Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: SYMX) ("SES"), a global energy and gasification technology company that provides products and solutions to the energy and chemicals industries, announced today a $5.0 million strategic investment from Zuari Industries Limited ("Zuari") of India in exchange for approximately 2.2 million shares of SES common stock. Zuari is one of India's leading industrial companies in the fertilizer sector.

SES and Zuari have been investigating business development opportunities where SES' U-GAS® technology for coal gasification can be integrated into industrial projects in India, including the potential for application of the U-GAS® technology in Zuari's own industrial plants and potential plant expansions. SES and Zuari have also been working together to use Zuari's wholly-owned engineering company, Simon India Limited ("Simon"), for technical services related to SES projects in India.

"Establishing this relationship with Zuari to help drive our opportunities in India is another important validation of our technology and a further execution of our business strategy," stated Robert Rigdon, President and CEO of SES. "We and Zuari believe the U-GAS® gasification technology of SES could have widespread applications across the Indian economy. India is among the world's fastest-growing economies and the country's need for fertilizers for its agricultural industry, other basic chemicals, clean energy products such as synthetic natural gas for residential and industrial uses, transportation fuels, and clean electric power, is rapidly increasing. We appreciate this recognition of our technology's potential for application in India."

"Coal is an abundant natural resource that is becoming even more critical in helping India achieve its ambitious growth objectives over the coming years. With potential shortfalls and price increases for natural gas, higher oil prices due to unrest in the Middle East and fresh concerns over the safety of nuclear energy, clean-coal technology is becoming even more attractive," commented H.S. Bawa, Vice Chairman of Zuari. "We have worked with SES to assess the potential for SES' technology in India and are now convinced of the unique opportunity this technology presents. We look forward to continuing to work with our colleagues at SES to drive project development and accelerate adoption of SES' leading gasification technology for the benefit of the people of India."

About Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.

SES provides technology, equipment and engineering services for the conversion of low rank, low cost coal and biomass feedstocks into energy and chemical products.  Its strategy is to create value through providing technology and equipment in regions where low rank coals and biomass feedstocks can be profitably converted into high value products through its proprietary U-GAS® fluidized bed gasification technology, which SES licenses from the Gas Technology Institute. U-GAS® gasifies coal cost effectively, without many of the harmful emissions normally associated with coal combustion plants.  The primary advantages of U-GAS® relative to other gasification technologies are (a) greater fuel flexibility provided by the ability of SES to use all ranks of coal (including low rank, high ash and high moisture coals, which are significantly cheaper than higher grade coals), many coal waste products and biomass feed stocks; and (b) the ability of SES to operate efficiently on a smaller scale, which enables the construction of plants more quickly, at a lower capital cost, and, in many cases, in closer proximity to coal sources. SES currently has offices in Houston, Texas, and Shanghai, China. For more information on SES, visit www.synthesisenergy.com or call (713) 579-0600.

About Zuari Industries Limited

Zuari Industries Limited is the flagship company of one of India's oldest and most respected industrial houses, promoted by Dr. KK Birla – recently re-branded as Adventz under the leadership of Mr. Saroj Poddar, Group Chairman of Adventz Group. Advents Group includes Zuari Industries and Texmaco, and as many as 21 group entities, straddling fertilizer, heavy industry, engineering services (Simon India, Ltd), real estate and furniture retail. The Group is primarily focused in India, but also operates internationally. As a major producer of fertilizers for India, it is also the country's largest importer of fertilizers in the private sector, and has joint ventures with OCP of Morocco and ICL of Israel.  

SES Forward-Looking Statements

This press release includes "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of Section 27A of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended, and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. All statements other than statements of historical fact are forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements are subject to certain risks, trends and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those projected. Among those risks, trends and uncertainties are the early stage of development of SES, its estimate of the sufficiency of existing capital sources, its ability to successfully develop its licensing business, its ability to raise additional capital to fund cash requirements for future investments and operations, its ability to reduce operating costs, the limited history and viability of its technology, the effect of the current international financial crisis on its business, commodity prices and the availability and terms of financing opportunities, its results of operations in foreign countries and its ability to diversify, its ability to maintain production from its first plant in the ZZ joint venture, its ability to complete the expansion of the ZZ project, its ability to obtain the necessary approvals and permits for its Yima project and other future projects, the estimated timetables for achieving mechanical completion and commencing commercial operations for the Yima project, its ability to negotiate the terms of the conversion of the Yima project from methanol to glycol, the sufficiency of internal controls and procedures and the ability of SES to grow its business as a result of the ZJX and Zuari transactions. Although SES believes that in making such forward-looking statements its expectations are based upon reasonable assumptions, such statements may be influenced by factors that could cause actual outcomes and results to be materially different from those projected. SES cannot assure you that the assumptions upon which these statements are based will prove to have been correct.

