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1 2020-03-20 11:27:22 Iran Iran introducing smart cards to regulate kolbars: Governor

ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Kurdish cross-border porters, kolbars, will be issued with smart cards in a bid to regulate the semi-legal profession, the governor of Iran,s West Azerbaijan province revealed. 

Some 50,000 people living in villages within 20 kilometres of the Kurdistan Region-Iran border near Piranshahr and Sardasht will be given the special cards, according to Governor Mohammed Mehdi Shahriari.

Authorities will begin issuing the cards within two weeks. 

Kolbars are semi-legal porters who carry heavy loads of goods on their backs across the mountains from the Kurdistan Region to Iran. Some import items that are banned in Iran, like alcohol. 

The smart cards will replace the kolbar licence that was introduced in 2016. Smart card owners will have a quota on what they export and will be levied lower customs fees

There are about 70,000 individuals registered as kolbars in the provinces of West Azerbaijan, Kurdistan, and Kermanshah. These mainly Kurdish provinces are among the poorest in Iran.

The Iranian government has promised more economic development in these areas in order to eliminate the kolbar profession. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of the Iranian National Security Council, has said it is an ugly fact for Iran that there are still Kurdish kolbars

At least 167 kolbars died in 2017 – some killed by Iranian border guards and others died on the treacherous mountain passes they traverse. Hundreds more were arrested, fined, or wounded by Iranian border guards, according to the France-based Kurdistan Human Rights Network (KHRN)

2 2018-01-05 11:13:45 L&T wins US$250mn contract in the UAE and Saudi Arabia

In a statement, the company said that it has secured an order from the Saudi Electricity Company for the construction of a 380kV overhead transmission line between Qassim 2 and Madinah East substations.

This is expected to be one of the longest lines in the kingdom, with a route length of more than 400km, according to Arab News.

In another agreement in the UAE, L&T will help in providing design, supply, installation, testing and commissioning of three 132/11kV substations and associated works for the Dubai Electricity and Water Authority (DEWA), Shamal Development and Meraas Development.

This comes in line with the region’s initiative to splurge on infrastructure in the coming years as it seeks to diversify away from oil, said a source.

The GCC infrastructure industry has been expecting to receive about US$2 trillion from 2016-2020, according to the GCC Construction Outlook to 2020 report from BrikStats.

L&T said that its power transmission and distribution business has already completed 225 substations in GCC countries and 75 more are under construction.

3 2017-12-22 12:10:59 Pestech to develop two substations in Cambodia for RM106.11m

KUALA LUMPUR: Pestech International Bhd announced yesterday its wholly-owned Cambodian unit has executed a contract agreement worth US$26 million (RM106.11 million), to develop two substations and a double-circuit transmission line in Cambodia.

In its Bursa Malaysia filing, Pestech said its unit Pestech (Cambodia) Ltd (PCL) completed the execution of the agreement with Schneitec Co Ltd yesterday for the project. Under the deal, PCL undertakes to design, engineer, manufacture, instal, test and commission the substations and transmission line.

The 115kV double-circuit transmission line will run about 75km to 78km from Oddor Meanchey to Siem Reap. The substations consist of a 115/22kV variety in Oddor Meanchey, and a 230/22kV substation in Bek Chan in the Porsenchey district.

The project is expected to commence within a month from the date of the agreement

The Oddor Meanchey transmission line and substation is expected to be completed in 18 months, while the Bek Chan substation should be completed in 24 months.

The agreement will have no material effect on the group,s revenue and earnings for the financial year ending June 30, 2018, but is expected to contribute positively to the group,s future earnings and net assets per share,” said Pestech

4 2017-12-22 12:05:37 Datasonic launches factory to manufacture new e-passports

KUALA LUMPUR (Dec 21): Datasonic Group Bhd has today launched its new factory in Petaling Jaya to manufacture the new generation of the electronic international Malaysian passport (e-passport).

