signing of the federal grant agreement, FTA is committing a total of $1.04 billion through its Capital Investment Grant (CIG) Program to the $2.17 billion Mid-Coast Corridor Transit Project. In addition to the $100 million that will be awarded with the signing of the grant agreement today, the remaining federal funds will be provided over the course of 10 years on an annual payment schedule, subject to Congressional approval during the annual appropriations process.

The CIG Program is the nation’s primary grant program for funding major transit capital investments. Projects accepted into the highly competitive program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law in order to be eligible for and receive program funds

The United States Department of Transportation (USDOT or DOT) is a Cabinet department of the U.S. government concerned with transportation. Established by the US Congress in 1966, it is governed by the U.S. Secretary of Transportation.  Its mission is to “Serve the United States by ensuring a fast, safe, efficient, accessible, and convenient transportation system that meets our vital national interests and enhances the quality of life of the American people, today and into the future.” DOT provides financing for hundreds of transportation-related programs and projects around the United States each year.  For more information, visit http://www.dot.gov/.

 

 

SpaceX Dragon Splashes Down



NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS & PROGRAMS

26 August 2016 – Washington, DC, USA – SpaceX’s Dragon cargo spacecraft splashed down in the Pacific Ocean at 11:47 a.m. EDT Friday, Aug. 26, southwest of Baja California with more than 3,000 pounds of NASA cargo, science and technology demonstration samples from the International Space Station. The Dragon spacecraft will be taken by ship to a port near Los Angeles, where some cargo will be removed and returned to NASA immediately. Dragon then will be prepared for a return trip to SpaceX’s test facility in McGregor, Texas, for processing.

When it arrived at the station July 20, Dragon delivered the first of two international docking adapters (IDAs) in its external cargo hold, or “trunk.” The IDAs will be used by commercial spacecraft now in development for transporting astronauts to the station as part of NASA’s Commercial Crew Program. The initial adapter was installed during an Aug. 19 spacewalk by Expedition 48 Commander Jeff Williams and Flight Engineer Kate Rubins of NASA. The 160826-pmwj50-nasa-spacex-IMAGEsecond adapter is being built and will be delivered on a future Dragon cargo resupply mission.

Image: SpaceX’s Dragon spacecraft departing the International Space Station at 6:10 am EDT Friday, Aug. 26, 2016, after successfully delivering almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and scientific cargo on its ninth resupply mission to the orbiting laboratory.

Among the experiment samples returning Friday are those from the Heart Cells study, which is looking at how microgravity affects human heart cells. The U.S. National Laboratory investigation is studying how microgravity changes the human heart, and how those changes vary between individuals. Deep space missions including the journey to Mars will require long periods of space travel, which creates increased risk of health problems such as muscle atrophy, including possible atrophy of the heart muscle. Heart cells cultured aboard the space station for one month will be analyzed for cellular and molecular changes. Results could advance the study of heart disease and the development of drugs and cell replacement therapy.

Samples will also be returned from two rodent-based investigations, the Mouse Epigenetics and Rodent Research-3-Eli Lilly experiments. The mouse model is useful for showing how much shorter stays by mice in the low-Earth environment can be used to infer how similar conditions may affect future human exploration.

In Mouse Epigenetics, researchers are exploring altered gene expression and DNA by tracking changes in the organs of male mice that spend one month in space, and examining changes in the DNA of their offspring. In Rodent Research-3-Eli Lilly, scientists are looking at rapid loss of bone and muscle mass in the legs and spine, and comparing it to what is experienced by people with muscle wasting diseases or with limited mobility on Earth and testing an antibody known to prevent muscle wasting in mice on Earth. This U.S. National Laboratory experiment is sponsored by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly and Co. and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space.

Also returning are samples from the Multi-Omics experiment. This research is analyzing the composition of microbes in the human digestive system and how they may affect the human immune system. Researchers may be able to identify bacterial or metabolic biomarkers that could be useful for astronaut health management, and therefore future human exploration of the solar system.

