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Intrakat participates in Athens and Ellinikon’s construction transformation

Do you recall the recent years when Greece was considered the black sheep of Europe? The time Greece flirted with Grexit and its best minds fled the country? Well, all this is in the past. In the last 4-5 years the country has been in the midst of an unprecedented construction boom; small and large projects, public and private, are literally transforming the face of Greece to such an extent that if someone had left 15 years ago, it would be hard to recognise several of its parts.

A key development drive for the country is the “Greece 2.0” plan, the government’s reform plan funded by the RRF, aimed to wrap up by 2026. Greece’s part is set to €31 billion, the largest amount secured by an EU country in relation to its GDP. This amount will change the face of the country, with an emphasis on green growth, digital transition, competitiveness of the economy and, of course, infrastructure. Grants amounting to €7.96 billion will be directed to projects directly related to Construction, mobilising total resources of €13.3 billion, together with the relevant leverage.

The country’s new face is not only found in its popular tourist destinations or in its modern airports. A construction “big bang” is taking place mainly in Greece’s capital: Athens is developing into a pole of attraction for large investments with its main driver being its coastal front: the Athenian Riviera stretches for a length of 70 kilometers, from Faliro to Sounio and several players, domestic and foreigners wish to be placed either in hotel investments, in luxury tourist infrastructures, or of course in luxury housing markets. Athens’ seafront is rapidly changing with investments in the tens of billions, creating a high-quality destination that puts the city on the map of luxury destinations, next to Barcelona, ​​Madrid, Rome or even Paris. The purchasing interest of investors does not focus only on the natural beauty or the climate of the country; it mainly concerns margins of significant returns and capital gains that a future sale of these properties hides, for those who treat this type of real estate as an investment product.

The country’s greatest urban regeneration project is of course Ellinikon, poised to become a new modern landmark in Greece’s capital city. The project is located in the old Athens airport area, part of an extensive development of around 6,2km2. Developed by Lamda Development, it is considered the biggest greenfield urban infrastructure investment in Europe, the largest privately-funded investment to be carried out in Greece, budgeted at around €8 billion and set to create more than 75,000 jobs. When completed, it will seem as a “city within a city”, home to hotels, shopping arcades, schools, healthcare centers, office space, sports facilities, a massive, two-milliopn square-meter outdoor space known as Ellinikon Park , and an estimated 10,000 residential units. Five high-rise buildings are planned, with the luxurious Riviera Tower set to rise 200 meters above sea level. Designed by Foster+Partners as architects, it will be the tallest building in Greece and the tallest green beachfront high-rise building in the Mediterranean. The Project will consist of a high-end residential tower of 50 floors, comprising of 169 residential units reaching 204.2m high (from sea level).

A consortium of “Bouygues Batiment International”, a French construction company that has been specialising in complex building projects for almost 50 years, and “INTRAKAT”, a construction company (one of Greece’s biggest groups with presence in SE Europe), involved in large scale construction projects, including civil engineering, infrastructure, telecom networks, renewable energy, environmental and real estate development projects, has been selected as a consultant for Riviera Tower. As the company’s Vice President and CEO Alexandros Eksarchou puts it,“the challenge for big construction companies is not only to undertake new projects, but to enter into a new era with state-of-the-art technology and environmental friendly construction materials”. The collaboration started in July 2021, with the digital presentation of the project, following the commissioning of early works by Lamda Development. Discussions are currently underway for the co-formation of the final construction studies and execution.

Computers & Software Energy & Environment Leisure Activities Technology U.K

Energy Efficiency: Re-Using Heat From Data Centres to Heat Up Public Swimming Pools

The rising energy prices in the UK have affected not just households but also businesses. Data centres, for example, require a lot of energy to keep their computers cool. The cost of running air conditioning for these can be astronomical.

Similarly, public swimming pools require energy to keep the water warm enough to swim in. Maintaining a steady 30 degrees C means an energy bill can cost thousands. And, with the anticipated increase in heating costs, leisure centres are expecting to pay £100,000 more this year.

However, someone noticed the opposing requirements of these two entities and figured why not get them to help each other out.

But, why do data centres need help? 

One can see how the heating cost is a factor for public pools. In fact, BBC News reported that 65 pools have closed down since 2019, with rising costs being listed as a significant factor. But data centres?

The Problem Data Centres Face

Cloud computing and digital transformation have meant that the need for data centres has grown exponentially. Microsoft, Google, and Amazon Web Services need more data centres in the UK. 

