Musk to launch China tunneling company unit this month

Elon Musk plans to bring his tunneling unit for the famed ‘Hyperloop’ system to China. (Reuters)
Updated 03 August 2019

Musk to launch China tunneling company unit this month

  • Elon Musk formed the Boring Company to build underground transport tunnels for hyperloop transportation systems

BENGALURU: Elon Musk will soon launch a China unit for his underground tunneling enterprise, The Boring Company, the billionaire entrepreneur said on Twitter.

One of Musk’s followers tweeted that Tesla Inc’s chief executive officer would attend the World Artificial Intelligence Conference of 2019 in Shanghai later this month.

Musk replied on the social media platform that he “will also be launching The Boring Company China on this trip.”

Musk started the Boring Company to build underground transport tunnels for hyperloop transportation systems, which he said would be far faster than current high-speed trains and use electromagnetic propulsion. 

It has also emerged that Musk plans to expand his SpaceX facilities in Florida to make room for the space company’s forthcoming super heavy-lift launch vehicle dubbed Starship, according to a draft of the plans seen by Reuters on Friday.

Starship, a 384-foot (117-meter) reusable two-stage rocket taller than the Statue of Liberty, is a central piece of Musk’s interplanetary space travel ambitions as well as US space agency NASA’s goal to send humans to the moon again by 2024.

The Starship rocket is expected to launch up to 24 times a year from SpaceX’s current flagship launchpad 39A, the draft of the company’s environmental assessment said. SpaceX did not specify in the report when it would reach that cadence, but Musk said in September 2018 he wanted to be conducting orbital flights with Starship in two to three years.

SpaceX’s launchpad 39A would support NASA’s future moon missions from the same Kennedy Space Center site used for the Apollo lunar missions a half century ago.

“They’re moving very fast,” said Dale Ketcham, vice president of government relations at Space Florida, the state’s commercial space development agency. “This is actually getting closer to what Elon got into this business for to begin with. This is fundamental infrastructure to get to Mars, the early stages of it.”


Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

Updated 22 August 2019

Gulf Marine CEO quits after review sparks profit warning

  • Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence

DUBAI: Gulf Marine Services said on Wednesday Chief Executive Officer Duncan Anderson has resigned as the oilfield industry contractor warned a reassessment of its ships and contracts showed profit would fall this year, kicking its shares 12 percent down.

The Abu Dhabi-based offshore services specialist said a review by new finance chief Stephen Kersley of its large E-class vessels operating in Northwest Europe and the Middle East pointed to 2019 core earnings of between $45 million and $48 million, below $58 million that it reported last year.

A source familiar with the matter told Reuters that Anderson, who has served as CEO for 12 years, was asked to step down. Anderson could not be reached for comment.

The company, which in the past predominantly operated in the UAE, expanded operations and deployed large vessels in the North Sea and Saudi Arabia nine years ago and listed its shares in London in 2014.

Tensions in the Arabian Gulf, a worrisome global growth outlook and uncertainty over oil prices have recently dampened investor confidence.

The North Sea has seen a revival in production in recent years due to new fields coming on line and improved performance by operators following the 2014 oil price collapse.

Still, the basin’s production is expected to decline over the next decade, according to Britain’s Oil and Gas Authority.

“(The CFO’s) review has coincided with a pause in renewables-related self-propelled self-elevating support vessels activity in the North Sea, which will impact several of the higher day-rate E-Class vessels,” Investec wrote in a note.

Gulf Marine appointed industry veteran Kersley as chief financial officer in late May as it sought to halt a slide which has seen the company’s shares fall nearly 80 percent last year and another 23 percent so far this year.

The company said market conditions remained challenging and that it was still in talks with its financial advisors regarding a new capital structure.

“Management, the new board and the group’s advisors, have been in negotiation with the group’s banks on resetting its capital structure and progress has been made,” it said in a statement.

Last year, Gulf Marine said contracts were delayed into 2019 as the company was seen to be in breach of certain banking covenants at the end of 2018.

The company said it was still in talks with its banks and individual lenders with hopes of getting a waiver or an agreement to amend the concerned covenants.