Major players in the mining sector are clambering over each other to get a part of the new dual-fuel hybrid truck that has been doing circuits for the past two years at New Hope Group’s New Acland coal mine in Queensland, Australia, according to the mining company.The mine was the place of choice to conduct the trial of the latest innovative technology in dual fuel trucks by project partners Mine Energy Solutions (MES) and Hastings Deering.General Manager of New Acland mine, David Vink says the project was a great example of industry collaboration.“We provided the trial site and wherewithal, MES the technology and Hastings Deering the hardware – so to speak (truck and engines),” he said.He explains the revolutionary technology enables the conversion of high horse powered diesel engines from 100% diesel to dual fuel operation, using natural gas as the dominant fuel through sequential gas injection. The trial was on a Cat 789C haul truck (pictured).“When MES first looked for project partners in Queensland, there was no one interested,” Vink said.“But we could see the potential for this technology from the outset.“Now, after nearly 24 months operating on site, clocking more than 6,200 hours, we’ve piqued the interest of the big boys and the sceptics.“We’ve taken the technology from an R&D project to ready for commercial application. Actually beyond that – it has already been taken up commercially which has signalled the end of the trial.”Vink said the trial was originally planned to run for just six months in 2016 but, off the back of data collected as the trial progressed, the technology itself evolved even further.“The trial is complete, MES’s technology has been proven and we are pleased to be part of this exciting project that is now going global,” Vink said.
He said it is important to have an objective approach and extend equal treatment to all countries when fulfilling the assigned mandate. With regard to High Commissioner Pillay’s reference to the last days of the armed conflict, Prof. Peiris stated that the Sri Lanka military was involved in the largest hostage rescue operation in contemporary history. It is factually known that the LTTE ruthlessly annihilated people trying to escape from their clutches. While noting that Ms. Pillay too had called on Sri Lanka to end military operations, the Minister stated that if Sri Lanka had acceded to that call the present ground realities would have been different as a responsible government steps had to be undertaken to safeguard the Sri Lankan people not heeding to calls of some external elements.The Minister also referred to the High Commissioner’s concern over the inclusion of the police under the newly created Ministry of Law and Order, instead of the Ministry of Justice. He indicated that her stated position is fundamentally unacceptable and does not move in accordance with the established procedures of Sri Lanka. The Minister pointed out that the Police Department has consistently been under the Ministry of Defence and only briefly, 2002-2004, under an Interior Ministry. It has to be noted that most countries too have Police under Ministries other than Justice, and further, he indicated that the creation of the new Ministry of Law and Order under which the Police Department is now placed is in line with a LLRC recommendation. (Colombo Gazette) On the aspect of accountability, the Minister highlighted the action taken by the law enforcement authorities and cited the instances of some members of the Special Task Force having been indicted in relation to the killing of five students in Trincomalee and status of investigations with regard to the Muttur incident involving the ACF workers. He further explained the difficulties encountered in identifying the perpetrators due to the conditions prevailing at the time of incidence, with regard to the ACF case. The Minister informed however that mobile phone evidence is being pursued in this regard, and therefore the case remains open. He drew a parallel with the case of the assassination of the former Foreign Minister late Lakshman Kadirgamar, where conviction has not been possible due to the lack of evidence.Addressing allegations of disappearances, Prof Peiris explained that the Ministry of Justice has formulated a draft amendment to the Penal Code to criminalize enforced disappearances, also formulated amendments to the Criminal Procedure Code and the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka Act in order to give effect to recommendations in the National Human Rights Action Plan. He outlined the difficulties in identifying the missing due to instances involving persons having migrated to other countries holding multiple identities, and those host governments not divulging their details. This fact aggravates the difficulty in compiling correct statistics. It was indicated that the repeated use of baseless and arbitrary figures in respect of disappearances, eventually acquire authenticity in the face of the massive propaganda that is being carried out against the Government of Sri Lanka. The government says there is no culture of impunity in the country and in instances where evidence is available action to conduct legal proceedings have been instituted irrespective of the status of those accused, which include politicians, public officials and officers of the law enforcement agencies.External Affairs Minister, Prof. G.L. Peiris said this when he met visiting UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Navanethem Pillay at the Ministry of External Affairs today. Minister Peiris reiterated to High Commissioner Pillay Sri Lanka’s firm resolve to work with the United Nations system. However he said that there is a perception in the country about the lack of objectivity and fairness in the treatment meted out to Sri Lanka. The Minister added that Sri Lanka accepts constructive and justified criticism but resents vicious and baseless positions which are incessantly repeated.
OTTAWA – A possible clue to how the federal Liberal government will arrive at its annual immigration targets for 2018, to be unveiled Wednesday, can be found in a similar provincial plan unveiled just last week.Quebec — which sets its own immigration targets in connection with the federal government — is aiming to bring in some 51,000 people, a target that is unchanged from 2017.That has observers saying they expect the federal numbers for next year to remain largely in line with the 2017 goal of 300,000 newcomers, though a slight bump is likely.Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen offered no details Monday.“The main priority will be to focus very strongly on the real need of employers, and many sectors of the economy, saying we need immigration,” Hussen said before question period.“We need skilled immigrants to not only come and fill certain jobs, but also create more jobs for everyone else, and prosperity for all of us.”In 2016, the government’s economic advisory council recommended boosting levels to 450,000 over the next five years to address an aging workforce and declining birth rate, both of which are leaving major gaps in Canada’s labour market.But that bumps up against practical considerations, said Kareem El-Assal, a senior researcher with the Conference Board of Canada.“It would require a significant increase in federal government expenditures to hire visa officers to send them overseas and whatnot, and the question is where will the money come from.”The same holds true of a call for the government to set immigration targets for a wider window, not just annually. At the last federal-provincial meetings of ministers responsible for immigration, all emerged united on the need for a multi-year approach. Many eyes are on whether Hussen follows through.Being able to plot out immigration over a longer period of time would lend additional certainty for everyone from employers to refugee settlement agencies, who are among those calling for a three-year planning document.“The challenges and opportunities that immigration provides to this country necessitate a much broader public consultation than one focused on annual levels planning,” said the Canadian Immigrant Settlement Sector Alliance in its briefing note to Hussen on the immigration plan.“We strongly believe that we should be moving beyond annual level plans to multi-year immigration level plans.”Hussen wouldn’t say Monday whether that’s his plan.When the issue was raised with focus groups earlier this year, some respondents said they felt a multi-year approach would give immigrants false hope that if their application wasn’t accepted one year, it might be the next.And backlogs are already plaguing many parts of Canada’s immigration system.For example, the 2017 levels plan called for about 15,000 people to be admitted under the in-Canada asylum system. So far this year, there have been upwards of 35,000 claims filed in Canada, thanks to a surge in asylum seekers at the border — 10,000 of those claims are still pending before the Immigration and Refugee Board.Hussen said Monday that space will be created within the levels plan to address backlogs, but at the same time he also suggested refugee levels will be maintained.That’s sure to be a disappointment to the United Nations, which is also watching the plan closely to see whether Canada increases spaces for resettled refugees. The UN had hoped to see Canada take the lead at a time when the politics in other countries — most notably the U.S. — have led to refugee programs being scaled back.But domestic politics is at play as well, said Jack Jedwab, the executive vice-president of the Association for Canadian Studies.While the same socio-cultural concerns about immigration that dominate political debate around the globe don’t seem to be as much in play in Canada, they still underpin the immigration debate here to an extent, he said, so the government will only go far.“I think they feel that there is still come concern out there about a significant increase and they want to be sensitive to that.”