However, they face the likelihood of being hit with sustainability-related regulations to keep them out of certain parts of London. Some of these regulations might limit the amount of power they consume and mandate how they reuse heat.

These regulations will mean data centres might have to either scale back their expansion plans or look into newer ways of energy efficiency and heat capture.

Swimming Pools to the Rescue

The founder of tech startup, Deep Green, Mark Bjornsgaard, came up with the idea of using small data centres as “digital boilers” for swimming pools. He provided a small, washing-machine-sized data centre to the Exmouth Leisure Centre.

The “digital boiler” is made up of computers housed inside a white box, which is surrounded by oil. The oil absorbs the heat generated by the servers and then it’s pumped into the heat exchanger, where the absorbed heat is transferred to the water.

The cooled oil is sent back into the boiler to continue the heat transfer process.

This system has provided around 60% of the heating required for the pool. And, it’s been so successful that up to 20 public pools might adopt this heating system this year. 

The best part is, this system is free for the pools. As mentioned above, data centres need to demonstrate sustainability, whilst also keeping servers cool. The data centre installed in the Exmouth Leisure Centre pool has been provided free of charge.

What’s more, Bjornsgaard also refunded them the electricity cost of running the server.

Is This the Heating Solution of the Future?

As the need for more data centres grows, there is a possibility that, at some point in the future, people could house (pun intended!) data centres in their homes as “digital boilers”. However, for now, people still need to rely on traditional boilers to heat their homes. 

Of course, as heating costs rise, regular maintenance and repair of boilers (by reliable service providers, like Mulgas Boiler Care Specialists) will help keep homes energy efficient for now.

In the future, however, it is entirely possible that when boilers act up, homeowners might need to call a server repair technician.

Energy & Environment Public Affairs Technology Travel World

COP 27: ICAO Marks Sustainable Aviation Fuels as the Future of Net-Zero Aviation

At the side event at COP 27 last November, the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) professed its Long Term Aspirational Goal (LTAG) for reducing the aviation sector’s contribution to climate change, reported Lexology.

“Achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2050 will require substantial and sustained investment and financing over the coming decades. We must furthermore assure reliable and affordable support and capacity-building for the many developing countries and States with particular needs, who will be depending on it to help play their part,” said ICAO Council President Salvatore Sciacchitano. “An important part of my message to you here today is that the work to begin addressing these objectives for our sector has already started.” 

LTAG for International Aviation 

LTAG is a succession of the pledges advocated at the inaugural meeting of the International Aviation Climate Ambition Coalition launched at COP 26, which emphasises cooperative international actions to significantly decouple GHG emissions from flights. 

LTAG aims to comply with the Paris Agreement’s goal of keeping global warming well below 1.5°C.

Part of this effort is to help the aviation sector hit the Net-Zero target by 2050 and foster mass adoption of sustainable aviation fuel (SAF), aligning with CORSIA—ICAO’s carbon offsetting and reduction scheme.

“ICAO is fully cognizant of its global responsibilities toward the sustainable future of the international aviation sector, and of the planet. We also remain deeply cognizant of the critical importance of international air connectivity to the civil societies and economies of Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Least Developed Countries,” remarked the Council President.

Sustainable Aviation Fuel

Extracted from sustainable feedstocks and waste products, SAF is a biofuel used to power aircraft.

It can be in blended or unblended form. SAF holds the potential to provide identical or sometimes better performance than conventional fossil-based aviation fuel but with a fraction of its carbon footprint, helping decarbonise the aviation industry.

Even though aviation is considered the bedrock of the world economy, it accounts for almost 3% of the total volume of carbon dioxide annually infiltrating the Earth’s atmosphere. 

That said, cutting carbon emissions from aviation has now become dire.

Although hydrogen- and electric-powered aircraft hold great potential to cut GHG emissions, they are still a long way off from being commercially viable. 

A bridge between hydrogen- or electric-powered aeroplanes and today’s petroleum-based aircraft, SAF’s lower carbon intensity makes it a realistic solution for decreasing aviation GHG.

SAF can cut GHS emissions by up to 80% over the fuel lifecycle and can be used to power the aircraft engine as a direct replacement (drop-in) for fossil-based aviation fuel.

Since 20211, SAF has been used to take more than 450,000 flights to the skies.

Early this month, Airbus powered both engines of its single-aisle aircraft—A321neo—with 100% SAF.

Currently, up to 50% SAF can be blended with petroleum-based jet fuel in commercial flights. 

