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Wind power, the western isles and amec
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Legion



Joined: 24 Nov 2004
Posts: 170
Location: Western isles, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 8:09 am    Post subject: Wind power, the western isles and amec  Reply with quote    

Amec are attempting ( I rekon they will suceed) to build a massive wind farm on lewis, the locals have now woken up to the fact they arent really the 'green' company they claim to be - we've been telling them this for years(its a few years old is the article below). Therefore I thought some of you might be interested in a little bit of amec's 'history' - I welcome your comments.

Debts and Dams
ECGD are a government department, run out of the Department of Trade and Industry, which uses taxpayers' money to provide insurance for companies exporting goods abroad.
So if the country they are exporting to, defaults on a loan, the UK taxpayer via the ECGD pays up.
The country that has defaulted then has the amount of the loan transferred to its national debt. In fact, it is estimated that the ECGD is responsible for 95% of developing country's bilateral debt owed to Britain.
Lets take a hydroelectric power project in Turkey; the Ilisu Dam, as an example. The area around the Ilisu dam, the Kurdish region of South East Turkey, has been devastated by 16 years of armed conflict The dam will force up to 78,000 people from their homes and will flood the 10, 000 year old town of Hasankeyf.
There has been no agreed resettlement plan and minimal consultation of local people.
With other planned dams it will also control 50% of the downstream flow of the river Tigris into Syria and Iraq. A British construction company, Balfour Beatty/AMEC, part of the consortium bidding to build the dam, had asked the ECGD for £200 million of insurance for their role in the project.
DAMS: ENVIRONMENTALLY FRIENDLY
The general perception of dams has for years been that they are natural and environmentally friendly, which harness the world's natural resources to provide sustainable electricity. Studies have recently shown that this is not the case.
The World Commission on Dams published a report last year which said that no one, not even the construction companies themselves, could claim that dams were "environmentally friendly", especially if you include humans as part of the environment.
Dambuilding involves the often forcible displacement of the people who live in the area, the destruction of habitats, damage to downstream flows of water and associated ecological problems. For example, the Three Gorges Dam in China will affect 1.4 million people. Additionally, large bodies of standing water can cause outbreaks of malaria.
TURKEY – EUROPE'S TOP TORTURERS
Turkey's record on human rights is not great. The Turkish government are not big on consulting with minorities such as the Kurds affected by the Ilisu dam.
They have the worst human rights record in Europe, with the most number of cases heard by the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR). The ECHR have stated that torture is "endemic" and "state policy" in the south east region of the country. Amnesty International describe torture as "widespread" nationwide.

WE SHALL OVERCOME
In November 2001 Balfour Beatty pulled out of the project. The company said that it had made a "thorough and extensive evaluation of the commercial, environmental and social issues inherent in the project. With appropriate solutions to these issues still unsecured and no early resolution likely, Balfour Beatty believes that it is not in the best interests of its stakeholders to pursue the project further."
The Swedish firm, Skanska, the Italian firm, Impreglio and Switzerland's largest bank, UBS, also pulled out. The campaigners were quite pleased with themselves.

Dam Number Two
Flicking through the back of a Trade and Industry Select Committee report, , there was an interesting letter from another UK construction company, AMEC plc, to the Chairman of the Committee. In it, AMEC said that they were part of a consortium bidding to build another dam in Turkey, this time in the north east region with a minority Georgian population. This dam, on the Coruh river, will flood the town of Yusufeli and displace up to 30,000 people. AMEC were also seeking ECGD insurance for their Turkish venture.


"We are seeking ECGD Buyer Credit support for up to £68 million"
Once again, there had been no consultation by the Turkish state, either of the minority population who would need to be resettled, or of the Georgians across the border who will be adversely affected by the reduced downstream flow of the river and the potentially devastating flooding problems that a lack of silt can cause.

Georgian Minister of Enviroment

"Turkey is obliged to inform Georgia about common discussion of Environmental Impact Assessment Georgian side were not informed about construction of Yusufeli dam"
AMEC's Chief Executive, Peter Mason.
Then, suddenly, AMEC announced that they were pulling out of the consortium…

AMEC's press release 13th March 2002

"Following a commercial review of the project's progress to date... AMEC has concluded that its resources would be better deployed in other areas..."
"what's going on, that was too easy". He phoned AMEC. Is my meeting with the Chief Executive still on? It was. He went to meet Peter Mason, who had some interesting things to say...
AMEC and Spie

Mr Mason told that AMEC had pulled out of the consortium, which was being led by a French company called Spie-Batignolle. Mark said oh, that's interesting, does AMEC have any shares in Spie? Peter Mason said yes. Mark said how much? Peter Mason said oh, 46%…
It seems that AMEC have a 46% stake in the company that are planning to build the Yusufeli dam.

