Pubblicato in: Commercio, Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Toilet Paper. Aumenti dei prezzi delle materie prime ma soprattutto quelli del trasporto.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-29.

2022-07-24__ Carta Igienica 001

«Figures from NeilsenIQ say toilet paper prices rose by 15.6% in the year to May»

«The price per tonne jumped from just over $600 in September to more than $900 last month – so a 50% increase in a very short space of time»

«Costco’s Kirkland brand two-ply toilet tissue in the 30-roll package contains a total of 1,425 sq. ft. of product for $21.99, or 1.5 cents per sq. ft. ($21.99 ÷ 1425 = $0.015).

Right next to that brand is the Charmin 30-roll package of  2-ply containing 805 sq. ft. of paper, for $31.49, or 4 cents per sq. ft. ($31.49 ÷ 805 = $0.039).»

La carta igienica non è infatti comprimibile. Occupa di conseguenza grandi volumi e satura con poche confezioni all’ingrosso il vano di carico dei Tir. Ma con i costi sempre più alti dei carburanti i prezzi di vendita al dettaglio si ingigantiscono. Al momento, oltre il sessanta per cento del costo è costituito dagli oneri del trasporto ai dettaglianti.

* * * * * * *

«Toilet paper (sometimes called toilet tissue or bathroom tissue) is a tissue paper product primarily used to clean the anus and surrounding anal region of feces after defecation, and to clean the perineal area and external genitalia of urine after urination or other bodily fluid releases. It also acts as a layer of protection for the hands during these processes. It is usually supplied as a long strip of perforated paper wrapped around a paperboard core for storage in a dispenser near a toilet. The bundle is known as a toilet roll, or loo roll or bog roll in Britain. ….

Joseph Gayetty is widely credited with being the inventor of modern commercially available toilet paper in the United States. Gayetty’s paper, first introduced in 1857. ….

Toilet paper is usually manufactured from pulpwood trees, but is also sometimes made from sugar cane byproducts or bamboo.

Toilet paper products vary greatly in the distinguishing technical factors, such as size, weight, roughness, softness, chemical residues, “finger-breakthrough” resistance, water-absorption, etc. The larger companies have very detailed, scientific market surveys to determine which marketing sectors require or demand which of the many technical qualities. Modern toilet paper may have a light coating of aloe or lotion or wax worked into the paper to reduce roughness….

The company called Cloud Paper has developed an alternative to tree-based toilet paper that is made out of bamboo» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *

Il mercato della carta igienica è stato valutato a ~25,5 miliardi di dollari nel 2020. Si prevede che il mercato crescerà a un CAGR del~5% nel periodo di previsione 2021-2027.

Nella maggior parte dei Paesi sviluppati, la carta igienica è diventata una necessità per l’igiene del bagno. Si tratta di un prodotto multiuso che viene utilizzato soprattutto per assicurarsi che il trucco e le fuoriuscite vengano puliti correttamente in bagno.

Il consumo di prodotti per l’igiene personale è cresciuto notevolmente sia nei Paesi sviluppati che in quelli in via di sviluppo, grazie alla crescente consapevolezza dell’igiene.

Nel mercato della carta igienica, i fornitori di materie prime svolgono un ruolo importante. L’aumento dei costi delle materie prime ostacola la crescita del mercato a causa dell’aumento dei prezzi delle materie prime.

Se però gli aumenti dei prezzi delle materie prime incidono pesantemente sul prezzo finale al consumo, il vero onere è costituito dai costi di trasporto.

La carta igienica non è infatti comprimibile. Occupa di conseguenza grandi volumi e satura con poche confezioni all’ingrosso il vano di carico dei Tir. Ma con i costi sempre più alti dei carburanti i prezzi di vendita al dettaglio si ingigantiscono.

* * * * * * *

«The toilet paper market size was valued at ~$25.5 billion in 2020. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of~5% during the forecast period from 2021-2027»

«In a majority of the developed countries, toilet paper has become a necessity for bathroom hygiene. It is a multipurpose product that is mostly used for making sure that makeup and spills are cleaned up properly in a toilet»

«The consumption of personal hygiene products has grown substantially in developed and developing countries, owing to increasing awareness of hygiene»

«In the toilet paper market, raw material suppliers play a significant role. Raw material cost increases hinder the market’s growth as raw materials prices rise»

* * * * * * *


Toilet Paper Market 2022 is Expected to be Considerable Growth Achieve Until 2030

The toilet paper market size was valued at ~$25.5 billion in 2020. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of~5% during the forecast period from 2021-2027.

New York , United States – The toilet paper market size was valued at ~$25.5 billion in 2020. The market is forecast to grow at a CAGR of~5% during the forecast period from 2021-2027.

This type of tissue paper is called a toilet roll, and it is considered to be an essential item given that there are so many kinds of tissue paper. In a majority of the developed countries, toilet paper has become a necessity for bathroom hygiene. It is a multipurpose product that is mostly used for making sure that makeup and spills are cleaned up properly in a toilet.

It is common for people of all ages, including the elderly, children, and people with chronic illnesses, to use a variety of household products including toilet care to keep the household and people in good health. Several diseases and conditions are caused as a result of the increased amount of germs, dirt, micro-organisms, and others on the surface of everything. Therefore, the invention of new products, as well as the development of new technologies, have led to the development of new methods for maintaining home hygiene

                         Factors Affecting the Global Toilet Paper Market

Cleaners and disinfectants formulated specifically for toilets have enabled the use of a multitude of useful products for the use of home care. Over the forecast period, these factors are expected to boost the market growth.

The consumption of personal hygiene products has grown substantially in developed and developing countries, owing to increasing awareness of hygiene. As disposable income and the standard of living in developing countries have steadily increased, there has been an increased demand for top-quality sanitary ware products in terms of convenience.

In the toilet paper market, raw material suppliers play a significant role. Raw material cost increases hinder the market’s growth as raw materials prices rise. Moreover, due to the stringent controls on the production and import of raw materials, such as wood, there is a scarcity of high-quality wood on the market, and, consequently toilet paper products are becoming more difficult to develop.

                         Covid-19 Impact on the Global Toilet Paper Market

Sales and demand for toilet paper have been positively affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. The initial stage of the lockdown was characterized by an increase in toilet paper demands. A lockdown on toilet paper was a major cause for panic buying among customers in developed countries.

                         Regional Outlook: the Global Toilet Paper Market

North America holds a maximum share of the tissue paper market as American consumers are among the top users of tissue papers in terms of volume used over the rest of the world. Since toilet paper is already the most competitive category on the market, it has an already high household penetration rate of close to 100%. As a result, consumers have been increasingly driving their purchases to the premium end of the market.

The Away-from-Home segment of the market becomes more and more dominant in this region with sales dominating the market. Despite this, tissue manufacturers are being pressured to use more virgin fiber due to dwindling availability and deteriorating quality of recovered fiber.

To keep costs low and maximize the long-term growth potential of the region, pulp and paper manufacturers are integrating their operations with pulp companies. Although this can adversely affect the tissue market, pulp capacity can be affected by such integrations. A number of other limitations are also putting pressure on the growth of the tissue market, including fierce competition, volume maturity, and price pressure.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici

Germania. È ancora lontana anni dal sostituire la capacità di gas russa.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-26.

2023-01-26__ Replacing Russian Gas 001

«The truth is, there won’t be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand»

«La verità è che nei prossimi tre o quattro anni la capacità di produzione di GNL nel mondo non sarà sufficiente a soddisfare la domanda crescente»

* * * * * * *

Il Gru lavora in Germania per mettere Berlino contro l’Ukraina.

Germania. Si ritorna al carbone. Eolico, fotovoltaico e Grüne alle ortiche.

Germania. Si smantella il parco eolico di Garzweiler per ampliare la miniera di lignite.

Russia. Porta la Germania alla implosione. E con essa tutto il blocco europeo.

Germania. Consumatori imbufaliti dalla Shrinkflation. Inflazione mascherata.

Germania. Blocco del gas russo. Effetto domino dei fallimenti. Implosione della Germania.

Germania. Gas russo. Le banche tedesche parlano chiaramente di default.

* * * * * * *

                         Secondo le stime del Ministero dell’Economia, la Germania è ancora lontana dal sostituire le importazioni di gas russo tramite gasdotti con capacità di gas naturale liquefatto.

                         La scorsa settimana il cancelliere Olaf Scholz ha dichiarato a Bloomberg che il Paese ha imparato la lezione della troppa dipendenza dalla Russia. L’obiettivo è ora quello di costruire una capacità che dia alla Germania la possibilità di avere tanto gas quanto ne aveva prima dell’invasione senza doverlo importare dalla Russia.

                         Ma ci vorrà fino al 2026 perché la Germania installi 56 miliardi di metri cubi di capacità di importazione interna di GNL, circa la stessa che ha importato via tubo dalla Russia nel 2021, ha scritto il Ministero dell’Economia in una risposta a una serie di domande del Partito della Sinistra. Entro il 2030 la capacità di importazione di GNL sarà di 76,5 miliardi di metri cubi, pari a circa l’80% del consumo totale di gas in Germania nel 2021.