SAF Production: The Global Outlook

Despite being able to decarbonise aviation significantly, global SAF production is still minuscule. Roughly 26.4 million gallons of SAF are being produced annually, constituting only 0.1% of all jet fuel.

Soaring costs due to limited supply hinders the rapid uptake of SAFs in the aviation industry.

However, these low production numbers are prompting the world’s policymakers to develop plans for scaling up new production methods and facilitating the commercialisation of SAF.

The global SAF market is poised to rise to $6.26 billion by 2030—up from $72.1 million in 2020. 

Again, with the increasing bio-content in jet fuels aggravating microbial contamination, checking its impacts has become dire.

That said, investing in high-end aviation fuel testing kits such as FUELSTAT® is a sensible business decision when it comes to periodic testing of SAF fuels. As a result, microbial growth can be tracked down at the earliest phases and before critical safety or operational disruptions incur heavy financial losses.

Industry Leaders Looking to Facilitate SAF Production

At COP 27, industry leaders underscored the need for a strong regulatory framework to enable the evolution to emissions-free flight while ensuring the safe deployment of SAF into the fuel supply system.

“As aviation continues to explore and adopt the incredible new technological innovations arising today in aeronautics and renewable energy propulsion, ICAO also recognizes how imperative it is to start putting in place the right policies, legal frameworks, and modernised infrastructure to enable this evolution to emissions-free flight,” said ICAO President.

As part of its effort to offer a framework and bespoke assistance to States in different phases of SAF production and deployment, ICAO launched the ICAO Assistance, Capacity-building and Training for Sustainable Aviation Fuels (ACT-SAF) program in June 2022.

However, at COP 27, industry leaders unanimously agreed that boosting the production of commercially usable SAF and replacing conventional fuel with it would need substantial funding. 

Should that funding be raised and only 10% of conventional jet fuel get replaced by SAF, it will reduce 60 million tonnes of carbon emissions annually.

Energy & Environment Financial Market Technology World

Offshore Oil and Gas Sector Set for a Tremendous Comeback; $214B of New Project Investments Lined Up

With project investment worth $214B or above lined up, the global offshore oil and gas (O&G) industry is poised to get a massive boost in the next two years.

The annual greenfield investment is predicted to hit a decade-high record in 2023 and 2024, said citing Rystad Energy research.

The Comeback Is Happening Now

Offshore production projects are forecasted to comprise roughly 68% of all approved traditional hydrocarbon-based projects during the projection period 2023-24—up from 40% during 2015-2018. 

This expected activity increase is buoyed by strong oil prices and rig demand. As of March 07, 2023, WTI crude oil values $77.76 per barrel, which is high enough to prompt operators to boost production activities, and that should continue into next year. 

Additionally, the cost of imported fossil fuels has spiralled upward since 2022 as supply chain challenges have been exacerbated by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. 

The Ukraine conflict is anticipated to propel the development of relatively high-CAPEX offshore (both platform and subsea-based) O&G projects, with a range of regions like Europe shunning Russian fossil fuels and seeking ways to ramp up energy production from alternative sources.

The result: offshore schemes will constitute almost 50% of the total projects expected to get sanctioned globally between 2023 and 2024, which was only 29% during 2015-18.

Experts expect these new projects to be the key factor in driving the expansion of the offshore system market, with supply chain investment to witness an upturn of 16% between 2023 and 2024, a record-high year-on-year increase of around USD 21B in the last ten years. 

Other Key Players Stimulating Subsea Production Activities

As global demand for fossil fuel continues to pick up, casting about carbon-free energy sources has now become a major concern. The world is set to undergo an energy transition as it slides away from fossil fuels to less carbon-intensive energy sources.

As one of the least carbon-intensive hydrocarbon extraction techniques, offshore O&G production offers the industry a solid footing for significantly decoupling carbon dioxide emissions from the production process.

“Offshore oil and gas production isn’t going anywhere, and the sector matters now, possibly more than ever. As one of the lower carbon-intensive methods of extracting hydrocarbons, offshore operators and service companies should expect a windfall in the coming years as global superpowers try to reduce their carbon footprint while advancing the energy transition,” stated Audun Martinsen, head of supply chain research with Rystad Energy.

Citing Rystad Energy, Offshore predicts the subsea production sector to reign in the offshore industry, with a substantial number of subsea trees up for grabs in the upcoming years.

With subsea oil production boosting, ensuring high-end reservoir monitoring has become the key concern today. 

For subsea production operators looking to increase production while minimising OPEX across a subsea well lifecycle, investing in a permanent reservoir monitoring system like Silixa is a sensible decision. 