I am excited with the launch of our new factory, equipped with all the necessary machinery and relevant technology capabilities," said the group,s chairman General Tan Sri Dr Mohamed Hashim Mohd Ali (Rtd) in a statement today, adding that Datasonic has started manufacturing the new e-passports in October this year and has made almost 650,000 pieces of e-passport, which was officially rolled out on Nov 15 onwards.

With the support from the Immigration Department of Malaysia, this marks the beginning of our new initiative in producing the new e-passport with enhanced security features and new upgraded designs.

By leveraging on our in-depth experience and proven track-record, I am optimistic that our group stands strong to being the largest ICT solutions provider in Malaysia and will continue to deliver higher and better quality products," said Mohamed Hashim

Datasonic said the new version of the Malaysian e-passport with enhanced security features complies with the standards of International Civil Aviation Organization Document 9303 (ICAO).

Moreover, Datasonic said the upgraded design concept encompasses the Malaysian culture, such as the hibiscus, orchidaceae, red ginger, silver-eared mesia bird, and Rukunegara principles.

The inside pages have images that represent the five principles of the Rukunegara as well as the 12 Malaysian icons, which include the Putra Mosque, National Palace, Parliament Building, Palace of Justice and the National Museum, Mount Kinabalu, Kuala Lumpur Train Station, Kuala Lumpur Twin Tower and Kuala Lumpur Tower.

Last year, the group was awarded a RM233.38 million contract to supply passport booklets for five years from Dec 1, 2016 to Nov 30, 2021, making Datasonic the sole provider of all components of Malaysian passports.

5 2017-12-22 11:59:43 Bahrain,s EWA to complete smart meters project within 18 months

A PROJECT to install smart meters in properties across Bahrain is well underway and due to be completed within 18 months, it has emerged.

The Electricity and Water Authority (EWA) has so far installed 53,000 new power and water meters, said chief executive Shaikh Nawaf bin Ebrahim bin Hamad Al Khalifa.

Plans for the project were first announced in July 2014 and the total cost is around BD9 million.

We have installed 53,000 units and there will not be any new installations of mechanical meters, they will be replaced,” said Shaikh Nawaf.

We have changed the Customer Relation Management (CRM) system to cater to that and it measures both electricity and water because there is no merit in having electricity smart meters and mechanical water meters – you would still have to send someone to measure it.

Smart meters have many functions, one of the main ones is giving a momentary reading of your load, which means you don’t have to wait until the end of the month know how much your load is.
The information will be available on the app and there will be no estimated readings, bills will be an actual amount – no more estimates.

Shaikh Nawaf made his comments during a meeting of the Bahrain,s Businessmen,s Association at the Capital Club.


KYIV. Nov 27 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine is negotiating with Iraq to supply 1 million smart meters, the press service of the Ukrainian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (UCCI) has said.
“Now the approval of this contract by the ministries is being completed and soon Ukraine will start deliveries,” the Iraqi head of the Iraqi-Ukrainian Business Council said.

According to the UCCI, Iraq,s total need for smart meters is 2 million units.
As reported, the Ukrainian manufacturer of meters NIK signed an agreement with the British CyanConnode to supply equipment and software for smart measuring systems for $29 million.
According to CyanConnode, within the order about 1 million sets of equipment and software will be supplied within three years. 

As payment for the equipment CyanConnode will receive $13 million, another $16 million will be received as payment for the use of software during ten years after the installation of finished products

NIK LLC (Kyiv) is one of the largest manufacturers of measuring instruments and automated systems for integrated energy resources accounting in Eastern Europe.

7 2017-11-24 12:15:24 Turkey received bids in tender for 500 battle tanks last week: ministe

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey received bids last Friday for the production of 500 Altay battle tanks, of which 250 are optional, Defence Minister Nurettin Canikli said on Wednesday.

Speaking to parliament,s budget commission, Canikli said the tender would be finalised in the coming days. The domestic Altay tank project is worth an estimated 7 billion euros ($8.24 billion).

8 2017-11-24 12:10:24 GE in $400m Iraq substation deal

GE Power has signed a $400m deal with the Ministry of Electricity in Iraq to develop 14 substations across the country.