                         La Germania prevede una capacità di GNL di 56 miliardi di metri cubi nel 2026.

                         Finora, la Germania è riuscita a ridurre la sua dipendenza dalla Russia tagliando il consumo complessivo, importando GNL attraverso i Paesi europei vicini e aumentando le forniture di gasdotti dalla Norvegia e dai Paesi Bassi.

                        Una parte di queste forniture è incerta a causa dei piani di chiusura del giacimento chiave di Groningen il prossimo anno.

                         La verità è che nei prossimi tre o quattro anni la capacità di produzione di GNL nel mondo non sarà sufficiente a soddisfare la domanda crescente, ha dichiarato a Bloomberg Christian Leye, membro del partito di sinistra.

                        Quindi la strategia non dichiarata è che la Germania continuerà a pagare prezzi folli e altri Paesi meno ricchi resteranno a mani vuote.

                         Un portavoce del Ministero dell’Economia ha rifiutato di commentare ulteriormente il documento.

* * * * * * *


Germany Still Years Away From Replacing Russian Gas Capacity.

Jan 23, 2023.

Germany is still years from substituting Russian pipeline gas imports with liquefied natural gas capacities, according to estimates by the country’s Economy Ministry.

Chancellor Olaf Scholz told Bloomberg last week that the country had learned its lesson from being too dependent on Russia. The goal now was to build capacity that gives Germany the chance to have as much gas as it had before the invasion without importing from Russia, he said.

But it will take until 2026 for Germany to install 56 billion cubic meters of domestic LNG import capacity, about the same it imported by pipe from Russia in 2021, the Economy Ministry wrote in an answer to a set of questions by the Left Party. By 2030 those capacities are seen at 76.5 billion cubic meters, or about 80% of total German gas consumption in 2021.

Germany sees LNG capacity at 56 billion cubic meters in 2026.

So far, Germany has managed to reduce its reliance on Russia by cutting overall consumption, importing LNG via neighboring European countries and increasing pipeline deliveries from Norway and the Netherlands. Some of that supply is uncertain amid plans to shut down the key Groningen gas field next year.

“The truth is, there won’t be enough in the next three to four years of LNG production capacity in the world to meet the growing demand,” Christian Leye, a Left Party lawmaker told Bloomberg. “So the unspoken strategy is that Germany will continue to pay crazy prices and other, less rich countries go empty-handed.”

A spokesperson for the Economy Ministry declined to comment further on the document.

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime

Linde. Abbandona la borsa di Frankfurt e si trasferisce a Wall Street.

Giuseppe Sandr4.

2023-01-21__ Linde 001

«Linde plc is a global multinational chemical company founded in Germany and, since 2018, domiciled in Ireland and headquartered in the United Kingdom. Linde is the world’s largest industrial gas company by market share and revenue. It serves customers in the healthcare, petroleum refining, manufacturing, food, beverage carbonation, fiber-optics, steel making, aerospace, material handling equipment (MHE), chemicals, electronics and water treatment industries. The company’s primary business is the manufacturing and distribution of atmospheric gases, including oxygen, nitrogen, argon, rare gases, and process gases, including carbon dioxide, helium, hydrogen, ammonia, electronic gases, specialty gases, and acetylene.

The company was formed by the 2018 merger of Linde AG of Germany (founded in 1879) and Praxair (founded in 1907 as Linde Air Products Company) of the United States. The resulting holding company was incorporated in Ireland, with principal executive offices in Guildford, UK.

The company is a member of the Hydrogen Council, a group of companies investing in hydrogen vehicles.The company expects hydrogen vehicles to compete with electric vehicles and has invested in wind powered plants that convert water to hydrogen.

The company is ranked 444th on the Fortune Global 500 and 178th on the Forbes Global 2000.

In the industrial gas area, the company uses the brand names Linde, AGA, BOC, TIG, Mox-Linde Gases, Afrox, Sigas and PanGas. HiQ is used as an identifier for high purity and premium specialty gases across all of these business brand names.

In the medical gas area, the company uses the brand names Linde Gas Therapeutics, AGA Medical, INO Therapeutics, Linde Homecare, and Farmadomo.

Linde Gas supplies industrial gases, medical gases, specialty gases, refrigerants and other chemicals. Depending on the gas and the quantity required, these may be supplied in portable high-pressure gas cylinders, in liquefied form by road tanker, from on-site gas generators or in gaseous form via pipeline to large customers. This division has four operating segments, Western Europe, the Americas, Asia & Eastern Europe, and South Pacific & Africa. These segments are subdivided into eight Regional Business Units (RBUs). The Gases Division also includes the two Global Business Units (GBUs) – Healthcare (medical gases) and Tonnage (on-site) – and the two Business Areas (BAs) – Merchant & Packaged Gases (liquefied and cylinder gases) and Electronics (electronic gases).

The product range includes hydrogen, acetylene, carbon monoxide, carbon dioxide, shielding gases for welding applications, noble gases and specialty gases, oxygen, nitrogen, and argon, all of which are manufactured in Linde’s air separation plants.» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *

Gli azionisti approvano il delisting di Linde dalla Borsa di Francoforte.

18 gennaio 2023.

                         18 gennaio (Reuters) – Gli azionisti hanno approvato il delisting di Linde (LIN.N) dalla Borsa di Francoforte (FSE), ha dichiarato mercoledì la più grande azienda di gas industriali al mondo.

                         L’azienda ha dichiarato di aspettarsi che le sue azioni vengano cancellate dal listino il 1° marzo circa, dopo l’approvazione legale.

                         Di conseguenza, le azioni Linde saranno scambiate una per una in una nuova società pubblica costituita in Irlanda con lo stesso nome e saranno negoziate solo alla Borsa di New York (NYSE).

                         La doppia quotazione a New York e a Francoforte ha avuto un impatto negativo sulla valutazione, ha dichiarato in ottobre l’amministratore delegato Sanjiv Lamba.

                         L’azienda ha dichiarato che il 93% dei voti espressi era a favore della risoluzione.

                         Linde è la maggiore componente dell’indice tedesco delle blue-chip DAX (.GDAXI) e non sarà più inclusa dopo il ritiro.

                         Il titolo del gigante del gas è sceso fino al 2% subito dopo l’annuncio, ma alle 1615 GMT era in calo dell’1.4%.

* * * * * * *


Shareholders approve Linde’s delisting from Frankfurt stock exchange.

January 18, 2023.

Jan 18 (Reuters) – Shareholders have approved Linde’s (LIN.N), delisting from the Frankfurt Stock Exchange (FSE), the world’s largest industrial gases firm said on Wednesday.

The company said it expects its shares will be delisted on or about March 1, following legal approval.

As a result, Linde’s shares will be exchanged one-for-one in a new public company incorporated in Ireland under the same name, and will be traded only on the New York stock exchange (NYSE).

The dual listing in New York and Frankfurt had a negative impact on the valuation, Chief Executive Sanjiv Lamba said in October.

The company said 93% of votes cast were in favour of the resolution.

Linde is the largest constituent of Germany’s blue-chip index DAX (.GDAXI) and will no longer be included after the withdrawal.

The gas giant’s stock dropped as much as 2% right after the announcement but by 1615 GMT was down 1.4%.

Pubblicato in: Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Scienza & Tecnica

Calcestruzzo romano. Un materiale di durata secolare. – Science.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2023-01-19.

2023-01-15__ Cemento Romano 001

Guardando gli affreschi medievali si rimane sicuramente incantati dalla bellezza delle forme e dei colori, ma si rimane anche stupefatti del fatto che rinzaffo ed arriccio abbiano resistito per secoli, mostrando solo qualche incrinatura dell’intonaco. Senza una tale tenuta dei materiali non avremmo più tracce degli affreschi medievali.

Ma ammirazione anche maggiore deve essere tributata al calcestruzzo romano.

«In secula seculorum, nei secoli dei secoli. E così sia: una volta costruito un edificio, nell’antica Roma, ce ne si poteva dimenticare. Eccetto terremoti imprevedibili, tutti avevano la certezza che non sarebbe mai crollato. Perché l’impasto cementizio utilizzato ai tempi dell’Impero era meglio di quello che sappiamo fare oggi.

Per capirlo basta guardare le rovine romane ancora in piedi dopo oltre duemila anni. E a metterlo nero su bianco è uno studio di una squadra internazionale di scienziati, e potrebbe aiutare chi costruisce a farlo da qui in poi in maniera migliore. Gli scienziati e gli ingegneri hanno notato la resistenza all’erosione e all’acqua del cemento romano impiegato nella costruzione di porti, ancora perfettamente conservato in molti casi. Il cemento di Portland, quello che usiamo comunemente da 200 anni, in queste condizioni non durerebbe più di mezzo secolo prima di iniziare a erodersi» [Fonte]

* * * * * * *


                         La calce viva potrebbe aver reso il materiale più resistente delle sue controparti moderne.