By enabling intervention-free operations and delivering a high-seismic signal-to-noise ratio for seismic surveys with fewer shots, a high-end reservoir monitoring system significantly saves on operation time and cost. 

Offshore Sector Comeback: The Global Outlook

An uptick in high-impact drilling activity in offshore Namibia, the Gulf of Mexico, South America, and the Eastern Mediterranean is the key player in accelerating the development of the subsea oil production sector.

Case in point: The highly stable high-impact drilling has helped resource discovery soar to 9.2B barrels of oil equivalent (boe) in 2022—up from 7.4B boe in 2021, according to Westwood.

On the other hand, the proportion of discovered wells with the potential to turn into commercial development rose to 36% in 2022 from 29% in 2021.

Again, with 47 production licences awarded to a total of 25 oil companies by the Royal Norwegian Ministry of Petroleum and Energy in January 2023, the country is heading for an oil production surge. 

While Norway is fast becoming the key player in helping Europe reduce its reliance on Russian energy imports, uncertainties spurred by the Energy Profits Levy are still looming over the UK.

However, offshore development spending in the UK is predicted to increase 30% in 2023 to a total of $7 billion.

The Middle Eastern offshore sector will steadily expand, if not booms, while South American spending is projected to plunge in 2025.

Wrapping Up

With the world trying to deal with the current energy crisis, more emphasis is placed on capitalising on the subsea reservoirs as affordable and safe energy sources. 

Building & Construction Energy & Environment Finance Stock Market News World

Intrakat’s successful €100 million share capital increase

Intrakat’s vice-president and managing director talks to Vima about the next day for the group, following its successful €100 million share capital increase. He announces acquisitions, dynamic activities in renewable energy and does not neglect to mention large projects such as the concession of the Attica Road.

Mr. Exarchou also emphasizes the excellent relationship that exists among Intrakat’s main shareholders, noting that “it is the strongest card for the company’s course”.

Mr. Exarchou, you took the helm of Intrakat at a difficult time for the construction company. What was the (listed) company’s image when Winex went public?

  • “Intrakat has always been a company with significant growth potential and great know-how and experience in the construction industry. Our decision to invest was based on the company’s track record and the prospects we saw for it with the right strategy and support. Indeed, when we joined the company as a major shareholder, it was a period where Intrakat was falling short of its targets and its operating results had been compressed. Let’s not forget that the significant price increases in raw materials and energy, as well as, the cost of accelerating projects that had been delayed during the pandemic, affected the group’s results, as well as the industry in general. As a new shareholder and new management, we made a quick decision and swiftly implemented a comprehensive operational and management restructuring plan, which unlocked the value that the company had inside and gave it the breath, support and strategic direction it needed, in order to advance dynamically”.

The increase of 100 million euros in the share capital was successfully completed, since it was approved by the General Assembly of Shareholders. Where will the raised funds be allocated?

  • “We are particularly satisfied with the successful increase of the share capital by 100 million euros and for the trust and support of our shareholders. We carried out one of the largest IPOs that have been done in recent years and not only in this particular industry, and I warmly thank -once again- all the shareholders who participated in our development plan. We are building a new Intrakat, which is extroverted in its investments and competitive in modern terms in all areas of its activity. We want to build a strong foundation at Intrakat, and that’s what we’re doing now, relying on our own engineers (we’re already hiring), our own machinery and know-how, and less on subcontractors, which are certainly important, but they have to play a supporting role. The relationship among the shareholders is an essential component of the company’s progress and it is certainly one of Intrakat’s strengths – the excellent relations between the main shareholders. As the new main shareholder and new management, we have envisioned Intrakat as a leading group in SE Europe and this is the strategic goal that we support and serve. Now, following the share capital increase, the company has more than 140 million in equity and proportionately very little debt, which allows it to access financing, should it be required, in order to participate in large infrastructure development projects. Very soon you will hear from us on the acquisition front, as we evaluate investment opportunities in construction – infrastructure, in RES, in PPPs and concessions, but also in the sectors of waste management and real estate, which we have entered dynamically. Of the 100 million euros of the increase, we estimate that 50 million will be invested in acquisitions, while the rest will be used as working capital.”

One of the sectors which Intrakat attaches special importance to, is the ‘Renewable Energy Sources’ sector. You have announced the preparation of a bond issue of 120 million euros. How is this process going?