Dragon is currently the only space station resupply spacecraft able to return a significant amount of cargo to Earth. The spacecraft lifted off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida July 18 carrying almost 5,000 pounds of supplies and scientific cargo on the company’s ninth commercial resupply mission to the station.

The International Space Station is a convergence of science, technology and human innovation that demonstrates new technologies and makes research breakthroughs not possible on Earth. The space station has been occupied continuously since November 2000. In that time, more than 200 people and a variety of international and commercial spacecraft have visited the orbiting laboratory. The space station remains the springboard to NASA’s next great leap in human space exploration, including the journey to Mars.

Get more information about SpaceX’s mission to the International Space Station at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex

Find more information about the International Space Station, its crews and their research at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

Created in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space.  For over 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management.  Additional information about NASA can be found at www.nasa.gov.

Source: NASA

Image: courtesy of NASA

 

 

SpaceX delivers again

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

NASA Sends Trailblazing Science, Cargo to International Space Station aboard SpaceX Resupply Mission

18 July 2016 – Washington, DC, USA – NASA has announced that instruments to perform the first-ever DNA sequencing in space, and the first international docking adapter for commercial spacecraft, are among the cargo scheduled to arrive at the International Space Station after Monday’s launch of the SpaceX Commercial Resupply Services-9 (CRS-9) mission.

SpaceX’s Dragon cargo craft launched at 12:45 a.m. EDT on a Falcon 9 rocket from Space Launch Complex 40 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida with almost 5,000 pounds of cargo. The spacecraft will be grappled to the space station at 7 a.m. Wednesday, July 20, by NASA astronaut Jeff Williams, supported by NASA astronaut Kate Rubins.

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“Each commercial resupply flight to the space station is a significant event. Everything, from the science to the spare hardware and crew supplies, is vital for sustaining our mission,” said Kirk Shireman, NASA’s International Space Station Program manager. “With equipment to enable novel experiments never attempted before in space, and an international docking adapter vital to the future of U.S. commercial crew spacecraft, we’re thrilled this Dragon has successfully taken flight.”

The mission is the company’s ninth cargo flight to the station under NASA’s CRS contract. Dragon’s cargo will support dozens of the more than 250 science and research investigations during the station’s Expeditions 48 and 49.

DNA testing aboard the space station typically requires collecting samples and returning them to Earth. The Biomolecule Sequencer seeks to demonstrate, for the first time, that DNA sequencing is feasible in microgravity using a crew-operated, miniaturized device to identify microbes, diagnose diseases, monitor crew health and possibly help detect DNA-based life off the Earth.

Maintaining safe temperatures is difficult in space where there is no atmosphere to moderate the extreme heat and cold provided by direct, unfiltered sunlight. The Phase Change Heat Exchanger, a NASA investigation to test temperature control technology for future spacecraft, uses a continual process of freezing and thawing to maintain temperatures inside a spacecraft, thereby protecting crews and equipment.

The crew also will test a new efficient, three-dimensional solar cell.

Millions of Americans experience bone loss resulting from disease or the reduced effects of gravity that can occur in immobilized patients. New ground-based studies are using magnetic levitation equipment to simulate these gravity-related changes. Research delivered under the station’s role as a U.S. National Laboratory includes OsteoOmics, a test to determine whether magnetic levitation accurately simulates the free-fall conditions of microgravity by comparing genetic expression in different types of bone cells.

Improved understanding of the mechanisms behind bone loss could lead to better ways to prevent it during space missions. This also could contribute to better prevention of, and treatments for, bone loss as a result of diseases like osteopenia and osteoporosis, or from prolonged bed rest.

Another National Lab investigation called Heart Cells studies how microgravity changes the human heart, and how those changes vary from one individual to another. Future exploration of the moon, asteroids or Mars will require long periods of space travel, which creates increased risk of health problems such as muscle atrophy, including possible atrophy of heart muscle. Heart cells cultured aboard the space station for one month will be analyzed for cellular and molecular changes. Results could advance the study of heart disease and the development of drugs and cell replacement therapy.

