Toshiba,the Japanese Conglomerate with diversified interests in Electronics,Nuclear Energy Equipment,NAND Memory is leading the Japanese Search for Rare Earth Minerals.Fears of Chinese monopoly over production of REE came true,when Exports to Japan were blocked over a shipping incident.EU and USA have long been concerned with the Chinese control of 95% of the global REE production with USA even thinking of taking China to the WTO.Japan has recently drastically increased its investment into finding new sources of Rare Earth with recent deals with Vietnam,India,Kazakhstan and others.Sojitz, a Trading Zaibatsu recently signed a long term supply deal with Lynas.Toshiba is the other Japanese firm actively scouting for Rare Earth Minerals looking for newer processes and geographies.
Wind Energy Companies are increasingly facing competition from a host of new entrants into the industry.The dominants firms Vestas,Gamesa and Suzlon have seen their stock prices fall steeply due to declining revenues and margins.A number of Giant Industrial Firms have entered the Wind Energy Industry to diversify from the slow growth in their own sectors.Korean Shipbuilders have invested heavily in the Wind Turbine Manufacturing en masse to take advantage of the secular growth of Wind Energy.Chinese companies have risen from virtually nothing 5 years ago to become Top 5 Global Wind Energy Players.Companies like Sinovel,Goldwind,Mingyang Power are now trying to spread their wings outside of China.India’s Wind Energy Industry is comparatively small but it has also seen a number of wind power companies setting up facilities with technology licensed from the West.The slowdown in the Western Markets has led to huge problems for dominant Western firms like Gamesa and Vestas.It has led to painful restructuring for Vestas which has fired thousands of workers from its domestic manufacturing base in Denmark.Gamesa has also seen management and ownership turmoil as WTG Orders have evaporated and its competitive position has eroded.GE,Suzlon,Gamesa and Vestas are all investing in the Chinese market which has grown exponentially in recent times and which is expected to form 50% of the Wind Energy Demand till the next few years.
Australian Company Lynas Corporation is going to accelerate the production from its Mt. Weld Mining Project in Australia in order to meet increased demand from Japanese companies.Lynas is building a 20,000 tons rare earth mine in Australia with processing to be done in Malaysia.The company had raised around $500 million with strong institutional backing to boost the supply of non-Chinese Rare Earth Production.The Rare Earth Mineral Frenzy has cooled a bit but the supply picture is still in a constrained mode with Chinese exports of REE falling by 77% in the month of October.Japan is the most exposed to the Chinese slowdown of REE minerals with a large processing industry and consumption sector.Japan has been frantically looking towards the surrounding seas,Vietnam and Kazakhstan as China has used its monopoly position for political ends.
Chines Rare Exports in October have dropped dramatically to 3 figures from around 3660 tons in September reflecting the Chinese-Japan Tensions and Export Quotas imposed by China for the 2nd half of 2010.While Japan has been frantically looking out for rare earth mineral resources in places like Mongolia,Kazakhstan,India and Vietnam,it will take around 4-5 years [...]
The US Government has recently approved a number of Large Scale Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Projects as Renewable Energy Projects rush to meet the December 2010 Deadline for getting the 30% Subsidy Cash Grants from the US Treasury.California has been leading the way with gigawatts of solar thermal plants being approved.However these projects are facing resistance from local groups due to different reasons.Green Activists are questioning the Environment Friendliness of these projects due to the harmful effects on endangered desert wildlife.While some projects have dedicated millions of dollars for the Rehabilitation and Resettlement of Tortoises and other wildlife,Green NGOs are not convinced.The 660 MW,$2 Billion Tessera Solar Thermal Plant has been put under a review of its approval due to protests that the approval was done with haste and without following proper procedures.Note Large Solar Thermal Projects need hundreds of acres of land and are being frequently built on public land.
China is using its industrial strengths to become an emerging low cost low quality Weapons Exporters.Note the Global Arms Market is dominated by USA and Russia with UK,France,Germany the other major exporters.China,India are the biggest importers of arms with most of their purchases from Russia.However the equation is set to change with China moving up the Technology Ladder to become an Arms Exporter.China has started to export fighter aircraft and missiles and is looking to export drones as well.Its major customers are countries which have difficulty in finding weapons elsewhere.Pakistan is the biggest customer with joint development of weapons with China.Note Russia has become alarmed over the developments as many of Chinese arms said to be copied from Russian Technology.