  • “RES already play an important role in energy self-sufficiency, as well as in sustainable development. We see this as an area where Intrakat can grow strategically and create a strong footprint with stable cash flows, both in clean energy generation and storage, and is -therefore- our investment priority. We already have a portfolio of 1.8GW (1,000MW wind farms and 800MW solar) and 0.7GW electricity storage projects, which we expect to generate positive cash flows by 2023. As far as the bond issue is concerned, we are at an advanced stage of negotiations with the cooperating banks, our goal is to proceed with a dynamic investment plan until 2024 and we believe that it will have the appropriate financing”.

In our country, the procedures for the development of offshore wind farms are also opening. Your company, along with the Belgian Parkwind has announced its participation in the upcoming tenders. How many Megawatts will you claim?

  • “Offshore wind farms are a great opportunity for Greece to increase its production of ‘green’ energy and we are glad that the state has worked in this direction by facilitating the procedures for their development. It is possible to achieve the national target of producing at least 2 GW of offshore wind power by 2030 and Intrakat’s goal is to claim a leadership position in this sector. Our strategic partner Parkwind has extensive experience in similar projects and will soon have a capacity of more than 1 GW. Accordingly, Intrakat has significant expertise in local infrastructure and we already have 1,000 MW of capacity from wind farm projects.”

Participation in the Attica Road competition is one of Intrakat’s biggest bets. How is the process going when it comes to preparing investors for the final phase of the competition?

  • “As you know, we are participating in the tender as part of a 30% joint venture with Portugal’s BRISA, a European giant with vast experience in managing road networks and motorways. In fact, BRISA’s strength and expertise is mainly in the modernization of highways based on digital technology, which is of utmost importance for the future of highways in our country. Given that the deadline for submission of offers is set for May 29, we are in the final stages of preparation.”

And one last question…

A large ‘pie’ of construction projects is opening up in Greece. What size could Intrakat claim?

“Major construction projects and infrastructure are a priority for us, as we believe that there is no development without modern infrastructure, roads, trains, ports, airports. Our goal is to claim even more projects that will improve public infrastructure and the daily life of citizens, but also the image of Greece as an attractive investment destination. We are planning our participation in projects that will be announced in the period 2023-2024 and will concern our areas of interest. Projects that we can execute well and within the predetermined timeframes and which will contribute to strengthening our position in the sector”.

Energy & Environment Public Affairs U.K

UK Energy Consumers Brace For Hefty Energy Bills Despite Falling Gas Prices

As supply issues have been exacerbated worldwide by the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the wholesale price of imported oil and natural gas had spiralled upward. 

According to The Guardian, the current energy crisis in the UK stemming from the Ukraine conflict cost the equivalent of £1,000 for every adult.

But now, even though the wholesale gas prices in the UK have started to drop, Britain’s energy cost is not decreasing sooner—residents won’t see the benefits until the second quarter of the year, reported The Conversation

Energy Costs Showing No Sign to Decrease Sooner

Inflated wholesale prices cause residents to encounter hikes to their energy bills. 

Wholesale energy prices have started decreasing from their peaks in summer 2022, but a substantial lag is expected before these feed through to consumers.

Now, with falling wholesale prices, the new Ofgem price cap is yet to be announced.

The energy experts predict the energy price cap to see a sharp fall by the second half of the year when the plunging gas prices will be able to impact the hedging strategies and season-ahead contracts.

It means that the benefits of decreasing gas prices won’t be felt sooner.

Ofgem is about to announce the price cap for the second quarter of the year this February.

Cornwall Insight forecasts the UK’s energy price cap to slip from its present record-high rate of £4,279/year to £3,294/year in April and to £2,200 from for the next six months.

Even though it would be a sharp decline from current levels, the price is still very high—Ofgem cap was between £1,000-£1,200/year before the Ukraine conflict made fossil gas costs reach record highs.

However, setting an Ofgem price cap is the process that ensures an energy supplier can recoup their costs; it doesn’t essentially cap the consumers’ bills. 

Based on the estimations, energy experts anticipate the energy bill to soar from the current amount of £2,500/year to an average of £3,000/year or above from April 2023 for the following 12 months. 

It will be much higher than the forecasted price cap of £2200/year from July. 

Prices are capped by whichever is the lower—Ofgem price cap or Energy Price Guarantee (EPG). It means, the residential energy bills are expected to decrease from the second half of the year since the price cap will fall below EPG by then.

However, even if energy prices drop as anticipated, they will still be around 70% higher than in winter 2021/22.

What Can Be Done Now?

With energy prices continuing to soar, plans must be rendered to help consumers ease the energy cost. 

As the UK faces soaring inflation and increased cost of living, residents are encouraged to keep their energy demand reasonably in check. 