Dragon is scheduled to depart the space station Monday, Aug. 29. After splashdown in the Pacific Ocean, west of Baja California, more than 3,300 pounds of science, hardware, crew supplies and spacewalk tools will be returned to shore.

For more than 15 years, humans have lived and worked continuously aboard the International Space Station, advancing scientific knowledge and demonstrating new technologies, making research breakthroughs not possible on Earth that will enable long-duration human and robotic exploration into deep space. A truly global endeavor, more than 200 people from 18 countries have visited the unique microgravity laboratory that has hosted more than 1,900 research investigations from researchers in more than 95 countries.

Keep up with the International Space Station, and its research and crews, at: http://www.nasa.gov/station

Learn more about SpaceX’s resupply mission at: http://www.nasa.gov/spacex

Created in 1958, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) is America’s focal point for research, development and exploration of outer space. For over 50 years, NASA has been leading the world in the development and usage of advanced program and project management. Additional information about NASA can be found at www.nasa.gov.

Source: NASA

Image: courtesy of NASA

 

$36.8 Billion Tengiz oil field expansion in Kazakhstan gets financing go ahead

 

PROJECT NEWS

Wellhead Pressure Control Project engages western oil companies in development of massive oil field in Western Kazakhstan

Reported by Assylkhan Ziyash in Almaty

5 July 2016 – Astana, Kazakhstan – The Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan and “Tengizchevroil” LLP (TCO) have announced the final decision on the financing of the project and future expansion of Wellhead Pressure Control Project (WPCP), which will be the next step in the expansion of production capacity of the Tengiz field located in western Kazakhstan. Currently, the cost of (WPCP) is estimated at $36.8 billion USD together with the reserve for unforeseen expenses and increase. First oil production is scheduled for 2022.

160705-pmwj48-Ziyash-IMAGEThe Wellhead Pressure Control Project will use sour gas injection technology, successfully implemented in the previous projects, expanding the production capacity of TCO in 2008. Tengiz crude oil production capacity will increase approximately by 12 mln. tons per year or 260 thousand barrels per day, around 39 million tons per year or 850 thousand barrels per day. During the period of maximum productivity, it will exceed 900 thousand barrels per day.

Implementation of Wellhead Pressure Control will increase production volumes and ensure full utilization of the processing capacity of existing Tengiz plants by reducing the wellhead pressure flowing and increase pressure on the existing complex on six production lines.

LLP “Tengizchevroil” – is a Kazakhstani partnership engaged in the exploration, development, production and marketing of crude oil, LPG, dry gas and sulfur. TCO conducts its activities in accordance with the requirements of the safety standards and world-class environmental protection.

LLP “Tengizchevroil” was formed in April 1993 by the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan and “Chevron” corporation. Currently, among the partners are: “Chevron” – 50% of shares, JSC “KazMunayGas” -20%, “ExxonMobil Kazakhstan Ventures Inc.”. – 25% and “LukArco” – 5%.

For more information, visit http://en.energo.gov.kz/index.php?id=6137

 

Coca Cola opens new US$130m plant in Mozambique

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

23 June 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – The world’s largest beverage company Coca Cola has announced on 17 June 2016 the official opening of its world-class bottling facility in Matola Gare, near Maputo, Mozambique, Southern Africa. The project, planned and implemented over three years at a cost of $130 million, is the largest green-field facility in Coca-Cola Sabco’s history across its seven-country regional market in Africa.

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The plant’s 300-ml glass bottling line – capable of bottling 48 000 bottles an hour – is the largest bottling line in Sabco’s regional footprint that includes Ethiopia, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. In a statement, Coca-Cola Sabco said the opening of the bottling facility was part of the company’s ongoing investment in world-class manufacturing capabilities on the African continent.