The deal will also see GE provide transformers, circuit breakers and other outdoor equipment to rehabilitate existing substations to bring power to areas facing significant electricity shortages.

GE said the project represents “a strategic milestone” and added that it will support the ministry to secure funding through various financial channels, including export credit agencies and commercial banks.

Mussab al-Mudaris of the Iraqi Ministry of Electricity said the agreement “represents a major milestone in our efforts to strengthen Iraq,s power transmission sector, through a comprehensive grid project across the nation”.

He added: “Our focus remains on providing our people with the most reliable and advanced technology to meet their daily needs, and to accomplish this we need strong partners in this journey of development and reconstruction.”

GE will develop the substations to connect power plants spread across the governorates of Ninawa, Salah Al Din, Al Anbar, Karbala, Baghdad, Qadisiyyah and Basra to the national grid. Several of the locations, in conflict-affected areas, are continuing to recover and are in immediate need of reliable power infrastructure

GE Power has previously provided power equipment for some of the plants that the substations will be connected to, including the 3 GW Basmaya plant.

The current agreement includes four substations critical to distributing power from the facility, which is also being equipped with eight of GE,s 9FA gas turbines, four GE C7 steam turbines and GE,s leading digital industrial applications.

Mohammed Mohaisen, President of GE Power,s Grid Solutions business in the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey, said that “a holistic approach to national infrastructure building is vital, from the provision of technical expertise to working with partners, such as Export Credit Agencies, in securing long-term financial solutions”.

“This agreement is a continuation of our firm commitment to driving industry and infrastructure forward in Iraq, working with the Ministry of Electricity in finding sustainable and effective solutions to some of the country’s most pressing issues.”

9 2017-11-17 13:24:52 German group to build 400 armored vehicles in Romania

German company Rheinmetall expects to sign the financing agreement with the Romanian state for developing the 8×8 armored vehicle Agilis at Moreni in Southern Romania, company representatives told Hotnews.ro.

The company would receive EUR 234 million for three years, said Thorsten Kutz, board member of the joint venture between the Romanian state and the German company.

Rheinmetall will build 400 such carriers for Romania,s Defense Ministry, with 2020 as a deadline, and offer maintenance services from its Romania site until 2055. The German company also wants to build at its Moreni factory military trucks and other products for its international client, as well as a 30-mm cannon to be installed on the Agilis carrier.

Rheinmetall owns half of the shares in the newly set up firm Romanian Military Vehicle Systems, with the Romanian state holding the other half. The company is run by an administrative board and a general manager, with the German and Romanian part taking turn in running it every two years. It is currently run by German Karl Ulrich Zulauf.

After the development stage starts, the Romanian Defense Ministry has to start the public acquisition procedure and sign a contract to buy the armored vehicles. About 90% of the components for the 8×8 armored vehicles will be made in Romania, with the engine and driveline coming from abroad.

10 2017-11-13 15:40:24 Lithuania

VILNIUS, Nov. 7 (Xinhua) -- Lithuania will apply to the U.S. government to purchase at least 200 armored all terrain vehicles for its armed forces, announced the Lithuanian defense ministry on Tuesday.

According to the announcement, the Lithuanian Defense Resource Council is interested in the possibility to purchase light combat tactical all-terrain vehicles (L-ATV) manufactured by Oshkosh Defence.

We recognized the L-ATV as the best efficiency-price ratio and decided to open negotiations on procurement of these armored all-terrain vehicles," Raimundas Karoblis, Lithuanian defense minister, was quoted in the announcement by the country,s Defense Ministry.

Lithuania plans to make the purchase, with the first deliveries foreseen as of 2021

Currently, Lithuanian armed forces use HMMWV, commonly known as the Humvee, and Toyota Land Cruiser 200 armored all-terrain vehicles.

The Lithuanian Defense Ministry states that L-ATV,s "are an important element of the army mechanization" supplementing the country,s early acquisition of German manufactured armored fighting vehicles Boxer.


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