Experts advise UK residents to turn down the flow temperature on their boilers to 60°C or below to knock about £160 off their annual energy bills.

Again, for households looking to reduce their energy waste while also supporting their energy bills, servicing boilers annually by leveraging an affordable and reliable service like Mulgas Boiler Care Specialists is a sensible decision. 

Maintaining boiler service check-ups ensures homeowners are running their heating systems efficiently, and it can also help lower their energy bills. 

Britain’s over-reliance on fossil gas has been a leading cause behind its soaring energy bills. With that said, emphasis must be placed on increasing renewable power generation to curb the reliance on fossil fuels significantly. 

Renewable energy generation can help the UK hit the Net-Zero goal by 2050 while also boosting its energy security and knocking off a substantial amount from the household bill.

Wrapping Up

Until July, consumers will see little benefits of falling gas prices. However, proper steps should be taken to lower energy consumption.

Business Energy & Environment Lifestyle Living U.K

First British Interior Design Collective Achieves B Corp Certification

Accouter Group of Companies, home to Accouter, has recently been announced as Britain’s first B Corp certified interior design collective, reported Elliman Insider

AGC believes that the team’s commitment to meeting the “highest standards of verified performance, accountability, and transparency” on a spectrum of social and environmental issues has brought the company this prestigious recognition.

“We are proud to be the first British Interior Design Collective to join this community of change-makers, alongside a global movement of people using their business as a force for good,” said Stella Gittins, cofounder of Accouter Group of Companies. “B Corp is a holistic approach for us. It shapes our culture and encourages us to acknowledge our business impact and act. Most importantly, it gives us a framework for continuous improvement, so that every day, we become a little bit prouder of what we do.”

What Is B Corp Certification?

B Corp is a private certification awarded to for-profit companies that can demonstrate their deep commitment to using business as a ‘force for good’—whether via community outreach, taking sustainability initiatives, or implementing equitable economic practices.

Since 2007, this highly prestigious certification has been awarded by B Lab to enterprises that meet the ‘social and environmental performance’ standards. 

B Lab is a non-profit organisation helping to build a sustainable global economy that will benefit people, the environment, and the world. 

AGC Hails B Corp Status

AGC achieved the highly coveted B Corp status in early 2023.

The company has been evaluated rigorously based on the B Impact assessment criteria. The company scored 83.3, whereas the median score for a business to pass the assessment process is 50.9. 

When more than 22 million pieces of furniture are disposed of in the UK each year, AGC is unwaveringly committed to balancing purpose with profit by championing environment-friendly materials and long-lasting manufacturing processes.

“We know there is cynicism around the topic of sustainability for businesses, which is why it was important for us to achieve our B Corp. B Corp separates the green-washers from the good-doers. It shows people that those that really want to make a change, are making a change and that they are willing to operate in a way that puts people and the planet first, and profit second. For companies like us, the priority is to meet the highest social and environmental standards, and do so with authenticity, transparency, and full accountability,” said Alec Watt, CEO of Accouter Group of Companies.

As part of its effort to better demonstrate its adherence to B Corp standards, the company has formed an internal team headed by a dedicated B-keeper. The team is responsible for ensuring that the improvement goals of the company closely align with its working culture. 

“Our enthusiastic B Corp team worked together to identify all our processes to ensure we are practising what we preach when it comes to responsible business practices. We now have a village of internal people rooting for change, which makes us a powerful force towards achieving better things as a business. We wanted to come together and step up, and we’re proud to have done exactly that,” stated Gittins.

Partnering with Walpole, AGC helps the British luxury industry lower its carbon footprint and environmental impact for a more sustainable future.

What’s Next?

Joining the B Corp force is only the beginning, according to AGC. AGC is committed to ensuring their improvements are ever-evolving by helping build a more inclusive, sustainable economy. 

With B Corp certification, the company is aiming to build a global movement for ensuring sustainable development, curbing inequality, and concocting job opportunities with purpose and dignity.

Energy & Environment Technology Transportation & Logistics Travel World

Emirates Operates Milestone Demonstration Flight Powered by 100% SAF

Emirates Airlines—a subsidiary of The Emirates Group—has successfully tested its first demo flight in which one of the Boeing 777-300ER’s two engines was powered by 100% drop-in sustainable aviation fuel, or SAF.

The aim was to examine the safety and reliability of the synthetically derived SAF when used as a jet fuel at a higher percentage.