SOURCE Synthesis Energy Systems, Inc.

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  • Ford to triple production capacity of electrified vehicles in North America by 2013, investing in even more C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid vehicles

  • Expanding production capacity of electrified C-MAX lineup brings a stronger business case than introducing gasoline-powered seven-passenger vehicle in North America  

  • Ford adding more than 220 green technology jobs in Michigan, including total of 170 at Rawsonville and Van Dyke Transmission plants, plus more than 50 new electrified-vehicle engineers based in Dearborn in the past year

  • Production of all-new C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid scheduled to begin at Michigan Assembly Plant in 2012, with locally sourced battery packs and electric drive transaxles built by Michigan workers

Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) announced today it is tripling production capacity of its electrified vehicle lineup through 2013, further boosting volumes of its all-new C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, which begin production next year.

"Customers have come to expect fuel efficiency with every new vehicle Ford delivers today, and now we are further differentiating our electrified vehicle lineup with something else people truly value – choice,"  said Jim Farley, Ford's group vice president of Marketing, Sales and Service.  "Whether people want a hybrid, a plug-in hybrid or full battery electric vehicle, we have a family of vehicles for them to consider, providing a range of options to best meet their needs and support their driving habits and lifestyles."

Ford is electrifying platforms – versus a single vehicle – to offer customers the most choice.  Five electrified vehicles are planned for North America by 2012 – including the Transit Connect Electric, on sale now, and Focus Electric this year. The C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid and C-MAX Hybrid will be followed by another next-generation hybrid in 2012.

Today, Ford sells approximately 35,000 electrified vehicles a year, led by the Fusion Hybrid and Escape Hybrid – the most fuel-efficient midsize sedan in America and the most fuel-efficient SUV in the world, respectively.  

Ford will grow its electrified vehicle production capacity to more than 100,000 annually by 2013, thanks to growing consumer appetites for green vehicles and growing desires for stylish new Focus-sized vehicles.

The new Ford C-MAX five-passenger vehicle, which is the base for the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi plug-in hybrid, is leaving European dealer lots at twice the rate of last year's model. More than 100,000 of these new vehicles have been sold in Europe since its launch in late 2010, and Ford is already finding new ways to produce more European C-MAX models than originally expected at its Valencia, Spain, plant.  

"European customers are snapping up our C-MAX five-passenger models, telling us they love the vehicle's sporty appearance, driving quality, interior comfort and clever use of space," Farley said. "We plan to be aggressive in delivering products like this that people really want and make smart decisions supporting our One Ford plan."

Ford's plan to invest in even more capacity for its five-passenger C-MAX electrified models for North America replaces an earlier plan of introducing the gasoline-engine-powered seven-passenger C-MAX multi-activity vehicle.

This also marks the first time North American customers will have the choice of a dedicated body style for a range of Ford electrified vehicles.

Emerging "Green" Center of Manufacturing Excellence

Both the C-MAX Hybrid and C-MAX Energi models will be built alongside the all-new 2012 Ford Focus and Focus Electric at Ford's Michigan Assembly Plant in Wayne, Mich., the first plant in the world to produce gasoline-powered vehicles, full-electric vehicles, hybrid and plug-in hybrids under one roof.  

The plant's production is powered in part by one of the largest solar energy generator systems in the state.  

The new green vehicle lineup also is bringing jobs to Ford and America.

In total, Ford is adding more than 220 green technology jobs in Michigan alone as the state becomes its center of excellence for vehicle electrification. This includes a combined 170 jobs at Ford's Rawsonville and Van Dyke Transmission plants, plus more than 50 new engineers based in Dearborn in the past 12 months specifically for the design and development of key component for Ford hybrids, plug-in hybrids and full battery electric vehicles.

Employees at the Rawsonville Plant in Ypsilanti, Mich., are on tap to assemble advanced lithium-ion battery packs for C-MAX Hybrid, and today Ford confirmed the larger lithium-ion battery packs for C-MAX Energi also will be produced at Rawsonville. Production currently is performed by a supplier in Mexico.

Both battery packs are being designed in-house by Ford engineers. Although the battery packs differ in size, energy storage and power output, they are designed for efficient production in the same flexible manufacturing facility.

Ford's Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Sterling Heights, Mich., also benefits from electrified versions of the C-MAX. Employees there are building the electric drive transaxles, work currently outsourced to a supplier facility in Japan for current model hybrids.  

"Ford's commitment to grow our electrified vehicle family brings good news for our customers, employees, the economy and the environment," Farley said.