                         L’antico Impero Romano fa ancora sentire la sua presenza in tutta Europa. Bagni, acquedotti e dighe costruiti più di 2000 anni fa sono ancora in piedi, grazie a uno speciale tipo di calcestruzzo che si è dimostrato molto più resistente della sua controparte moderna. Ora i ricercatori affermano di aver capito perché il calcestruzzo romano è così resistente: La calce viva utilizzata nell’impasto potrebbe aver conferito al materiale proprietà autorigeneranti.

                         Il lavoro potrebbe aiutare gli ingegneri a migliorare le prestazioni del calcestruzzo moderno, afferma Marie Jackson, geologa che studia il calcestruzzo romano antico presso l’Università dello Utah, ma che non è stata coinvolta nella ricerca.

                         I Romani non sono stati i primi a inventare il calcestruzzo, ma sono stati i primi a impiegarlo su scala di massa. Nel 200 a.C., il calcestruzzo era utilizzato nella maggior parte dei loro progetti di costruzione. Il calcestruzzo romano consisteva in una miscela di polvere bianca nota come calce spenta, piccole particelle e frammenti di roccia chiamati tephra espulsi dalle eruzioni vulcaniche e acqua.

                         Il calcestruzzo moderno, invece, è tipicamente realizzato con cemento Portland: una miscela di calcare, argilla, sabbia, gesso e altri ingredienti macinati e bruciati a temperature roventi. Inoltre, inizia a sgretolarsi in soli 50 anni.

                         Gli scienziati hanno già cercato di spiegare perché il cemento romano sia così duraturo. Nel 2017, ad esempio, i ricercatori hanno scoperto che, almeno per le strutture esposte all’oceano, l’acqua ha reagito con gli ingredienti del calcestruzzo, creando nuovi minerali più resistenti.

                         Ma ci sono altre spiegazioni? Per scoprirlo, Admir Masic, chimico del Massachusetts Institute of Technology, e i suoi colleghi hanno raccolto campioni di calcestruzzo da un’antica cinta muraria di Privernum, un sito archeologico di 2000 anni fa vicino a Roma. In laboratorio si sono concentrati sui piccoli depositi di calcio incorporati nel calcestruzzo, noti come grumi di calce.

                         Altri scienziati avevano ipotizzato che questi piccoli pezzi fossero semplicemente il risultato di una cattiva miscelazione del calcestruzzo da parte dei Romani. Ma Masic e i suoi colleghi si sono chiesti se non fossero invece causati dall’uso di calce viva nell’impasto prima di fissarlo con l’acqua. La polvere bianca, ampiamente disponibile, ricavata dalla combustione del calcare, avrebbe reagito con l’acqua durante la miscelazione, innescando una reazione chimica che avrebbe prodotto una notevole quantità di calore. Ciò avrebbe impedito alla calce di sciogliersi completamente, dando origine ai grumi di calce.

                         In effetti, quando i ricercatori hanno provato a produrre il loro calcestruzzo romano in laboratorio con la calce viva, hanno ottenuto un materiale “identico” ai campioni raccolti a Privernum, dice Masic.

                         Quando l’équipe ha creato piccole crepe nel calcestruzzo – come accadrebbe con l’invecchiamento del materiale – e poi ha aggiunto acqua (come accadrebbe con l’acqua piovana nel mondo reale), i grumi di calce si sono dissolti e ricristallizzati, riempiendo efficacemente le crepe e mantenendo il calcestruzzo forte, riferiscono i ricercatori oggi su Science Advances. “Questo ha un impatto incredibile”, spiega Masic.

                         Il calcestruzzo moderno di solito non guarisce le crepe più grandi di 0.2 o 0.3 millimetri. Il calcestruzzo di ispirazione romana del team, invece, guarisce crepe fino a 0.6 millimetri di diametro.

                         Masic spera che questo lavoro possa ispirare gli ingegneri di oggi a migliorare il proprio calcestruzzo, magari con la calce viva o un composto simile. In effetti, dice Masic, una startup che si occupa di calcestruzzo ha in programma di utilizzare la nuova scoperta. Secondo Masic, il materiale non sarebbe solo meno costoso dell’attuale calcestruzzo autorigenerante, ma potrebbe anche contribuire a combattere il cambiamento climatico: La produzione di cemento è responsabile dell’8% delle emissioni di gas serra.

                         “I Romani hanno preso decisioni estremamente intelligenti, basate su eccellenti osservazioni empiriche”, afferma Jackson. “Più riusciamo a imparare dalle antiche tecnologie di costruzione, meglio è”.

* * * * * * *


Scientists may have found magic ingredient behind ancient Rome’s self-healing concrete. – Science.

Quicklime may have made material more durable than its modern counterparts.

The ancient Roman Empire still makes its presence felt throughout Europe. Bathhouses, aqueducts, and seawalls built more than 2000 years ago are still standing—thanks to a special type of concrete that has proved far more durable than its modern counterpart. Now, researchers say they have figured out why Roman concrete remains so resilient: Quicklime used in the mix may have given the material self-healing properties.

The work could help engineers improve the performance of modern concrete, says Marie Jackson, a geologist who studies ancient Roman concrete at the University of Utah, but who was not involved with the research.

The Romans were not the first to invent concrete, but they were the first to employ it on a mass scale. By 200 B.C.E., concrete was used in the majority of their construction projects. Roman concrete consisted of a mixture of a white powder known as slaked lime, small particles and rock fragments called tephra ejected by volcanic eruptions, and water.

Modern concrete, in contrast, is typically made from Portland cement: a mixture of limestone, clay, sand, chalk, and other ingredients ground and burnt at scorching temperatures. It also starts to crumble in as little as 50 years.

Scientists have previously tried to explain why Roman concrete is so long-lasting. In 2017, for example, researchers found that—at least for structures exposed to the ocean—seawater reacted with the ingredients of the concrete, creating new, tougher minerals.

But were there other explanations? To find out, Admir Masic, a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and colleagues gathered concrete samples from an ancient city wall in Privernum, a 2000-year-old archaeological site near Rome. Back in the lab, they focused on small calcium deposits embedded in the concrete known as lime lumps.

Other scientists had speculated that these tiny chunks were simply a result of the Romans mixing their concrete poorly. But Masic and his colleagues wondered whether they were instead caused by the Romans using quicklime in their mix before setting it with water. The widely available white powder, made from burning limestone, would have reacted with water during mixing, sparking a chemical reaction that produced significant amounts of heat. This would have prevented the lime from fully dissolving, resulting in the lime lumps.

And indeed, when the researchers tried to make their own Roman concrete in the lab with quicklime, they ended up with material that was “identical” to the samples they gathered from Privernum, Masic says.

When the team created small cracks in the concrete—as would happen as the material aged—and then added water (as would happen with rainwater in the real world), the lime lumps dissolved and recrystallized, effectively filling in the cracks and keeping the concrete strong, the researchers report today in Science Advances. “This has an incredible impact,” Masic says.

Modern concrete typically doesn’t heal cracks larger than 0.2 or 0.3 millimeters across. The team’s Roman-inspired concrete, in contrast, healed cracks up to 0.6 millimeters across.

Masic hopes the work will inspire today’s engineers to improve their own concrete, perhaps with quicklime or a related compound. Indeed, he says, a startup concrete company plans to employ the new discovery. The material wouldn’t just be less expensive than current self-healing concrete, Masic says, it could also help fight climate change: Cement production accounts for 8% of greenhouse gas emissions.

“Romans made extremely intelligent decisions based on excellent empirical observations,” Jackson says. “The more we can learn from ancient construction technologies, the better.”

Pubblicato in: Devoluzione socialismo, Economia e Produzione Industriale, Materie Prime, Unione Europea

Germania. Si ritorna al carbone. Eolico, fotovoltaico e Grüne alle ortiche.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-12-31.

2022-12-28__ germania 001

«the choice is to keep the lights on»

Germania. Si smantella il parco eolico di Garzweiler per ampliare la miniera di lignite.

Russia. Porta la Germania alla implosione. E con essa tutto il blocco europeo.

Germania. Consumatori imbufaliti dalla Shrinkflation. Inflazione mascherata.

Germania. Blocco del gas russo. Effetto domino dei fallimenti. Implosione della Germania.

Germania. Gas russo. Le banche tedesche parlano chiaramente di default.

* * * * * * *

                         La Germania è destinata ad aumentare la sua dipendenza dal carbone mentre combatte una crisi energetica senza precedenti – anche a spese dei suoi ambiziosi obiettivi climatici. La più grande economia europea sta bruciando il combustibile fossile per l’elettricità al ritmo più veloce da almeno sei anni, come mostrano i dati compilati da Bloomberg. È anche pronta ad essere una delle poche nazioni ad aumentare le importazioni di carbone l’anno prossimo. In tutto il mondo, il carbone, altamente inquinante e relativamente economico, sta tornando in auge mentre i Paesi cercano di evitare che l’impennata dei costi energetici inneschi un crollo economico.