Piloted by Captain Khalid Nasser Akram and Captain Fali Vajifdar, this was the first-ever demo flight in the MENA region that was supplied with 100% sustainable fuel. 

Currently, SAF can be mixed at up to 50% with traditional jet fuel for flying aircraft.

The flight departed from Dubai International Airport at around 11:39 pm on January 30 and was flown for more than one hour over Dubai’s coastline.

The test was part of the Emirate’s effort to help hit the Net Zero target by 2050, as the aviation industry is casting about for cleaner fuel solutions like SAF, reported GLOBETRENDER™.

SAF Can Curb Carbon Emission

SAF—a biofuel derived from renewable biomass and waste products—holds the potential to deliver the efficiency of petroleum-based conventional aircraft fuel but with only a fraction of its carbon footprint.

Case in point: Based on the method and feedstock used for production, SAF can curb greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by up to 80% over the fuel lifecycle, offering the aviation industry solid footing for significantly decoupling GHG emissions from flights.

Since 2011, over 4,50,000 commercial flights have been taken to the skies using SAF globally. 

Even though SAF has capabilities to significantly limit carbon emissions in aviation, global SAF production accounts for only 0.03% of total fuel use (based on pre-pandemic reports).

World leaders are working relentlessly to devise thought-out strategies for scaling up new processes and facilitating the production of commercially usable SAF.

As a result, the production of drop-in SAF has more than tripled in 2022, compared to 2021, according to IATA.

To date, the approved bio-jet fuel production routes include co-processing, hydro-processed esters and fatty acids (HEFA), hydro-deoxygenated synthetic aromatic kerosene (HDO-SAK), Fischer-Tropsch synthetic paraffinic kerosene (FT-SPK), and more.

However, with the increasing bio-content in aviation fuels exacerbating microbial contamination, controlling its effects has become a major concern.

That said, leveraging kits like FUELSTAT® for periodic testing of SAF and blended SAF is critical. Thus contamination can be detected at the earliest stages and before severe safety/operational disruptions occur.

More Insights into Emirates Flight Using Biofuel

Emirates partnered with Boeing, GE Aerospace, Neste, Honeywell, and Virent to produce and buy a SAF blend closely identical to the efficacy and properties of traditional aircraft fuel.

“At each blend ratio, various chemical and physical fuel property measurements were carried out,” explained an Emirates spokesperson. After multiple lab tests and rigorous trials, [we] arrived at a blending ratio that mirrored the qualities of jet fuel.

A total of 18T of drop-in SAF blend, made up of 50% HDO-SAK and 50% HEFA-SPK, was used for the test flight. This 100% SAF powered one General Electric GE90 engine of the aircraft, whereas; the other GE90 was supplied with petroleum-based jet fuel.

Emirates hopes the data and success of the flight will act as a step-change in facilitating the future adoption and acceptance of 100% SAF blend as a cleaner alternative to conventional fuel—well over the present limit of 50% drop-in SAF blend.

“This flight is a milestone moment for Emirates and a positive step for our industry as we work collectively to address one of our biggest challenges – reducing our carbon footprint. It has been a long journey to finally see this demonstration 100% SAF flight take off,” said Adel Al Redha, chief operating officer at Emirates Airlines. 

Al Redha goes on to explain, “Such initiatives are critical contributors to industry knowledge on SAF and provide data to demonstrate the use of higher blends of SAF for future regulatory approvals. We hope that landmark demonstration flights like this one will help open the door to scale up the SAF supply chain and make it more available and accessible across geographies, and most importantly, affordable for broader industry adoption in the future.”

Energy & Environment Government & Politics Technology U.S

US Energy Department to Invest as Much as $74M in Enhanced Geothermal Systems

As part of its efforts to ensure carbon emission-free electricity generation, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently declared it would provide up to $74 million for up to seven EGS-based pilot projects.

The aim is to ramp up the development of the geothermal industry by continuously testing the scalability and efficacy of enhanced geothermal systems (EGS). 

DOE hopes these pilot projects will help trap the Earth’s nearly inexhaustible heat resources in different geologic settings.

A lion’s share of this $74 million investment will come from the President’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL) that helps facilitate the use of breakthrough technologies and advanced techniques.

DOE’s Fourth Energy Earthshot

In a move to slash the cost of geothermal power by 90% to $45 per MWh by 2035, DOE launched the new Enhanced Geothermal Shot™. 

The Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ is part of DOE’s Energy EarthShots Initiative, which was launched in September 2022.

This $74M is the first funding opportunity announced as part of DOE’s effort to produce clean, safer energy since the launching of the Enhanced Geothermal Shot™ last year.