Efficiency comes standard

The new Ford C-MAX Hybrid is targeted to deliver better mpg than Fusion Hybrid and is the first of two new Ford Hybrids to use lithium ion battery technology. Lithium-ion batteries are up to 50 percent lighter and 25 percent smaller than current nickel-metal-hydride batteries and increase the amount of energy available to extend the vehicle's driving distance and boost fuel economy.  

This all-new hybrid also will travel at a higher all-electric speed than Fusion Hybrid's 47 mph.  

The C-MAX Energi, featuring a 240-volt charging system, will be able to fully recharge faster than Chevy Volt and is being engineered to deliver more overall driving range than any other plug-in or extended range electric vehicle. It is also targeted to achieve AT-PZEV status.

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company, a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.

SOURCE Ford Motor Company

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The Air Transport Association of America, Inc. (ATA), the industry trade organization for the leading U.S. airlines, today applauded the ASTM International Committee on Petroleum Products and Lubricants for approving a new jet fuel specification that will further enable the use of sustainable alternative fuels in aviation.

"The committee endorsement of this specification is significant for all consumers of jet fuel, bringing the airline industry one step closer to widespread production of cleaner, alternative fuels that will help meet our environmental goals while enhancing the security and competitiveness of our energy supply," said ATA President and CEO Nicholas E. Calio.

ASTM International is one of the largest standards-development organizations in the world.

Supported by work undertaken by the Commercial Aviation Alternative Fuels Initiative® (CAAFI), which ATA helped co-found in 2006, a committee of experts at ASTM voted to approve the addition of a new bio-derived jet fuel annex to the alternative jet fuel specification D7566. This effectively concludes the technical review process, allowing for final issuance of the revised specification by August of this year. The new annex details the fuel properties and criteria necessary to control the manufacture and quality of this new fuel, referred to as "Hydroprocessed Esters and Fatty Acids" (HEFA) fuel, to ensure safe aviation use. Once issued by ASTM, the revised specification will enable use of HEFA fuels from biomass feedstocks such as camelina, jatropha or algae, in combination with conventional jet fuel up to a 50 percent blend.

With the approval of the alternative jet fuel specification for HEFA (sometimes referred to as "hydroprocessed renewable jet" fuel), hydroprocessing of plant oils becomes another pathway for production of alternative jet fuels. In 2009, ASTM approved Fischer-Tropsch processing as the first pathway to be covered by its alternative jet fuel specification.

"This standard provides another pathway for alternative jet fuel production, and will enable increased commercial production," said Calio. "At the same time, we continue to explore other pathways that may be able to meet the rigorous criteria needed under the jet fuel specification."

Led by CAAFI, a collaborative effort among airlines, engine and airframe manufacturers, airports, universities, the Federal Aviation Administration, the military and others, the aviation fuel community plans to turn next to development and approval of pathways for processes that convert sugars and lignocellulosic feedstocks to jet fuel.

ABOUT ATA

Annually, commercial aviation helps drive more than $1 trillion in U.S. economic activity and nearly 11 million U.S. jobs. ATA airline members and their affiliates transport more than 90 percent of all U.S. airline passenger and cargo traffic. For more information about the airline industry, visit www.airlines.org and follow us on Twitter @airlinesassn

SOURCE Air Transport Association

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Solar panel manufacturers in China and around the world continue looking for ways to provide greater economic certainty with their products, says PowerGuard Specialty Insurance Services.

Guaranteeing warranty terms through the use of insurance provides the certainty manufacturers and their customers look for, as well as long-term stability for the industry.

To meet the rising demands of China's solar panel manufacturing industry, PowerGuard - a renewable energy specialty Managing General Agent based in the U.S. - provides manufacturers with an innovative 25-year, non-cancellable quality and performance guarantee solution to back up their own warranty terms.

Leading Chinese solar manufacturer JinkoSolar, a client of Marsh China, is among the China-based solar manufacturing companies to purchase and adopt this innovative solution.

The insurance solution, conceived and underwritten by PowerGuard, offers back-to-back cover for a five-year limited product warranty as well as 10-year warranty for 90 percent power performance and an additional 15-year warranty for 80 percent performance for panels sold by JinkoSolar and covered by the warranty.

Mr. Kangping Chen, CEO of JinkoSolar, said, "For our clients, this insurance solution gives additional economic security in the event of an unforeseen loss in performance of the modules. Further, this insurance solution will also facilitate the financing of the photovoltaic projects using Jinko modules."

Mike McMullen, Managing Principal of PowerGuard, said, "The expansion of new energy production offers new business opportunities for industrial insurers. PowerGuard is proud that our unique and innovative risk-transfer product has been adopted by leading solar module manufacturers around the world. PowerGuard will continue to support the development of the global renewable energy industry with unique, industry-leading products and services."