                         In tutto il mondo, il carbone altamente inquinante – e relativamente economico – sta tornando in auge mentre i Paesi cercano di evitare che l’impennata dei costi energetici inneschi un tracollo economico. In Europa, la crisi è più acuta dopo che la Russia ha ridotto le forniture di gas naturale in seguito alla guerra in Ucraina. La Germania sta cercando di bilanciare la priorità a breve termine di rafforzare la sicurezza energetica con l’obiettivo a lungo termine di azzerare le emissioni. Tutti mantengono i loro obiettivi climatici, ma è vero che quando ci si trova di fronte al dilemma se tenere le luci accese o diminuire le emissioni di carbonio, la scelta è quella di tenere le luci accese.

                         Per far fronte all’attuale crisi, il Paese ha temporaneamente ripristinato alcuni impianti a carbone che erano fuori servizio. Nella maggior parte dei Paesi, una quantità limitata di capacità elettrica a carbone sta tornando in servizio. Nel terzo trimestre, l’elettricità prodotta da carbone è stata superiore del 13.3% rispetto allo stesso periodo dell’anno precedente.

                         La rinascita del carbone in Germania ha due cause principali: l’abbandono del costoso gas naturale e l’aumento della domanda di energia elettrica da parte della Francia, dove la produzione di elettricità è stata frenata dalle interruzioni dei reattori nucleari.

* * * * * * *

«Germany is set to boost its reliance on coal as it battles an unprecedented energy crisis — even at the expense of its ambitious climate goals. Europe’s largest economy is burning the fossil fuel for electricity at the fastest pace in at least six years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s also poised to be one of the few nations to increase coal imports next year. Across the globe, highly polluting — and relatively cheap — coal is making a comeback as countries seek to prevent soaring energy costs from triggering an economic meltdown»

«Across the globe, highly polluting — and relatively cheap — coal is making a comeback as countries seek to prevent soaring energy costs from triggering an economic meltdown. In Europe, the crisis is acute, after Russia curbed natural gas supplies in the fallout of its war in Ukraine. Germany is now trying to balance the short-term priority of bolstering energy security with the longer-term goal of net-zero emissions. Everyone is keeping their climate targets, but it’s true that when you face the dilemma to keep the lights on or decrease carbon emissions, the choice is to keep the lights on»

«To weather the current crisis, the country has temporarily brought back some coal plants that were offline. In most countries, a limited amount of coal power capacity is returning to service. In the third quarter, its electricity from coal-fired generation was 13.3% higher than the same period a year earlier»

«The German coal revival has two main causes: fuel switching away from expensive natural gas, and rising power demand from France, where electricity generation has been hobbled by nuclear-reactor outages.»

* * * * * * *


Germany Returns to Coal as Energy Security Trumps Climate Goals

(Bloomberg) — Germany is set to boost its reliance on coal as it battles an unprecedented energy crisis — even at the expense of its ambitious climate goals.

Europe’s largest economy is burning the fossil fuel for electricity at the fastest pace in at least six years, data compiled by Bloomberg show. It’s also poised to be one of the few nations to increase coal imports next year.

Across the globe, highly polluting — and relatively cheap — coal is making a comeback as countries seek to prevent soaring energy costs from triggering an economic meltdown. In Europe, the crisis is acute, after Russia curbed natural gas supplies in the fallout of its war in Ukraine. Germany is now trying to balance the short-term priority of bolstering energy security with the longer-term goal of net-zero emissions.

“Everyone is keeping their climate targets, but it’s true that when you face the dilemma to keep the lights on or decrease carbon emissions, the choice is to keep the lights on,” said Carlos Fernandez Alvarez, the acting head of gas, coal and power at the International Energy Agency.

Germany plans to phase out coal use by 2038, but the ruling coalition is pushing for an even earlier target of 2030. To weather the current crisis, the country has temporarily brought back some coal plants that were offline. In most countries, a limited amount of coal power capacity is returning to service. “Only in Germany, with 10 gigawatts, is the reversal at a significant scale,” the IEA said in a report.

Germany now generates more than a third of its electricity from coal-fired power plants, according to Destatis, the federal statistical office. In the third quarter, its electricity from coal-fired generation was 13.3% higher than the same period a year earlier, the agency said.

“The coal phase-out ideally by 2030 is not in question,” a spokeswoman for the German Economy Ministry said in a statement. “Against the backdrop of the crisis situation, the most important thing is that we have apparently succeeded in consuming significantly less energy in 2022, especially natural gas.”

Germany’s power-market interventions that have led to an increase in emissions are limited in time, and the country has accelerated the development of renewable energy, she said.

Revival’s Origins

The German coal revival has two main causes: fuel switching away from expensive natural gas, and rising power demand from France, where electricity generation has been hobbled by nuclear-reactor outages.

European gas prices spiked to record levels over the summer and remain about twice the five-year average for the time of year. Earlier this year, companies including power generator Steag GmbH brought back coal capacity due to soaring gas prices. Automaker Volkswagen AG also shelved a plan to switch away from coal at its Wolfsburg facility in Germany.

While both gas and coal prices have declined recently, it’s still more profitable to burn the dirtier fuel to produce electricity.

“Coal is coming back as a baseload generator,” said Guillaume Perret, who leads energy consultancy Perret Associates Ltd. “We think it will be less seasonal than it has been – with more coal-burning in summer, spring and autumn, as long as coal remains so much in the money versus gas and there remains a gas shortage.”

It’s possible that Germany’s emergency coal stations could be kept online as far into the future as December 2024, nine months after the government’s planned closure date, Perret added. He noted that the European Union and Turkey are the only major energy users worldwide expected to increase coal imports in 2023 compared to 2022.

This year Germany will also likely be a net exporter of electricity to France, the first time that has happened in record-keeping since at least 1990, according to Destatis.

At times this month, German electricity became as polluting as power produced in South Africa and India, after lower wind speeds curbed renewable generation and coal consumption spiked, according to Electricity Maps, an app that aggregates grid data.

There are some bright spots for Europe that may help it avoid burning coal. Gas prices have slumped as previously mild weather pushed back the start of the heating season, and the region has seen record levels of liquefied natural gas imports recently. Gas inventories remain above the seasonal average.

In addition, nuclear power in France has started to return. While some delays continue, reactor availability is now at about 68%, grid data show. That compares with about 50% in early November. Germany also plans to keep its three remaining nuclear plants online until at latest mid-April, beyond their original retirement date.

While Europe’s imports of coal are likely to rise, exactly how much of it is actually burned for power production is unpredictable, especially if hydropower increases in the region. Germany also increased its renewable energy generation by 2.9% on an annual basis in the third quarter of this year, according to Destatis.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Stati Uniti

Usa. Benzina. Costi alla pompa negli stati critici per midterm.

Sandro Mela.

2022-11-05.

Caravaggio. Davide con la testa di Golia (Caravaggio Vienna). 1607. Kunsthistorisches Museum, Vienna.

                         Dopo quasi 100 giorni consecutivi di calo dei prezzi del gas, nelle ultime settimane il costo del carburante ha subito un’impennata.

                         Questa volta, l’aumento dei prezzi coincide con le elezioni di midterm – e la tendenza potrebbe determinare quale partito otterrà il controllo del Congresso. Da quando l’aumento dei prezzi ha preso piede due settimane fa, quando l’OPEC+ ha annunciato un taglio della produzione di petrolio, la disapprovazione del Presidente Joe Biden è aumentata di 1.1 punti percentuali. Ma il prezzo del gas – e il suo recente movimento – varia notevolmente negli Stati chiave per le elezioni di metà mandato. In alcuni Stati, come il New Hampshire e la Pennsylvania, i prezzi sono aumentati appena o addirittura diminuiti nell’ultimo mese.

                         In Arizona, uno Stato in bilico che ospita gare molto combattute per il governatore e il Senato, il prezzo di un gallone di benzina è di 4.40 dollari, una cifra superiore del 15% circa alla media nazionale di 3.82 dollari. Ora, nel tentativo disperato di salvare le elezioni di metà mandato, stanno sperperando la nostra riserva strategica.

                         In Wisconsin, dove una corsa al Senato ad alto rischio potrebbe determinare il partito che detiene la Camera, il prezzo di un gallone di benzina è di 3.67 dollari. Pur essendo inferiore alla media nazionale, questo prezzo riflette una recente impennata di oltre il 5% nell’ultimo mese.

                         Un altro Stato chiave è l’Ohio, dove la corsa al Senato vede contrapposti lo scrittore e venture capitalist J.D. Vance, repubblicano, e il deputato democratico Tim Ryan. Il prezzo della benzina in Ohio è di 3.71 dollari, quasi 10 centesimi al di sotto della media nazionale. Ma il prezzo è aumentato di circa il 7% nell’ultimo mese.