Mozambique’s President Filipe Nyusi said Coca-Cola was one of the first global companies to invest in the country after independence. “Its investment in job creation and the growth of skills in Mozambique is testament to the company’s commitment to assisting us grow the economy of the country. We would like to congratulate Coca-Cola on the opening of this technologically advanced bottling plant,” Nyusi said at the inauguration of the plant.

Muhtar Kent, chairman and chief executive of The Coca-Cola Company, said the company had been investing in Africa for almost 90 years and was present in every African country with more than 70 000 employees across 145 bottling and canning facilities. “We have continued to increase investment in our business in Africa with $17-billion committed across our system for investments in distribution, infrastructure, manufacturing and marketing during this decade,” Kent said.

Coca-Cola said the Matola Gare site combines operations from two other sites in Maputo – Distribudora and Machava – with the aim of increasing operational efficiencies. Coca-Cola Sabco is 80 percent owned by Gutsche Family Investments and its headquarters are in Port Elizabeth South Africa.

The Coca-Cola Company is the world’s largest beverage company, refreshing consumers with more than 500 sparkling and still brands and more than 3,800 beverage choices.

 

AfDB approves USD 245 million to finance Uganda-Rwanda transport project

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS & PROGRAMS

Investment in good roads will boost regional trade and incomes in East Africa

22 June 2016 – Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire – The African Development Bank (AfDB) has announced approval of USD 245 million in loans and grants to the Governments of Uganda and Rwanda to finance a transport project that will boost regional trade and decongest traffic from Kampala (Busega) city to Mpigi. Uganda and Rwanda are landlocked countries and transport infrastructure is a key factor to stimulate socio-economic activities and improve competitiveness.

In Uganda, the Bank’s USD 151 million will finance the construction of a 23.7-kilometre expressway, which will facilitate the journey between Kampala (Busega) and Mpigi on the Northern Corridor, a major trade route in the region. In Rwanda, the USD 94-million Bank loan will finance the rehabilitation of a 208-km road (Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo) in eastern Rwanda. These roads are vital links, which support the regional integration objectives of the East Africa Community (EAC) and the Great Lakes Region, contributing to poverty reduction and regional integration across Uganda, Rwanda and Tanzania. The project also includes the construction of two cross-border markets at Kagitumba and Rusumo; training of women traders and entrepreneurs.

In Uganda, the existing Busega-Mpigi road is highly congested especially at Busega, handling over 26,000 vehicles per day on a two-lane road. Average vehicle travel time from Busega to Mpigi will be reduced from one hour to 20 minutes on the completion of the project. In Rwanda, the average vehicle travel time on the Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo road will be reduced by 50%, from six to three hours. The road construction will be completed in 2½ years.

The direct beneficiaries of the project are traders and transporters who use the Northern Corridor via Mirama Hills/Kagitumba and the Central Corridor, via Rusumo and the 2.14 million people living within the Busega-Mpigi and Kagitumba-Kayonza-Rusumo areas. “The project will contribute to poverty reduction, improve the quality of life of people in the area by providing socio-economic facilities. It will also contributes to agriculture development and food security; and facilitates industrialization through reduced transportation and logistics costs”, said Amadou Oumarou, Director of the AfDB’s Transport & ICT Department.

The total project cost is estimated at USD 376.5 million, co-financed by AfDB (USD 244.6 million), Japan International Cooperation Agency (USD 56.3 million), European Union (USD 22.4 million) and the Governments of Uganda and Rwanda (USD 53.2million).

Impression

The African Development Bank (AfDB) is a regional multilateral development finance institution established in 1964 to mobilize resources towards the economic and social progress of its Regional Member Countries. Headquartered in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire, the Bank promotes economic and social development in African states, providing financing for programs and projects across the continent. For more information, visit www.adbg.org.