Enhanced Geothermal Systems

The EGS—human-made geothermal reservoirs—are built to inject high-flow water/fluid into naturally hot (~150°C) and impermeable deep rocks through an injection borehole and extract heat by forming or re-opening a subsurface fracture network. 

The high-temperature dry rock (HDR) area acts as a heat exchanger in an EGS reservoir. 

In an EGS system, the reservoir’s natural permeability is boosted by stimulating fracture formation and ensuring a constant water flow. 

The result: increased size and connectivity of water pathways that allow water to circulate through the fractures of the deep rocks

This constant flow of fluid, when in contact with the subsurface rock areas, gets heated up, backs to the surface through the production barehole, and finally is extracted for electricity generation.

The concept behind the EGS system is to enhance the economics of geothermal resources without adequate water and/or permeability.

EGS aims to tap a continuum of geothermal resources—ranging from dry rocks to traditional hydrothermal resources.

After deployment, EGS functions just as naturally occurring hydrothermal systems.

When it comes to ensuring the safe deployment of EGS reservoirs while also maximising its operational efficiency, leveraging a high-end geothermal monitoring tool is a sensible decision. 

A solution like the one offered by Silixa can effectively facilitate the long-term monitoring of geothermal reservoirs and help operators comply with regulations.

EGS’s Potential to Increase Electricity Production

Geothermal power plants currently generate 3.7 GW of electricity in the US, accounting for around 0.4% of the net.

However, with EGS deployed, geothermal energy which is inaccessible using conventional technologies, can be tapped to generate as much as 90 GW of electricity by 2050.

“Advances in enhanced geothermal systems will help introduce geothermal energy in regions where, until recently, the use of this renewable power source was thought to be impossible,” said United States Secretary of Energy, Jennifer M. Granholm, in a statement last Wednesday. “These pilot demonstrations will help us realise the enormous potential of the heat beneath our feet to deliver clean, renewable energy to millions of Americans.”

Marking geothermal as an enormous source of renewable energy, the secretary of energy anticipates that around 45% of U.S. houses can be powered by the Earth’s heat at some point.

Wrapping Up

DOE hopes these BIL-funded EGS pilot demonstration projects would act as a step-change in meeting the booming demand for electricity while also helping hit President Biden’s goals of attaining deep decarbonisation in electricity generation by 2035.

Energy & Environment Home & Garden U.K

Mulgas Advises Guildford Residents to Get Their Boilers Serviced this Winter

With temperatures plunging across different parts of the UK and concerns shrouding the ongoing energy crisis, it’s unsurprising that residents are looking for ways to cut down their heating costs.

That said, the challenges posed by the current energy crisis have intensified with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. As supply issues have been exacerbated by the Ukraine conflict, the cost of imported gas and oil has spiraled upward. 

In line with the government’s efforts to shield residents from the worst effects of surging inflation, Mulgas, a leading boiler repair service, encourages Guilford residents to get their boilers serviced this winter. 

According to Uswitch, Gas-fired boilers are the primary source of heating in most UK residences, with 23M households using one for their heating and hot water. 

Even though boilers account for more than half the power costs in UK homes, many of these boilers might not be running efficiently, which could be inflating peoples’ energy bills. 

Mulgas stresses the importance of repairing boilers to ensure they run optimally and safely, thus slashing a significant amount off power bills.

With local experts always on hand to help with all boiler repair servicing requirements, Mulgas is committed to ensuring no faulty boiler can keep the Guildford residents left in the cold for too long. 

Plus, by helping keep the central heating system running smoothly for boosted boiler efficiency, Mulgas enables households to avoid staggering energy bills.

The company is made up of highly trained and Gas Safe registered engineers who help Mulgas one-up its competitors. As a result, residents can rest assured that they are getting the fastest and safest boiler repair service in Guildford. 

Specialising in central heating – installation, repairs, and servicing – the Mulgas Boiler Care Specialists stocks the most common components that usually break for a wide range of boilers. The result: over 87% of all packed-in and faulty boilers get fixed on the first visit.

With a 12-month repair guarantee and a 10-year warranty with new boilers, Mulgas provides Guildford residents with high-end boiler services that are 27% cheaper than the national average, says the company.

Since launching in 1998, Mulgas has been a trusted service provider to its clients. Based in Woking, Mulgas Boiler Care Specialists is a family-run business specializing in boiler installation and repair, central heating repairs, gas heating, and gas safety checks.

Interested parties can learn more about Mulgas by visiting