                         La California, lo Stato con i prezzi del gas più alti, potrebbe determinare quale partito manterrà il controllo della Camera dei Rappresentanti. Lo Stato ospita tre competizioni per la Camera dei Deputati. Il prezzo della benzina in California è di 5.83 dollari al gallone, circa il 52% in più rispetto alla media nazionale. Il prezzo è aumentato di quasi l’8% nell’ultimo mese. Abbiamo bisogno di una politica di energia rinnovabile che non faccia pagare il conto alle persone che meno possono permettersi di pagarlo.

* * * * * * *

«After nearly 100 consecutive days of falling gas prices, fuel costs have spiked in recent weeks.

This time, the price increase coincides with the lead up to the midterm elections – and the trend could determine which party gains control of Congress. Since the increase in prices took hold two weeks ago, when OPEC+ announced a cut in oil output, disapproval of President Joe Biden has risen 1.1 percentage points. But the price of gas – and the recent movement of that price – varies dramatically across key midterm states. In some states, like New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, prices have barely increased or even fallen over the last month.»

«In Arizona, a swing state host to highly contested races for governor and Senate, the price of a gallon of gas stands at $4.40 – a figure roughly 15% higher than the national average of $3.82. Now in a desperate bid to try to save the midterms they’re squandering our strategic reserve»

«In Wisconsin, where a high-stakes Senate race could determine which party holds the chamber, the price of a gallon of gas stands at $3.67. While that price falls below the national average, it reflects a recent surge of more than 5% over the past month.»

«Another key battleground state is Ohio, where a close Senate race features author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, a Republican, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan. Gas prices in Ohio stand at $3.71, nearly 10 cents below the national average. But the price has jumped about 7% over the last month.»

California, the state with the highest gas prices, could determine which party retains control of the House of Representatives. The state plays host to three toss-up House races. Gas prices in California stand at $5.83 per gallon, which puts the price about 52% higher than the national average. That price has spiked nearly 8% over the past month. We need to have a renewable energy policy that actually doesn’t balance its book on the folks who can least afford to pay the bill»

* * * * * * *


Rising gas prices could shape the midterms: Here’s where fuel costs stand in key states.

After nearly 100 consecutive days of falling gas prices, fuel costs have spiked in recent weeks.

This time, the price increase coincides with the lead up to the midterm elections – and the trend could determine which party gains control of Congress.

The approval rating of President Joe Biden – an indicator of Democrat’s election prospects – has tracked closely with gas prices. In conjunction with a monthslong fall in prices from their summer peak, Biden’s approval surged.

Since the increase in prices took hold two weeks ago, when OPEC+ announced a cut in oil output, disapproval of President Joe Biden has risen 1.1 percentage points, according to FiveThirtyEight.

On Wednesday, Biden announced moves that aim to address the oil supply shortage behind the cost spike, including a scheduled release of millions of barrels of oil from the nation’s Strategic Petroleum Reserve, or SPR.

But the price of gas – and the recent movement of that price – varies dramatically across key midterm states. In some states, like New Hampshire and Pennsylvania, prices have barely increased or even fallen over the last month.

Here’s a look at the key midterm states where gas prices have spiked significantly in recent weeks, and what candidates are saying about the rising costs:

                         Arizona

In Arizona, a swing state host to highly contested races for governor and Senate, the price of a gallon of gas stands at $4.40 – a figure roughly 15% higher than the national average of $3.82, according to AAA. Moreover, the price of gas in Arizona has risen more than 8% over the past month.

Blake Masters, a Republican candidate for Senate, condemned the gas price spike on Wednesday in a tweet critical of his opponent, incumbent Democrat Mark Kelly, as well as Biden.

“Now in a desperate bid to try to save the midterms they’re squandering our strategic reserve,” Masters said. Biden retains sole authority over releases from the SPR, which currently stands at 57% capacity, according to the Energy Information Administration, or EIA.

Kelly, meanwhile, acknowledged the elevated prices last week, citing a general supply bottleneck. “From groceries to the gas we pump into our cars, it feels like everything is too expensive right now,” he said. “I’m working in the Senate to fix our supply chains and bring down costs for Arizona’s working families.”

                         Wisconsin

In Wisconsin, where a high-stakes Senate race could determine which party holds the chamber, the price of a gallon of gas stands at $3.67, AAA data showed. While that price falls below the national average, it reflects a recent surge of more than 5% over the past month.

Republican incumbent Senator Ron Johnson, first elected in 2010, has attributed the high gas prices to spending increases and environmentally friendly initiatives supported by Democrats.

Earlier this month, Johnson said: “Make no mistake, this is the result of Democrats’ reckless deficit spending and radical green energy policies.”

To address the gas prices, Democratic candidate Mandela Barnes, the state’s Lieutenant Governor, says on his campaign website he would end government subsidies for oil and gas companies, which he claims have enabled high profits.

                         Ohio

Another key battleground state is Ohio, where a close Senate race features author and venture capitalist J.D. Vance, a Republican, and Democratic Rep. Tim Ryan.

Gas prices in Ohio stand at $3.71, nearly 10 cents below the national average. AAA data showed. But the price has jumped about 7% over the last month.

In a debate between the two Senate candidates, on Monday, Vance faulted the Biden administration and Congressional Democrats for impeding investment in the U.S. energy sector that could increase oil output and bring down prices.

“That rising energy price that people see at the pump, that people see in your utility bills, that our farmers see when they’re paying more for diesel,” Vance said. “That was the direct result of policies enacted by Joe Biden and Nancy Pelosi and supported 100% by Tim Ryan.”

Oil production in the U.S. last year was nearly identical to that seen over the final year of the Trump administration, in 2020, and greater than the amount produced in 2017 or 2018, according to data from the EIA.

Ryan, meanwhile, cited his vote for the Inflation Reduction Act, which is projected to cut the deficit over a 10-year period and slightly reduce inflation, according to the Wharton School of Business at Pennsylvania University.

To provide short term cost relief, Ryan called for a tax cut for working families that would ease the pain imposed by higher prices. “This is an opportunity for us to put more money in people’s pockets,” he said at the debate.

                         California

California, the state with the highest gas prices, could determine which party retains control of the House of Representatives. The state plays host to three toss-up House races, according to the Cook Political Report.

Gas prices in California stand at $5.83 per gallon, which puts the price about 52% higher than the national average, according to AAA data. That price has spiked nearly 8% over the past month.

In one of the toss-up House races, the Oakland-area 13th district, two challengers seek a seat left open by the retirement of longtime Democratic Representative Barbara Lee.

Adam Gray, a Democratic state assembly member running for the seat, faulted California’s tax credit system, which he said in a debate last month offers a tax break for wealthy Tesla purchasers but leaves working-class people straining to afford high gas prices.

“We need to have a renewable energy policy that actually doesn’t balance its book on the folks who can least afford to pay the bill,” he said.

On the other hand, Republican candidate John Duarte, a farmer, blamed the high gas prices on environment-friendly Democratic policies that he says have limited oil supply.

“We need to develop domestic energy as a matter of opportunity and affordability for families,” he said at the debate.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia

Russia. Spedizioni di LNG ai massimi livelli. Buio, gelo e fame sono ottimi consiglieri.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-11-04.

2022-11-04__ Russian liquefied natural gas shipments 001

                         Le spedizioni di gas naturale liquefatto dalla Russia sono aumentate in ottobre fino a raggiungere quasi un record, illustrando come il mondo stia lottando per ridurre la sua dipendenza dal principale fornitore in vista dell’inverno.

                         Le esportazioni di GNL dalla Russia sono aumentate dell’1.1% su base annua in ottobre, raggiungendo il livello più alto da marzo, secondo i dati di monitoraggio delle navi compilati da Bloomberg dal 2016. Questo dato è in netto contrasto con il crollo dei flussi dei gasdotti verso l’Europa a seguito del deterioramento delle relazioni tra l’Occidente e il Cremlino per l’invasione dell’Ucraina a febbraio.

                         Sebbene quasi la metà del gas trasportato via nave sia ancora in transito, i primi paesi importatori sono stati Francia, Cina e Giappone, secondo i dati. Al momento non ci sono sanzioni dirette sul GNL russo, ma l’aumento delle esportazioni dimostra come ci sia ancora una forte domanda di questo combustibile in vista dell’inverno, quando si prevede che il freddo aumenterà i consumi e restringerà l’offerta globale.

                         Alcune aziende e governi si stanno muovendo per bloccare ulteriori acquisti o interrompere del tutto le forniture dalla Russia. Il Regno Unito non ha importato il carburante super refrigerato dalla Russia dall’inizio della guerra a febbraio e lo vieterà formalmente da gennaio.

                         Nel frattempo, gli acquirenti in Cina hanno aumentato gli acquisti di GNL russo per approfittare di uno sconto sul mercato spot, secondo gli operatori.

