Sudan receives $ 1.5 bn loan from China Development Bank

Updated 17 January 2013
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Sudan receives $ 1.5 bn loan from China Development Bank

KHARTOUM: Sudan has won a $ 1.5 billion loan from the state-run China Development Bank, which Khartoum hopes will ease the country's severe economic crisis.
China has been investing aggressively in Africa to secure resources such as oil, gold or farmland, and it has an interest in stabilizing Sudan's economy because oil exports from arch rival South Sudan need to pass through the north.
The loan was announced through the official news agency SUNA yesterday. Finance Minister Ali Mahmoud last week said that Sudan had won a $ 1.5 billion loan but did not name the bank.
Sudan has been unable to stop a slide in its currency since losing three quarters of its oil production when South Sudan seceded in 2011. That currency slide has fueled inflation, small protests.
Oil revenues were the main revenue source for the budget and also for dollars needed to buy basic food imports such as wheat and sugar. Sudan produces too little to feed its population of 32 million.
Sudan will have to repay the loan only after a grace period of five years, SUNA reported.
China is Sudan's biggest trading partner behind Gulf Arab oil producers and is the largest investor in the oil industry in both Sudan and South Sudan.
The neighboring African countries agreed in September to resume oil flows after Juba shut down its exports a year ago in a row over pipeline fees. But both have to agree on how to secure their disputed border before exports will resume.


General Electric to trial world’s largest wind turbine in Britain

Updated 49 min 32 sec ago
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General Electric to trial world’s largest wind turbine in Britain

  • Britain is aiming to be a leader in offshore wind technology
  • The largest wind turbines currently in operation are MHI Vestas’ 9 MW turbines in Aberdeen, Scotland

LONDON: US conglomerate General Electric will test the world’s largest wind turbine in a facility in northeast England, it said on Tuesday.
GE Renewable Energy, the renewable arm of the US firm, and the British government-funded Offshore Renewable Energy Catapult signed a five-year agreement to test GE’s Haliade-X 12 megawatt (MW) turbine in Blyth, Northumberland.
“This is an important agreement because it will enable us to prove Haliade-X in a faster way by putting it under controlled and extreme conditions,” John Lavelle, president & CEO of GE’s Offshore Wind business said in a statement.
Britain is aiming to be a leader in offshore wind technology and its capacity could grow by five times current levels to 30 gigawatts by 2030, according to a report funded by a range of industry participants.
Britain’s energy and clean growth minister Claire Perry welcomed the agreement and said it highlights Britain’s world class research and testing facilities.
The largest wind turbines currently in operation are MHI Vestas’ 9 MW turbines installed at Vattenfall’s windfarm off the coast of Aberdeen, Scotland.
Companies have been building larger turbines to help get more power from each turbine installed and drive down the cost of the electricity they produce.
The agreement also includes a 6 million pound ($8.5 million) combined investment from Britain’s Innovate UK and the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) to install the world’s largest and most powerful grid emulation system at the Catapult’s Blyth center.