SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Iran’s President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has inaugurated a new phase of a gasoline production facility, enabling the country to join the world’s jet fuel exporters.
According to Press TV, in a Thursday ceremony marking the 34th anniversary of the victory of the 1979 Islamic Revolution, the Iranian President inaugurated the second stage of the third phase of the gasoline production unit at Abadan Oil Refinery.
The new unit will add two million liters of 94 and 95-octane super-premium gasoline, conforming to Euro-4 standard, to the daily production capacity of Abadan Refinery.
The development will enhance the total gasoline production of Abadan Refinery, Iran’s oldest refinery, to 15 million liters per day (lpd).
Iran is currently a leading producer of jet fuel for passenger and cargo planes. The gasoline production unit of Abadan Oil Refinery, built by Iranian experts, would allow the production of fuel for helicopters, crop dusters and trainers.
Earlier, Iran had announced plans to inaugurate three mega-projects at Shazand, Lavan and Abadan refineries by the end of the current Persian calendar year (ending March 20) to enhance the production of the country’s premium gasoline from 12 to 25 million lpd.
The projects will increase Iran’s total gasoline production to 70 million lpd, enabling the country to become a long-term exporter of gasoline.-www.shfaqna.com/English
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) – Hyundai Motor Co and its affiliate Kia Motors Corp overstated the gasoline mileage for more than 1 million 2011-2013 model year cars in the United States and Canada, and will offer debit cards to customers to make up the difference.
The South Korean auto makers have submitted a plan to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for cars currently on dealer lots to be relabelled with new window stickers reflecting the corrected mileage estimates, the EPA said on Friday. The mileage on most labels will be reduced by one to two miles per gallon (approximately 0.3 litre/100 km), with the largest adjustment being a six mpg (1.4 litres/100 km) highway reduction for the Kia Soul.
“Consumers rely on the window sticker to help make informed choices about the cars they buy,” Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, said in a statement. “EPA’s investigation will help protect consumers and ensure a level playing field among auto makers.”
The South Korean auto makers said the changes will result in the 2012 Hyundai-Kia fleet fuel economy level being reduced by an average of 3 per cent, to 26 mpg from 27 mpg.
Hyundai and Kia in joint statements released in the United States and Canada said about 900,000, or 35 per cent, of 2011 to 2013 model year vehicles were affected in the U.S. market, along with about 172,000 automobiles in Canada.
“I sincerely apologize to all affected Hyundai and Kia customers, and I regret these errors occurred,” W.C. Yang, chief technology officer of Hyundai/Kia research and development, said in a statement. “Following up on the EPA’s audit results, we have taken immediate action to make the necessary rating changes and process corrections.”
The auto makers also said they are putting in place a reimbursement program for affected current and former vehicle owners to cover the additional costs associated with the fuel economy change. Customers will receive a debit card that will reimburse them for the difference in the EPA fuel economy rating, based on the fuel price in their area and their miles driven.
An extra 15 per cent to the amount will be added to acknowledge the inconvenience and owners will be able to refresh their cards for as long as they own their vehicles, the companies said.
“We’re extremely sorry about these errors,” John Krafcik, president and chief executive of Hyundai Motor America, said. “When we say to Hyundai owners, ‘We’ve got your back,’ that’s an assurance we don’t take lightly. We’re going to make this right for everyone, and we’ll be more driven than ever to ensure our vehicles deliver outstanding fuel economy.”
Hyundai and Kia said procedural errors at the companies’ joint testing operations in Korea led to the incorrect fuel economy ratings. The EPA said regulators found discrepancies between agency results and data submitted by the auto makers.
2013 models: Accent, Elantra, Elantra GT, Elantra Coupe, Veloster, Genesis, Tucson, Tucson AWD, Santa Fe, Santa Fe AWD
2012 models: Accent, Elantra, Genesis, Sonata Hybrid, Tucson, Tucson AWD, Veloster
2011 models: Elantra, Sonata Hybrid
2013 models: Rio, Soul, Sportage, Sportage AWD, Sorento, Sorento AWD
2012 models: Rio, Soul, Sportage, Sportage AWD, Sorento, Sorento AWD, Optima Hybrid
2011 models: Optima Hybrid— www.shafaqna.com/English
Source: The Globe and Mail
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)– A fuel truck exploded after hitting portions of a bridge Thursday in the Saudi capital, Riyadh, engulfing buildings and cars in flames and killing at least 22 people and injuring more than 110, witnesses and officials said.
The death toll was a significant increase in the number of reported casualties than in the first hours after the 7 a.m. explosion near the Saudi National Guard building in an industrial area in the city’s eastern district. Columns of smoke could be seen rising from scene.A security official told The Associated Press at least 22 people were killed and 111 were injured.
There was no immediate suspicion of terrorist links based on witness accounts, which suggested the fuel tanker exploded after striking part of a highway underpass.
Officials said rescue crews had not finished the search and the death toll was still not final.
All the officials and witnesses spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to the media.
Civil Defence spokesman Capt. Mohamed al-Hammadi told the official Saudi Press Agency that the explosion occurred after the tanker spilled fuel, which expanded the area of the fireball. He described the damage as “significant.”
SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association) — Iran would negotiate on halting higher-grade uranium enrichment if given fuel for a research reactor, senior officials said, reviving a previous offer in a possible attempt to show flexibility in stalled nuclear talks with world powers.
The talks have made scant progress since resuming in April, leading to harsher Western sanctions against Iran and increasing talk of Israeli air strikes on its arch-adversary over concerns Tehran is covertly seeking the means to develop nuclear weapons.
The Islamic Republic's economy is suffering from the tightened noose of sanctions, with the rial currency losing nearly two-thirds of its value to the dollar over the past year.
"If a guarantee is provided to supply the 20 percent (enriched) fuel for the Tehran Research Reactor, our officials are ready to enter talks about 20 percent enrichment," Foreign Ministry spokesman Ramin Mehmanparast said at a Eurasian media forum in Kazakhstan on Friday, according to Iran's Press TV.
Foreign Minister Ali Akbar Salehi told the German newsmagazine Der Spiegel e arlier in the week: "If our right to enrichment is recognised, we are prepared to offer an exchange. We would voluntarily limit the extent of our enrichment program, but in return we would need a guaranteed supply of the relevant fuels from abroad."
At the heart of Iran's dispute with world powers is its insistence on the right to enrich uranium and that economic sanctions should be lifted before it stops activities that could lead to its achieving the capability to produce nuclear weapons.
The United States and European allies reject such conditions. They say Iran forfeited a right to enrich by having concealed sensitive nuclear work from U.N. inspectors and blocking their inquiry into suspected bomb research.
They also believe that dropping sanctions first would remove any incentive for Iran to come clean and negotiate seriously.
EU WIDENS SANCTIONS
Mehmanparast, the Foreign Ministry spokesman, spoke on the same day the European Union provisionally approved yet wider economic sanctions complementing U.S. plans for further financial penalties.
Mehmanparast said any flexibility shown by Iran should be matched by reciprocal measures from world powers, including full recognition of Iran's right to enrich uranium, according to Saturday's Press TV report.
There is no sign Iran's readiness to discuss its enrichment of uranium to a fissile concentration of 20 percent would go anywhere near enough to satisfy the demands of the West.
World powers want Iran to stop 20 percent enrichment, shut down the Fordow underground centrifuge plant where this work is carried out and ship out its stockpile of this material.
Western officials say such gestures would serve to raise confidence in Iranian intentions but more would be needed to obtain any significant relief from sanctions.
Iran says it needs uranium enriched to a fissile purity of 20 percent for a medical research reactor in Tehran, but this would also overcome most of the hurdles in terms of technology and time to the 90 percent level suitable for nuclear weapons.
According to the latest International Atomic Energy Agency watchdog report, issued in August, Iran has a stockpile of 20 percent uranium of just over 90 kilograms (200 pounds).
Traditionally experts say 200-250 kg would be required for one nuclear device, if it is refined further to weapons grade, but some say less would do. Iran is believed to be producing about 15 kg per month.
A U.S.-based think tank earlier this week said Iran would currently need at least two to four months to refine enough uranium for one bomb but that considerably more time would be required to assemble a deliverable nuclear weapon.
SHAFAQNA (Shia international Association) — Iran has sent a new batch of enriched uranium to fuel a medical research reactor in its capital, the country's nuclear chief said on Sunday, an indication Tehran is digging in as its standoff with world powers over the enrichment continues.
Fereydoon Abbasi-Davani, the head of Iran's Atomic Energy Organization, said a fourth batch of 20-percent enriched fuel produced inside Iran has now arrived at the Tehran Medical Research Reactor, according to the Mehr news agency.
Iran says the reactor produces medical isotopes used to treat cancer patients. Western powers believe Iran is stockpiling enriched uranium as potential fuel for nuclear weapons.
A third round of talks between Iran and six major world powers in Moscow ended last month without any agreement. United Nations Security Council resolutions require Iran to halt all enrichment of uranium, while Iran insists it has the right to some enrichment under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.
Iran has said it is willing to negotiate on its enrichment to 20 percent, which is much closer to the weapons-grade uranium needed for an atomic bomb.
Abbasi-Davani said Iran will continue with the stalled talks.
"We welcome talks in any situation," Mehr quoted him as saying. "We have strongly defended our stance and will continue with talks until we reach a logical solution."
Technical experts for the two sides are due to meet again in late July in an effort to salvage diplomacy meant to resolve the decade-old dispute.
Iranian lawmakers said this month that the government should consider equipping Iran's naval and research fleet with "non-fossil-fuel" engines, in an apparent reference to nuclear fuel.
Such nuclear fuel is refined to a level that would also be suitable for the explosive core of a nuclear warhead, stoking fears that Iran would use such a program as a pretext for more sensitive atomic activity.
But Abbasi-Davani, who survived an assassination attempt two years ago which Iran has blamed on foreign intelligence agencies, denied the Islamic Republic had such a plan.
"At the moment we do not have any specific plan to do such a thing," Mehr quoted him as saying.
"Certainly if we ever wanted to do such a thing, we would cooperate with the International Atomic Energy Agency so that at the needed time, they can provide us with the fuel."—www.shafaqna.com/english
Source: National Post