* * * * * * *


Russia’s Near-Record LNG Shipments Show World’s Struggle to Cut Reliance

(Bloomberg) — Russian liquefied natural gas shipments increased in October to nearly a record, illustrating how the world is struggling to curb its dependence on the major supplier ahead of winter.

LNG exports from Russia rose 1.1% year on year in October to the highest level since March, according to ship-tracking data compiled by Bloomberg since 2016. That is in stark contrast to plummeting pipeline flows to Europe following the deterioration of relations between the West and the Kremlin over its invasion of Ukraine in February.

While almost half of the shipborne gas is still in transit, the top importing nations were France, China and Japan, the data showed. There currently aren’t any direct sanctions on Russian LNG, but the rise in exports shows how there is still strong demand for the fuel in preparation for winter, when cold weather is expected to boost consumption and tighten global supply.

Some utilities and governments are moving to halt additional purchases or stop deliveries from Russia altogether. The UK hasn’t imported the super-chilled fuel from Russia since the war started in February, and will formally ban it from January. 

Meanwhile, buyers in China increased purchases of Russian LNG to take advantage of a discount to the spot market, according to traders.

Pubblicato in: Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Problemia Energetici, Stati Uniti

Biden. L’Arabia Saudita lo sberleffa alla grande.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-10-18.

Arabia Saudita 001

                         I democratici statunitensi sono fuori controllo. Negli ultimi giorni da Washington si è levato un diluvio di opinioni sulla decisione dell’alleanza dei produttori OPEC+ di ridurre la produzione di petrolio di 2 milioni di barili al giorno a partire da novembre. La natura di tali opinioni – che vanno da ipotesi offensive per l’intelligence a informazioni semplicemente inesatte – porta all’inevitabile conclusione che è ora estremamente difficile prendere sul serio qualsiasi cosa venga detta su questo tema da qualsiasi funzionario statunitense.

                         Secondo il portavoce del Consiglio di Sicurezza Nazionale della Casa Bianca, John Kirby, la visione saudita degli eventi – definita con ammirevole chiarezza in una dichiarazione di giovedì dal Ministero degli Affari Esteri, che ha affermato che la decisione sulla produzione di petrolio era un consenso dell’intera alleanza nell’interesse della stabilità del mercato energetico globale – non è altro che uno spin. Ma in realtà, tutte le illazioni provengono da Washington, che si è lanciata in un’imbarazzante serie di autocontraddizioni.

                         Tom Cotton, il senatore repubblicano dell’Arkansas, ha rivelato che la Casa Bianca non ha obiezioni di principio a un taglio della produzione di petrolio, ma vuole solo che l’annuncio avvenga più tardi per non influenzare le elezioni di metà mandato degli Stati Uniti a novembre. Questa opinione è stata indirettamente confermata dalla dichiarazione del Ministero degli Esteri saudita, che ha affermato che gli Stati Uniti sono stati consultati sulla decisione e hanno chiesto di ritardarla di un mese, ma non di cancellarla.

                         Ciò che non ha davvero senso dal punto di vista economico è l’affermazione di Biden nella sua intervista alla CNN, secondo cui non si aspetta una recessione negli Stati Uniti. Forse il presidente ne sa di più del 70% dei principali economisti accademici intervistati dal Financial Times, che ritengono che l’economia statunitense entrerà in recessione l’anno prossimo.

                         Per quanto riguarda il vero spin, tuttavia, è difficile battere l’affermazione che l’Arabia Saudita, tagliando la produzione di petrolio, stia in qualche modo sostenendo la Russia nella sua guerra contro l’Ucraina. Ma davvero? La stessa Arabia Saudita che mercoledì ha votato alle Nazioni Unite per condannare l’annessione da parte della Russia del territorio ucraino nel Donbas? La stessa Arabia Saudita la cui posizione di principio è valsa la gratitudine dell’ambasciatore ucraino nel Regno? La stessa Arabia Saudita che è stata ringraziata dal presidente ucraino Volodymyr Zelensky – proprio su questo giornale – per il suo ruolo nell’intermediazione di uno scambio di prigionieri?.

                         Il loro compito non è quello di aiutare un particolare partito politico statunitense a raggiungere il successo alle urne, a spese della stabilità del mercato globale del petrolio. Il cielo non crollerà se una delle due camere del Congresso degli Stati Uniti cambierà mano politica. Ma se perdiamo il controllo dei mercati energetici, l’impatto potrebbe essere davvero terribile.

* * * * * * *

«US Democrats are spinning out of control. There has been a deluge of opinion emanating from Washington in the past few days on the subject of the decision by the OPEC+ producers’ alliance to reduce oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November. The nature of that opinion— ranging from intelligence-insulting assumptions to merely inaccurate information — leads to the inevitable conclusion that it is now extremely hard to take anything said on this issue by any US official seriously.»

«According to the White House’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the Saudi view of events — defined with admirable clarity in a statement on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that the oil output decision was a consensus of the whole alliance in the interests of global energy market stability — is no more than spin. But in truth, all the spin is coming from Washington, which has been on an embarrassing spree of self-contradiction.»

«Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, revealed that the White House had no objection in principle to a cut in oil output — but merely wanted an announcement later so as not to influence the US mid-term elections in November. That view was indirectly confirmed by the Saudi Foreign Ministry statement, which said the US had been consulted about the decision and had asked for it to be delayed for a month, but not canceled.»

«What genuinely makes no economic sense is Biden’s contention in his CNN interview that he does not expect a recession in the US. Perhaps the president knows more than the 70 per cent of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, who believe the US economy will tip into a recession next year.»

«For real spin, however, it is hard to beat the assertion that in cutting oil output Saudi Arabia is somehow supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine. Seriously? The same Saudi Arabia that voted at the UN on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas? The same Saudi Arabia whose principled position earned the gratitude of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Kingdom? The same Saudi Arabia that was thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in this very newspaper — for its role in a brokering a prisoner swap?»

«What is not their job is to help one particular US political party to achieve success at the ballot box, at the expense of the stability of the global oil market. The sky will not fall in if either house of the US Congress changes political hands. But if we lose control of energy markets, the impact could be truly terrible»

* * * * * * *


Arab News.

US Democrats are spinning out of control

There has been a deluge of opinion emanating from Washington in the past few days on the subject of the decision by the OPEC+ producers’ alliance to reduce oil output by 2 million barrels a day from November. The nature of that opinion— ranging from intelligence-insulting assumptions to merely inaccurate information — leads to the inevitable conclusion that it is now extremely hard to take anything said on this issue by any US official seriously.
According to the White House’s National Security Council spokesman John Kirby, the Saudi view of events — defined with admirable clarity in a statement on Thursday by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which said that the oil output decision was a consensus of the whole alliance in the interests of global energy market stability — is no more than “spin.” But in truth, all the “spin” is coming from Washington, which has been on an embarrassing spree of self-contradiction.
For example, despite all the angry rhetoric from Democratic lawmakers who assumed that Saudi Arabia had backed away from its oil price commitments to President Joe Biden, the president himself told CNN on Wednesday that oil was actually NOT discussed during his visit to Saudi Arabia in July, which was rather about US strategic interests in the whole region. 

Furthermore, Tom Cotton, the Republican senator from Arkansas, revealed that the White House had no objection in principle to a cut in oil output — but merely wanted an announcement later so as not to influence the US mid-term elections in November. That view was indirectly confirmed by the Saudi Foreign Ministry statement, which said the US had been consulted about the decision and had asked for it to be delayed for a month, but not canceled. 

So what we have here is a clear case of the Democratic Party putting its own interests first, dressed up as concern for both Ukraine and the global economy; and if that’s not spin, I don’t know what is. 

Despite their dire warnings about the OPEC+ decision “making no economic sense” — in other words, that oil prices would soar — in fact, precisely the opposite has happened.

What genuinely makes “no economic sense” is Biden’s contention in his CNN interview that he does not expect a recession in the US. Perhaps the president knows more than the 70 per cent of leading academic economists polled by the Financial Times, who believe the US economy will tip into a recession next year. 

For real “spin,” however, it is hard to beat the assertion that in cutting oil output Saudi Arabia is somehow supporting Russia in its war against Ukraine. Seriously? The same Saudi Arabia that voted at the UN on Wednesday to condemn Russia’s annexation of Ukrainian territory in the Donbas? The same Saudi Arabia whose principled position earned the gratitude of the Ukrainian ambassador to the Kingdom? The same Saudi Arabia that was thanked by Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky — in this very newspaper — for its role in a brokering a prisoner swap? 

In the end, if Biden and other US politicians wish to say that Saudi Arabia is serving its own interests, or that OPEC+ is serving the interests of the global oil market, then that is not an accusation — it’s a compliment. The Kingdom and the oil alliance would merely be doing their job.

