Coal’s Collapse Leaves Czech Town to Face Mass Unemployment
The burden of mass unemployment now hangs over the Czech Republic’s Moravia-Silesia region as its biggest employer- New World Resources Plc- is set to close its unprofitable Paskov coal mine next year. President Milos Zeman called on NWR’s biggest shareholder, billionaire Zdenek Bakala, to finance the operation of Paskov out of his own pocket, criticizing NWR for not having created cash reserves in the years that it posted profits. Unless the state agrees to subsidize the jobs of its 2,500 employees, NWR says that it is determined to close the mine by the end of 2014 and will submit a proposal to the government on Oct. 18.
Total’s Refining Margin Drops to 5-Year Low Due to Low Demand
Total SA, Europe’s largest oil refiner, said third-quarter crude-processing margins slid to the lowest level in almost five years as fuel demand continued to drop. Total earned $10.60 a metric ton, compared with $51 a ton a year before. The indicator, which was $24.10 a ton in the second quarter, has plunged to its lowest since at least early 2009. European refiners have suffered a slump in demand after economies slowed. In response, Total is reducing oil-processing and petrochemicals operations in the region and expanding in Asia and the Middle East.
Gas Buyers to Commit on South Korea Due to Atomic Shift
South Korea’s plan to reduce its atomic us by half is prompting buyers of liquefied natural gas to sign new deals for the fuel. The shift gives buyers confidence to commit to gas in order to comply with government policies. South Korea proposed scaling back nuclear power to below 30% of its energy mix by 2035 from a previous target of 41 percent. That follows safety concerns after the Fukushima disaster as well as a scandal in the industry at home. The government said it would indict 100 officials after a probe into the nuclear industry found widespread use of faked safety documents.
Texas Gulf Coast Invite Wind Farms
Unpredictable West Texas breezes are pushing wind power producers to look towards the state’s coast lines. Texas is now seizing the lead in constructing turbines long its shorelines as developers find that its slow but steady current translate to bigger profits. By 2015, the state is anticipated to almost double its 1,700 megawatt capacity from turbines located along its southern coast. Overall, coastal projects totaling 1,300 megawatts — enough to power 650,000 homes – are planned, representing a potential investment of $2.3 billion, says Bloomberg New Energy Finance.