Source: African Development Bank

 

C-WASH program to provide potable water in Zimbabwe

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROGRAMS & PROJECTS

USAID and DAPP partner with communities to improve health and sanitation

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

9 June 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – With assistance from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID)’s Community Water Supply, Sanitation, Hygiene, and Natural Resources Management (C-WASH) activity, communities in Nyanga District of Zimbabwe will be able to construct facilities to dramatically improve their health and sanitation.

160609-pmwj47-cwash-IMAGEToday at the Ruwangwe District Development Fund Rest Camp, Robert Chawatama, the Provincial Water and Sanitation Sub-Committee Chairperson for Manicaland, officially handed over to the people of Nyanga District $40,000 in materials to construct or rehabilitate 83 boreholes, 45 pumps to extract water, 105 drinking troughs for animals, and 102 latrines.

Chairperson Chawatama also presided over the graduation of 18 community latrine and water pan builders and 16 village pump mechanics, who had been trained by Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Zimbabwe with funding from USAID.  With guidance from the District Development Fund, these builders and mechanics will assist the communities in constructing and repairing their water infrastructure and ensure long-term sustainability.

“USAID is proud to support Nyanga District to improve access to safe, potable water,” said USAID Zimbabwe Acting Mission Director Bruce Abrams.  “With this newly acquired technical expertise and building materials, these communities are now able to protect themselves against water-borne diseases.”

In total, USAID’s C-WASH activities will provide safe and clean water to 2,400 households and six schools in the district (Sanhani Primary, Mbiriyadi Primary, Chapataronga Primary, Kazozo Primary, Chimusasa Primary, and Fombe Secondary Schools).

The communities of Nyanga North have long grappled with access to safe and clean water due to frequent breakdowns of boreholes.  Some families travel for 10 kilometers to access safe water while others sleep queuing for water at the boreholes.  Many boreholes in the district are being chained and locked as communities try to safeguard limited water resources.  Others have introduced strict water rationing with households only allowed to collect two 20 liter buckets per day regardless of the household size.

C-WASH is a two-year, $1.5 million activity launched in 2015 and funded by USAID.  It seeks to address the water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) and natural resource management challenges in targeted rural areas of Zimbabwe.  DAPP Zimbabwe and Zim-AHEAD jointly implement C-WASH, which targets four districts in Zimbabwe: Chimanimani, Mutasa, Chipinge, and Nyanga.  In total, the activity will provide 8,000 households and 20 schools with sustainable access to clean and safe drinking water sources and 937 households and 20 schools with sustainable access to improved sanitation facilities.

For more than 30 years, the American people, through USAID, have invested over $2.6 billion in Zimbabwe.  Current projects include initiatives to increase food security, support economic resilience, improve health systems and services, and promote a more democratic system of governance.

Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit www.pmiz.org.zw or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: USAID

Galileos 13 and 14 launch, add to European Satellite Navigation System in Earth orbit

 

PROGRAMME / PROJECT NEWS

And yet it moves: 14 Galileo satellites now in orbit

24 May 2016 – Paris, France – The European Space Agency has announced that Galileos 13 and 14 lifted off together at 08:48 GMT today (10:48 CEST, 05:48 local time) atop a Soyuz rocket operated by Arianespace from French Guiana. Named for the astronomer who pinpointed Earth’s true position in the Solar System, the Galileo satellite navigation system that will help Europe find its way in the 21st century now has 14 satellites in orbit after today’s double launch.

Décollage champ large, le 24/05/2016 - VA2016

(photo courtesy of ESA)

This seventh Galileo launch went by the book: the first three Soyuz stages placed the satellites safely into low orbit, after which their Fregat upper stage hauled them the rest of the way into their target medium-altitude orbit. The twin Galileos were deployed into orbit close to 23 500 km altitude, around 3 hours and 48 minutes [check exact number] after liftoff. The coming days will see a careful sequence of orbital fine-tuning to bring them to their final working orbit, followed by a testing phase so that they can join the working constellation later this year.