What is not their job is to help one particular US political party to achieve success at the ballot box, at the expense of the stability of the global oil market. The sky will not fall in if either house of the US Congress changes political hands. But if we lose control of energy markets, the impact could be truly terrible.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Banche Centrali, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime, Russia

Russia. Le sanzioni europee non vietano l’export russo di uranio.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-10-16.

Zio Sam 001

                         Le esportazioni nucleari russe da 200 milioni di euro non sono toccate dalle sanzioni UE. Uranio. La Russia fornisce circa il 20% di tutte le importazioni dell’UE, con solo il Niger (24.3%) e il Kazakistan (23%) maggiori partner commerciali di uranio. Ma finora le sanzioni nucleari sono sempre state lasciate fuori.

                         Avremmo voluto porre fine alla dipendenza dalla Russia per tutte le risorse energetiche, compreso, ovviamente, l’uranio. Lo abbiamo proposto più volte, ma dobbiamo accettare il fatto che, purtroppo, le decisioni sulle sanzioni vengono prese all’unanimità, aggiungendo che il governo di coalizione tedesco vuole eliminare l’unanimità in diverse aree decisionali dell’UE. Tuttavia, alcune delegazioni nazionali vedono l’attenzione tedesca per l’uranio come tattica, sapendo che non c’è alcuna possibilità che venga approvata, a causa del requisito dell’unanimità.

                         La Commissione europea non l’ha mai proposto perché l’impatto sarebbe stato più forte per alcuni Stati membri orientali, che dipendono fortemente dalle infrastrutture e dalle tecnologie russe, che per la Russia stessa. La principale resistenza è venuta dall’Ungheria e dalla Bulgaria. L’Ungheria sta costruendo due reattori nucleari con prestiti russi.

                         In termini economici, i Paesi dell’UE hanno pagato circa 210 milioni di euro per le importazioni di uranio grezzo dalla Russia nel 2021 e altri 245 milioni di euro dal Kazakistan, dove l’estrazione dell’uranio è controllata dalla società statale russa Rosatom. L’anno scorso le importazioni di uranio grezzo dalla Russia alle utility dell’UE sono state pari a 2,358 tonnellate, quasi il 20% di tutte le importazioni dell’UE. Solo il Niger (24.3%) e il Kazakistan (23.0%) sono stati partner commerciali più importanti per l’uranio, secondo il rapporto annuale 2021 dell’organismo dell’UE.

* * * * * * *

«Russia’s €200m nuclear exports untouched by EU sanctions. Uranium. Russia supplies around 20 percent of all EU imports, with only Niger (24.3 percent) and Kazakhstan (23 percent) bigger uranium trade partners. But so far, nuclear sanctions were always left out.»

«We would have liked to end the dependency from Russia on all energy resources, which includes, of course, uranium. So we have proposed this several times, but we have to accept that unfortunately, sanction decisions are taken unanimously, adding that the German coalition government wants to scrap unanimity in several EU decision-making areas. However, some national delegations see the German focus on uranium as tactical, knowing there is no chance of it being approved, because of the unanimity requirement.»

«The European Commission never proposed it because the impact would be stronger for some Eastern member states, that are heavily-dependent on Russian infrastructure and technologies, than for Russia itself. The main resistance came from Hungary and Bulgaria. Hungary is building two nuclear reactors with Russian loans»

«In economic terms, the EU countries paid around €210m for raw uranium imports from Russia in 2021 and another €245m from Kazakhstan, where the uranium mining is controlled by Russian state-owned company Rosatom. Raw uranium imports from Russia to EU utilities were 2,358 tonnes last year, almost 20 percent of all EU imports. Only Niger (24.3 percent) and Kazakhstan (23.0 percent) were bigger uranium trade partners, according to the 2021 annual report from the EU body»

* * * * * * *


Russia’s €200m nuclear exports untouched by EU sanctions

Uranium. Russia supplies around 20 percent of all EU imports, with only Niger (24.3 percent) and Kazakhstan (23 percent) bigger uranium trade partners.

“Russian nuclear terror requires a stronger response from the international community [including] sanctions on the Russian nuclear industry and nuclear fuel.” Those were the words Ukraine’s president Volodomyr Zelensky tweeted in August, after the shelling of a nuclear power plant in the country.

Since the beginning of Russia’s war in Ukraine, the European Union has passed multiple sanctions packages aimed at hurting the Russian economy and reducing its ability to finance the war. Sanctions have included personalities, products of all kinds, and of course, fossil fuels.

But so far, nuclear sanctions were always left out.

On Wednesday 28 September, history repeated itself again. The European Commission proposed another sanction package against Russia, the eighth since the beginning of the invasion. It includes additional trade restrictions and an oil price cap for third countries. But still nothing on nuclear cooperation with Russia and imports of Russian uranium, even if many called for it.

The European Parliament itself backs the idea to sanction Russian nuclear power, calling for “an immediate full embargo on Russian imports of oil, coal, nuclear fuel and gas” and asked to “terminate collaboration with Russian companies on existing and new nuclear projects, including in Finland, Hungary and Bulgaria, where Russian experts can be replaced by Western ones, and to phase out the use of Rosatom services”.

On Friday 23 September, days before the commission’s proposal, five EU countries — Poland, Ireland, Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania — suggested a ban on cooperation with any nuclear activities with Russia. Germany has also supported a uranium ban behind the scenes.

German state secretary Sven Giegold confirmed this to Investigate Europe: “We would have liked to end the dependency from Russia on all energy resources, which includes, of course, uranium. So we have proposed this several times, but we have to accept that unfortunately, sanction decisions are taken unanimously,” he said, adding that the German coalition government wants to scrap unanimity in several EU decision-making areas.

However, some national delegations see the German focus on uranium as tactical, knowing there is no chance of it being approved, because of the unanimity requirement.

“Uranian was often presented in a tactical way, to show the others that they also have their weaknesses”, an EU Council diplomat told us, “as Germany has been accused of being too soft on gas sanctions.”

On Wednesday 5 October, the ambassadors of the member states to the EU approved the eighth wave of sanctions against Russia, which was adopted the following morning by written procedure.

                         Europe’s dependency

The reason for this resistance can be explained in one word: dependence. So far, an import ban on uranium or other sanctions on the Russian nuclear energy sector has only been discussed in EU circles, but never formally proposed.

“The European Commission never proposed it because the impact would be stronger for some Eastern member states, that are heavily-dependent on Russian infrastructure and technologies, than for Russia itself,” one diplomatic source told Investigate Europe.

According to Ariadna Rodrigo, EU sustainable finance campaigner at Greenpeace, the main resistance came from Hungary and Bulgaria.

“The country that is the most forceful against [a ban on nuclear import from Russia] is Hungary,” she told Investigate Europe. “Hungary is building two nuclear reactors with Russian loans.”

She added: “If EU governments are serious about stopping war, they need to cut the European nuclear industry’s umbilical cord to the Kremlin and focus instead on accelerating energy savings and renewables. Ignoring the nuclear trade leaves a hole in EU sanctions so big you could drive a tank through it.”

How big is that hole? In economic terms, the EU countries paid around €210m for raw uranium imports from Russia in 2021 and another €245m from Kazakhstan, where the uranium mining is controlled by Russian state-owned company Rosatom.

Raw uranium imports from Russia to EU utilities were 2,358 tonnes last year, almost 20 percent of all EU imports. Only Niger (24.3 percent) and Kazakhstan (23.0 percent) were bigger uranium trade partners, according to the 2021 annual report from the EU body, Euratom Supply Agency (ESA).

                         20% of EU uranium imports come from Russia

While nuclear power generates around one quarter of all electricity in the EU as a whole, the share amounts to over 40 percent in Slovakia, Hungary and Bulgaria, and over 70 percent for France, according to EU figures.

Pubblicato in: Armamenti, Devoluzione socialismo, Materie Prime

Russia. Sempre più probabile una escalation severa. Centrali elettriche ukraine kaputt.

Giuseppe Sandro Mela.

2022-09-21.

2022-09-17__Ukraine Blackout 001

Credersi che i russi, che sono slavi, ragionino e si comportino secondo i canoni occidentali sarebbe un grande errore.

I mongoli diventano temibili quando si ritiravano.

È tutto da vedere se gli ukraini siano avanzati oppure i russi si siano ritirati per intrappolarli. Infatti gli ukraini si sono trascinati tutti gli armamenti sofisticati loro dati dall’occidente, ma questi senza corrente elettrica diventano inservibili.

Russia. Blackout completo nella Ukraina dell’est, Sumy, Dnipropetrovsk, Poltava, Zaporizhzhia e Odesa.

I media occidentali non ne parlano. Ma il blackout esiste.

* * * * * * *

«Living with no electricity might not be as easy as you may think and you not realise how many items in your home rely on it to function. Electrically managed technologies supply us with many things, such as heat, food, water, transport, energy, entertainment and communication. Electricity allows us to power the technology we use every day. If you plan on trying to live without electricity, you will no longer be able to turn on the central heating in your home, use the toilet, preserve food in your fridge/freezer or have clean running water.» [EC4U]

«Russia has already launched intense shelling on the Kharkiv region, starting Sunday night, leaving it without electricity and water.»