Larry Liu, Senior Vice President and Technology Practice Leader of Marsh China, said, "This solution is an important way for solar panel producers to provide a greater degree of business certainty and allows developers of solar parks to finance photovoltaic installations more easily and with increased flexibility. The solar panel manufacturing sector in Asia continues to grow rapidly, with China leading the way in terms of manufacturing output."

The PowerGuard solution – available through Marsh and other retail brokers globally - provides certainty and security to the solar manufacturer's end customers, with warranty terms that are non-cancellable - surviving even insolvency and bankruptcy. Third-party rights to the policy in case the original solar manufacturer goes out of business are also offered, backed by the capital strength of the insurance market.

Contact:
Mike McMullen
949.224.1325
[email protected]

About PowerGuard Specialty Insurance Services:

PowerGuard is a Managing General Agent and Lloyds cover holder specializing in the design and underwriting of unique insurance and risk management solutions for wind, solar and other alternative energy companies. PowerGuard's warranty product is the most comprehensive contractual liability coverage available to renewable energy manufactures, project developers, power generation operators and the financial institutions and private equity firms who invest in them. More information: http://powerguardins.com .

About JinkoSolar:

JinkoSolar Holding Co., Ltd. is a fast-growing, vertically-integrated solar power product manufacturer with low-cost operations based in Jiangxi Province and Zhejiang Province in China and sales and marketing offices in Shanghai, China, Munich, Germany, San Francisco, U.S. and Bologna, Italy. JinkoSolar has built a vertically-integrated solar product value chain with an integrated annual capacity of 900 MW each for silicon wafers, solar cells and solar modules as of March 31, 2011 and plans to expand its annual capacity to 1.5GW each for silicon wafers, solar cells and solar modules by end of 2011. JinkoSolar distributes its photovoltaic products to a diversified customer base in the global PV market, including Italy, Germany, Belgium, Spain, the United States, France and other countries and regions.

About Marsh:

Marsh, the world's leading insurance broker and risk advisor, teams with its clients to define, design, and deliver innovative industry-specific solutions that help them protect their future and thrive. It has over 24,000 colleagues who collaborate to provide advice and transactional capabilities to clients in over 100 countries. Marsh is a member of Marsh & McLennan Companies, a global professional services firm with 52,000 employees worldwide and annual revenue exceeding $10 billion, which is also the parent company of Guy Carpenter, the risk and reinsurance specialist; Mercer, the provider of HR and related financial advice and services; and Oliver Wyman, the management consultancy.

Logo 72dpi: http://send2pressnewswire.com/image/11-0512-powergrd_72dpi.jpg

This release was issued on behalf of the above organization by Send2Press(R), a unit of Neotrope(R). http://www.Send2Press.com

SOURCE PowerGuard Specialty Insurance Services

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PPL Corporation plans to build a 115,000-square-foot data and operations center in Upper Macungie Township that will provide long-term benefits for both the company and its customers.

(Photo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20110609/PH17297)

The center, a major new investment in the Lehigh Valley, will be located on 12 acres near Route 100 and Interstate 78, about 10 miles west of the corporation's international headquarters in center-city Allentown.

Pending land development approval from the township and necessary permits, PPL plans to begin construction this fall and complete work in late 2012.  The center eventually will house 125 to 150 employees, most of whom currently work in other facilities in the region.

The facility's next-generation data center is expected to meet corporate needs for the next several decades. The operations component, to be used by PPL Electric Utilities, will combine existing transmission and distribution operations centers in the Allentown and Harrisburg areas and host the utility's new emergency response center.

"Upgrading data operations will make us more efficient and will improve service to electric customers," said William H. Spence, PPL's executive vice president and chief operating officer. "This will be a cutting-edge electric system operations center, using the latest technology to help ensure continued safe and reliable service for the 1.4 million customers of PPL Electric Utilities."

The building will be ENERGY STAR® rated, meaning it will be built according to high energy efficiency standards. This is in addition to compliance to the new Building Energy Codes, which took effect in 2009.

Robert E. Lamb Inc., of Valley Forge, Pa., will provide planning, design and construction support services. Skanska USA Building, Inc. will perform construction management and general contracting for the project.

PPL Corporation (NYSE: PPL), headquartered in Allentown, Pa., through its affiliated companies, owns or controls about 19,000 megawatts of generating capacity in the United States, sells energy in key U.S. markets, and delivers electricity and natural gas to about 10 million customers in the United States and the United Kingdom. More information is available at www.pplweb.com.

PPL Electric Utilities, a subsidiary of PPL Corporation, provides electric delivery services to about 1.4 million customers in Pennsylvania and has consistently ranked among the best companies for customer service in the United States. More information is available at www.pplelectric.com.

SOURCE PPL Corporation

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