“Today’s textbook launch has added two more satellites to what has become Europe’s largest satellite constellation,” commented Jan Woerner, Director General of ESA. “It was made possible by the fact that European industry’s manufacturing and testing of Galileo satellites has achieved a steady tempo.”

“Today’s launch brings Europe’s Galileo constellation halfway to completion, in terms of numbers,” remarked Paul Verhoef, ESA’s Director of the Galileo Programme and Navigation-related Activities. “It is also significant as Galileo’s last flight by Soyuz this year before the first launch using a customised Ariane 5 to carry four rather than two satellites each time – which is set to occur this autumn.

“Meanwhile, hard work is proceeding behind the scenes to ensure the worldwide Galileo system, including its far-flung ground stations, is reliable, secure and robust for the start of operational services to users.”

About Galileo

Galileo is Europe’s civil global satellite navigation system. It will allow users worldwide to know their exact position in time and space with great precision and reliability. Once complete, the system will consist of 24 operational satellites and the ground infrastructure for the provision of positioning, navigation and timing services. The Galileo programme is funded and owned by the EU. The European Commission has the overall responsibility for the programme, managing and overseeing the implementation of all programme activities.

Galileo’s deployment, the design and development of the new generation of systems and the technical development of infrastructure are entrusted to ESA. The definition, development and in-orbit validation phases were carried out by ESA, and co-funded by ESA and the European Commission. The European Global Navigation Satellite System Agency (GSA) is ensuring the uptake and security of Galileo. Galileo operations and provision of services will be entrusted to the GSA from 2017.

About the European Space Agency

The European Space Agency (ESA) is Europe’s gateway to space. It is an intergovernmental organisation, created in 1975, with the mission to shape the development of Europe’s space capability and ensure that investment in space delivers benefits to the citizens of Europe and the world. ESA has 20 Member States: Austria, Belgium, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom, of whom 18 are Member States of the EU. ESA has Cooperation Agreements with eight other Member States of the EU. Canada takes part in some ESA programmes under a Cooperation Agreement. ESA is also working with the EU on implementing the Galileo and Copernicus programmes.

By coordinating the financial and intellectual resources of its members, ESA can undertake programmes and activities far beyond the scope of any single European country. ESA develops the launchers, spacecraft and ground facilities needed to keep Europe at the forefront of global space activities. ESA launches satellites for Earth observation, navigation, telecommunications and astronomy, sends probes to the far reaches of the Solar System and cooperates in the human exploration of space. For more, visit http://www.esa.int/ESA.

Source: European Space Agency

 

ZIMBABWE Capital Markets Project hits Schedule Overrun

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Reported by Peter Banda in Harare

5 April 2016 – Harare, Zimbabwe – T establishment of an Alternative Trading Platform (ATP) by the Securities and Exchange Commission of Zimbabwe (SecZim) is behind schedule as rules and regulations governing its operations are still under consideration by the country’s Finance and Economic Development Ministry. SecZim is Zimbabwe’s local statutory capital markets regulator, the ATP set-up project was supposed to finish in March 2016 to allow local capital market players to start using the system on 1 April 2016.

160405-pmwj45-pmz-IMAGEAn ATP is designed to provide relatively accommodative thresholds and regulations for companies and investors that are interested in trading in securities. But SecZim CEO Mr Tafadzwa Chinamo told the local press last week that the regulator was still waiting for approval of rules and regulations governing operations of the platform by the parent ministry.

“The process is still at the ministry; we sent them a set of the rules and regulations that will govern how the market will operate. So we are still waiting for approval from them,” said Mr Chinamo.

Unlike the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange (ZSE), companies trading on the ATP do not have to be listed as the system only provides a marketplace for buyers and sellers of securities.

According to the framework released by SecZim in October 2015 when the ATP project was launched, companies that intend to operate an ATP should have an asset cover of 250 percent of total liabilities, US$100 000 insurance cover and positive cash balances. In developed markets, ATPs are used by big institutional investors to trade very large parcels of listed securities so that mega deals do now sway market prices.