«The centre of Ukraine’s second city Kharkiv was plunged into darkness on Sunday evening by an electricity blackout, a Reuters reporter said. The cause and extent of the blackout in the northeastern city were not immediately clear. There were also unconfirmed social media reports of blackouts in other places and regions.»  [Reuters]

* * * * * * *

La Russia ha mantenuto un riserbo sulle sue ultime sconfitte in Ucraina e gli strateghi temono che Mosca possa cercare di punire severamente Kiev per le sue vittorie sul campo di battaglia nel tentativo di salvare la faccia. Ora si pensa a una potenziale rappresaglia russa: il ministro della Difesa ucraino Oleksii Reznikov ha dichiarato al Financial Times di aspettarsi un contrattacco. Una controffensiva libera un territorio e poi bisogna controllarlo ed essere pronti a difenderlo, ha detto Reznikov, aggiungendo: Certo, dobbiamo essere preoccupati, questa guerra ci preoccupa da anni. La Russia ha già lanciato intensi bombardamenti sulla regione di Kharkiv, a partire da domenica notte, lasciandola senza elettricità e acqua.

Inoltre, aumenta la volontà russa di infliggere agli ucraini una punizione simile a quella di Grozny, sia in termini di infliggere vittime di massa all’Ucraina attraverso un maggior numero di bersagli nei centri urbani, sia, nel peggiore dei casi, utilizzando armi chimiche o addirittura nucleari tattiche sul campo di battaglia per seminare il panico di massa. Di conseguenza, Putin si trova ad affrontare una crescente pressione per rispondere a dinamiche sempre più sfavorevoli sul fronte, che potrebbero includere mosse di escalation o richieste di avviare trattative per il cessate il fuoco.

Oppure un’escalation con mobilitazione di massa e armi di distruzione di massa (WMD), o forse il livellamento indiscriminato delle città ucraine in stile siriano.

* * * * * * *

«Russia has been tight-lipped about its latest defeats in Ukraine, and strategists fear Moscow could look to punish Kyiv severely for its victories on the battlefield in an effort to save face. Now thoughts are turning to potential Russian retaliation, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov telling the Financial Times he was expecting a counterattack. “A counteroffensive liberates territory and after that you have to control it and be ready to defend it, Reznikov said, adding, Of course, we have to be worried, this war has worried us for years. Russia has already launched intense shelling on the Kharkiv region, starting Sunday night, leaving it without electricity and water.»

«Further, it makes Russian willingness to mete out Grozny-like ‘punishment’ onto the Ukrainians higher, both in terms of inflicting mass casualties on Ukraine through greater targeting of urban centers, as well as, in the worst case, using chemical or even tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield to sow mass panic. As a result, Putin faces growing pressure to respond to increasingly unfavorable dynamics on the frontline, which might include either escalatory moves or calls to start ceasefire talks»

«Or escalate with mass mobilisation and WMD [weapon of mass destruction], or perhaps Syrian style indiscriminate levelling of Ukrainian cities»

* * * * * * *


Russia’s defeats in Ukraine have strategists worried about Moscow’s next move

– Strategists fear Moscow could look to punish Kyiv severely for its victories on the battlefield in an effort to save face.

– Kyiv’s forces launched a massive counterattack in the northeast of the country, reclaiming thousands of kilometers of Russian-occupied land over the last few days.

– “Moscow faces a stark choice now I think: face humiliating defeat in Ukraine … and sue for peace,” strategist Timothy Ash said. “Or escalate with mass mobilisation and WMD [weapon of mass destruction].”

* * * * * * *

Russia has been tight-lipped about its latest defeats in Ukraine, and strategists fear Moscow could look to punish Kyiv severely for its victories on the battlefield in an effort to save face.

Kyiv’s forces launched a massive counterattack in the northeast of the country, reclaiming thousands of kilometers of Russian-occupied land over the last few days.

Now thoughts are turning to potential Russian retaliation, with Ukrainian Defense Minister Oleksii Reznikov telling the Financial Times he was expecting a counterattack. “A counteroffensive liberates territory and after that you have to control it and be ready to defend it,” Reznikov said, adding, “Of course, we have to be worried, this war has worried us for years.”

Russia has already launched intense shelling on the Kharkiv region, starting Sunday night, leaving it without electricity and water. Ukraine’s deputy defense minister told Reuters it was too early to say Ukraine had full control of the area.

Close followers of the Kremlin say President Vladimir Putin is likely weighing his options now.

“The military story for the Kremlin is becoming worse,” Ian Bremmer, Eurasia Group president, said in a note Monday. “To the extent that continues, it pressures Putin into calling for a mobilization — likely a partial one but still a politically and socially costly move for the Russian president at home, that will force him into declaring war with Ukraine, and tacitly admitting that Russia is facing military problems,” he said in emailed comments. Russia has insisted on calling its invasion of Ukraine a “special military operation,” not a war.

“Further, it makes Russian willingness to mete out Grozny-like ‘punishment’ onto the Ukrainians higher, both in terms of inflicting mass casualties on Ukraine through greater targeting of urban centers, as well as, in the worst case, using chemical or even tactical nuclear weapons on the battlefield to sow mass panic,” Bremmer added.

“If there’s a likely near-term change in the russia war going forward, it’s escalatory and not a negotiated breakthrough.”

                         Frustration rising

Ukraine’s victories on the battlefield in recent days, and its ability to reclaim dozens of towns and villages in the Kharkiv region, puts Russia on the back foot. It is now scrambling to defend its territory in Donetsk and Luhansk, where two pro-Russian “republics” are located, in the Donbas in eastern Ukraine.

Russian forces are widely believed to have been taken by surprise by Ukraine’s counterattack in the northeast of the country and were heavily outnumbered. There were signs that Russian forces had beaten a hasty retreat, with stores of equipment and ammunition abandoned.

Ahead of these counterattacks in the northeast, Kyiv had heavily promoted a counteroffensive in the south of Ukraine — leading Russia to redeploy troops there.

On Monday, the Kremlin’s press secretary, Dmitry Peskov, said Russia’s aims in Ukraine remain the same — to “liberate” the Donbas — and insisted that fighting would continue.

There are rumblings of discontent in Russia, however, with even staunch supporters of the Kremlin questioning the war in public forums, including on state-run TV.

“We’ve been told that everything is going according to plan. Does anyone really believe that six months ago the plan was to be leaving [the city of] Balakliya, repelling a counteroffensive in the Kharkiv region and failing to take over Kharkiv?” usually pro-Putin political expert Viktor Olevich said on the state-run NTV channel, the Moscow Times reported.

Another public figure, former lawmaker Boris Nadezhdin, said that Russia would not win the war if it continued to fight as it was, and said that there needed to be “either mobilization and full-scale war, or we get out.”

Analysts at global risk consultancy Teneo noted in emailed comments Monday evening that military losses and the humiliation of Russian troops “pose risks to President Vladimir Putin’s regime, as domestic criticism of the conduct of the so-called special military operation is mounting from various sides.”

“As a result, Putin faces growing pressure to respond to increasingly unfavorable dynamics on the frontline, which might include either escalatory moves or calls to start ceasefire talks,” they added.

                         Putin’s ‘stark choice’

Putin’s regime now faces a difficult choice; the war is dragging on and its undersupplied forces are likely becoming demoralized as they come under pressure from Ukraine’s well-organized and well-armed army.

“Moscow faces a stark choice now I think: face humiliating defeat in Ukraine — which seems inevitable given the current troop force deployments, supply chains and momentum on Ukraine’s side — and sue for peace,” Timothy Ash, senior emerging markets sovereign strategist at BlueBay Asset Management, said in a note Monday.

“Or escalate with mass mobilisation and WMD [weapon of mass destruction], or perhaps Syrian style indiscriminate levelling of Ukrainian cities.”

Ash said Putin had likely balked at the mass mobilization option, which would put Russia on a war footing and see the conscription of many of its citizens. The “risk is that they come home in body bags and cause domestic social and political unrest in Russia,” he said, but added that Putin was also unlikely to resort to unconventional weapons — such as WMDs.

“Putin had the chance and failed to pull the trigger as he knows these are only really deterrents and once he does unleash them we are in a whole new ball game, risk of World War 3, and a chain of events which will be very difficult to manage but where he is clearly seen as the aggressor/mad guy and loses most of his friends internationally, including China, et al,” Ash added.

He said that, after what he expected would be intensive airstrikes in Ukraine, Putin might attempt to begin “serious” peace talks. “But he will have to hurry up as the ground in Ukraine, and possibly even Moscow, is shifting quickly under his feet,” Ash noted.

“At this stage a total collapse of Russian forces across Ukraine is entirely possible – including that held before Feb. 24, including Crimea, and even talk about potential splits in Moscow and risks to Putin’s stay in power. Watch this space.”