"AMEC has been part of the civil joint venture, which is being led by French company, SPIE Batignolles TP (in which AMEC has a 46% share)..."
Not only that, it seems that they have their eye on the remaining 54% of Spie…

"AMEC has an option to buy the outstanding 54% interest in SPIE S.A., exercisable from 1 July 2002. Plans for the anticipated exercise are progressing well"
"There have always been very strong human rights and environmental grounds why this project should not go ahead. Following Balfour Beatty's decision (..to withdraw from the project..) we now call on the UK government to confirm that it will not back the controversial Ilisu Dam"
Kerim Yildiz
Executive Director of the Kurdish Human Rights Project and Chairman of the Ilisu Dam Campaign

Multinationals and eight governments are planning to build the Ilisu dam in south-east Turkey. Britain's New Labour Government is a key player.

The dam will force 25,000 people from their homes. Another 11,000 people will lose their farmlands and livelihoods. Most of them are ethnic Kurds. Many see the project as part of a wider strategy of ethnic cleansing. There has been no agreed resettlement plan and minimal consultation with the people.

The area around the Ilisu dam has been devastated by 16 years of armed conflict between the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK) and the Turkish State - a regime armed by the UK. More than 30,000 people have been killed and 3 million displaced. Despite the 1 September 1999 PKK decision to pursue a peaceful political solution to the as yet unresolved Kurdish question, many parts of the region remain a war zone.

The dam will flood the medieval town of Hasankeyf, a treasure trove of archeological remains dating back 10,000 years and the historical jewel in the crown of Kurdish culture. Imagine Turkey - or any other country - backing a UK government plan to flood Stonehenge? Hasankeyf's treasures will be lost forever.

The dam will destroy the surrounding environment. With other planned dams it will also control 50% of the downstream flow of the river Tigris into Syria and Iraq. Already analysts are stating that the future wars in the area will be fought over water. Turkey has already long threatened to block water flows to its downstream neighbours.
Turkey needs power but there are viable alternatives that have not been explored.
The government has so far declined to make a statement of policy on this matter, although a final decision was due in September 2001
.
Conditional approval has also been granted by the UK's Export Credits Guarantee Department (ECGD) for a $200 million credit for Balfour Beatty, whose US subsidiary has also obtained provisional consent to a further credit from the US Exim Bank. Italy's export credit agency SACE has similarly given approval for a $152 million guarantee to Impregilo, although this has still to be confirmed by the Interministerial Committee on Economic Planning (SACE having formally requested an opinion on its financial involvement in the project).
Building the 'World's Biggest Wind Farm'
Plans for a £600 million mega-project to build what will probably be the world's biggest wind farm on a remote Scottish island are being drawn up by AMEC and its partner company British Energy.
The massive facility, on Lewis in the North Atlantic, will involve the construction of up to 300 wind turbines which will generate at least 600 MW of electrical power – around one per cent of the UK's annual electricity needs.
The project, which also includes a sub-sea cable hundreds of miles long to connect the farm to the UK mainland, will be developed jointly by AMEC and British Energy and will help the UK Government to achieve its targets for sustainable energy generation by 2010.
AMEC Chief Executive Peter Mason, who was in Stornoway on Lewis for the official announcement by UK Energy Minister Brian Wilson, said: "I am very pleased that AMEC is involved in such an exciting renewable energy project to create Europe's – and probably the world's - largest wind farm.
"It will, by any standards, firmly establish wind power as an essential element of the UK's energy mix. AMEC is fully committed to the renewable energy market and, with our partners, we already operate five wind farms, including the UK's first offshore facility."
He went on to say: "I am pleased to say that the company now leads the way in the UK in developing wind farms by using our long history and experience in engineering, design and fabrication. These complement our new technology skills in wind turbines to offer a complete capability from site selection through to design, installation and operation. We are presently at various stages of the development cycle for a further 400 megawatts of wind projects worldwide.

Off shore wind farm - Skegness.
"Next year we will be constructing 15 MW of capacity in the North East of England and we have also teamed up with Corus (formerly British Steel) to submit the first phase of a 75 MW project at the company's Redcar site in the north east of England. We also expect to submit an additional 200 MW of developments into the planning system."
In addition AMEC has an option to develop a 30 turbine offshore project off the coast of Skegness on the East Coast of England and expects to apply for appropriate consents by the end of next year. The Company is also pursuing a number of opportunities in North America and Australia.
The first stage of the Lewis project, which is starting immediately, will see AMEC undertaking a detailed feasibility study. The project has already been developed in close and ongoing consultation with the local community and various interest parties, including Scottish National Heritage, the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds, Western Isles Enterprise, Western Isles Council and Highlands and Islands Enterprise.
Benefits to the regional community will be considerable in terms of local employment and revenue and would establish the Western Isles as the 'renewable capital of Europe'. It will also provide long-term income for members of the Stornoway Trust – the landowners – and see the re-opening of local fabrication facility Arnish Point, as a turbine and tower manufacturing plant.
British Energy's executive chairman Robin Jeffrey said: "I'm delighted that British Energy is a partner in this venture – the UK's biggest generator getting involved in the country's biggest windfarm.
"But what's more important is that it fits so well with our vision of the future – with commercial wind power and nuclear energy as natural partners complementing each other in combating global warming, and giving Scotland a leading international role in developing sustainable energy systems of the future."
Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance


Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance is a major supplier of infrastructure services with contracts in and around London, the south and south east. Its work involves responsibility for the inspection, maintenance and management of all rail infrastructure assets between the boundary fences. This includes track, signalling, telecommunications and electrical power supplies on commuter, inter-city and international passenger and freight routes.
The company was awarded new five-year contracts by Railtrack in April 2001 for some of the most intensively used railway routes in the world covering East Anglia, east and south-east London and Kent, including the main line to the Channel Tunnel.
It also holds the four-year Wessex infrastructure maintenance contract which covers commuter and long-distance lines out of London's Waterloo station across Surrey, Hampshire, Dorset and parts of Berkshire and Wiltshire, in one of Railtrack's largest and most complex areas.
Balfour Beatty Rail Maintenance carries out other, related work for Railtrack as well as undertaking maintenance and management services for sidings and yards operated by other clients.

In a nutshell.
In it, AMEC said that they were part of a consortium bidding to build another dam in Turkey, this time in the north east region with a minority Georgian population. This dam, on the Coruh river, will flood the town of Yusufeli and displace up to 30,000 people. AMEC were also seeking ECGD insurance for their Turkish venture. Once again, there had been no consultation by the Turkish state, either of the minority population who would need to be resettled, or of the Georgians across the border who will be adversely affected by the reduced downstream flow of the river and the potentially devastating flooding problems that a lack of silt can cause.
Mr Mason told Mark that AMEC had pulled out of the consortium, which was being led by a French company called Spie-Batignolle. Mark said oh, that's interesting, does AMEC have any shares in Spie? Peter Mason said yes. Mark said how much? Peter Mason said oh, 46%…

It seems that AMEC have a 46% stake in the company that are planning to build the Yusufeli dam.

Do we really want the future of the Western Iles in this companies hands ?

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 9:21 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

So would you be happy with a wind farm built by someone else?

Which large scale energy producing company with the resources to fund such projects are you willing to break bread with?

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26649
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 9:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

THis is a nasty little problem, I'd take some convincing that any big contsrction company has clean hands Yet large scale renewable energy projects are not going to be built by a few well meaning tree huggers.

jema

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44302
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Shouldn't this be an article on the front page?

sean
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 41988
Location: North Devon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I think it's quite old, if Legion or someone has an updated version then yes.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44302
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

OK

jema
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 26649
Location: escaped from Swindon
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I was not clear from the post that this was written by Legion? We have to watch for copyright issues.

jema

cab



Joined: 01 Nov 2004
Posts: 32429

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:35 am    Post subject: Reply with quote    

jema wrote:
THis is a nasty little problem, I'd take some convincing that any big contsrction company has clean hands Yet large scale renewable energy projects are not going to be built by a few well meaning tree huggers.

jema


Precisely.

A lot of the larger corporations have come out with products and practices that I wholeheartedly approve of, and others that I'm utterly dismayed by.
The fact that they're -big- means that there's huge potential to get something good out of them, and I'm loathe to turn that down.

Legion



Joined: 24 Nov 2004
Posts: 170
Location: Western isles, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 1:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

All articles I post are written and researched by me.

tahir



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 44302
Location: Essex
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 1:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

How old is the article Legion?

Legion



Joined: 24 Nov 2004
Posts: 170
Location: Western isles, Scotland
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 1:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

I dont date them . I would rekon its about 2-3yrs old. I have loads, would you like the mink one? its date is around 2000 , and the 'eradication project' is now nearing its 5 yr completion at the cost of £3500 per mink caught on the western isles.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 9:54 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Sorry if I tread on anyone's toes, but is there anything that can be put up about personal wind turbines?

Are there any comments about environmental impacts (bird deaths etc), are they more efficient as they are next to the place that will use the power so a large % will not be lost over the National Grid, how much noise do they make?

I have often thought they make more sense than large scale wind farms but I must admit not knowing that much yet.

mrutty



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 1578

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Would you be after something like this
whcih you don't need planning permssion for as it's not a fixed asset.

Treacodactyl
Downsizer Moderator


Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 25697
Location: Jumping on the bandwagon of opportunism
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

Maybe something a little more capable of running a house off in a reasonable wind. It would stop nimbyism if it could be done.

mrutty



Joined: 28 Oct 2004
Posts: 1578

PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 04 10:47 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote    

As soon as you get to that size you get into planning permission areas. This is what Shane and I were banging on about a few months ago. You could top up your hot water with the little fan and two good solar panels. As it's free energy who cares that you run it all day. The biggest waste in energy is drawing off the top few inches of your hot water to wash you hands.

Or run your greenhouse off of the same system (yes I'm working on the masterclass )

If we all had one fitted (it's about the same size as a sky dish) then the enegy requirements for the UK would drop making wind farms able to meet a higher percentage of our requirements.

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