The local ATP is expected to boost listed and unlisted companies’ means of raising capital cheaply and efficiently in a challenging economic environment. However, there are concerns the ATP might not be readily embraced by investors owing to the obtaining liquidity challenges. Local Economist Dr Gift Mugano said the ATP was ideal in a “normal situation” and most investors in developing countries were speculative, seeking to make quick returns on capital markets. He added that there were uncertainties over the broader economy that could affect an otherwise noble idea.

The Zimbabwe economy is grappling with low liquidity, depressed global commodity prices and the slowdown in the Chinese economy, a major buyer of local minerals. Such uncertainties, Dr Mugano said, coupled with weak sentiment on the Zimbabwe Stock Exchange could dampen the ATP.

“Even if we have an alternative market, it will take the tone of the main exchange, so it will be difficult for both the domestic and foreign investors. As long as we have (a) liquidity crisis in the country and depressed prices of commodities, it will remain a challenge to invest,” said Dr Mugano. SecZim, however, indicated that it has so far received two applications for the ATP, which will be processed once regulatory approval was granted.

“The Ministry of Finance is our line Ministry and anything to do with gazetting rules goes to them first. What we did was to draft rules that will govern the operations of the ATP, presented it to the market for their input, which we will factor in. The ministry wants to know if (we) addressed all the market’s concerns and questions, which believe we did,” said Mr Chinamo.

Last October, SecZim announced it would issue licences for establishment of a flexible trading platform allowing private companies to raise capital by selling securities to the public. In terms of regulation, SecZim will play only a minimum role, limited to supervisory functions over trade and settlements. It is the norm the world over that ATPs tend to self-regulate


150925-pmwj39-cdc-PMZ Logo

 

 


Project Management Zimbabwe (PMZ – Project Management Institute of Zimbabwe) is Zimbabwe’s largest Association of Project Managers, with a membership base of over 1000. The institute has a mandate of policing the elevation of project management standards nationally through mentorship and membership services programmes. For information, visit http://www.pmiz.org.zw/ or email: info@pmiz.org.zw.

Source: Project Management Zimbabwe

 

Expansion of UB’s Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences

 

NEWS FROM FASCINATING PROJECTS

Topping out ceremony, one of the last beams for the building

Reported by Alexander Ehms in Buffalo

31 March 2016 – Buffalo, NY, USA – The University at Buffalo is ever expanding, investing millions of dollars in the local community, and creating opportunities for students and faculty alike. One of their major recent projects has been the construction of the University’s new medical building. On March 22, the University hosted a topping out ceremony, signifying the final beam in the construction process.

160331-pmwj45-Ehms-IMAGEcolossus at eight stories high, this building has a total of 7,459 steel beams and approximately 7,000 tons of structural steel. The downtown facility, is set for completion in 2017. The new medical building will be the host of 2,000 faculty, staff, and students. The facility will increase population density in the neighboring community, and create further economic opportunities in the form of retail and housing development.

This 628,000 square foot building will allow the University at Buffalo to increase the medical student class size from 144 to 180 and add 100 new scientists. Some of the anticipated partners in collaboration for further research include the UB Clinical and Translational Research Center, the Kaleida Health Gates Vascular Institute, Roswell Park Cancer Institute, John R. Oishei Children’s Hospital, Buffalo General Medical Center, and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute.

The construction of this site has created 300 jobs with an investment of $375 million dollars. The school has created goals for minority and women business enterprise (MWBE) participation throughout the first and second phase of the project. Made possible by philanthropy and state funding, this project is one of many to come with the school’s NYSUNY 2020 program.

For more information, click on the following:

http://medicine.buffalo.edu/news_and_events/news.host.html/content/shared/smbs/news/2016/03/beam-signing-topping-out-5755.detail.html

http://www.buffalo.edu/news/releases/2016/03/055.html