The Anonymous Widower

Climate Change: The Paper Mill Using Elephant Poo To Go Greener

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

There is a video and these two paragraphs.

You might think of paper mills as being part of Victorian England but there is one just outside of London which is trying to change the way we think about and use paper.

Frogmore Paper Mill in Apsley, near Hemel Hempstead, is considered to be the birthplace of paper’s industrial revolution, housing the oldest mechanised paper mill in the world.

Frogmore Paper Mill sounds like a good place for a visit.

February 3, 2023 Posted by | Business | , , , , | Leave a comment

Cromarty Firth And Forth To Host First Green Freeports

The title of this post, is the same as that, of this article on the BBC.

This is the sub-heading.

Sites at Cromarty Firth and the Forth have been selected to host Scotland’s first green freeports.

These three paragraphs outline the deal.

The winning bids were revealed in a joint announcement by the UK and Scottish governments.

The special economic zones north of the border are being created under a scheme agreed by the two governments.

The successful applicants will be able to offer tax incentives and lower tariffs in the zones.

At least it seems that Westminster and Holyrood are in agreement.

What Is A Green Freeport?

This article on the BBC, is entitled Freeports: What Are They And Will They Help The Economy?.

It is a good summary of freeports in the UK.

This press release from the UK Government is entitled Joint Cooperation To Deliver Two New Green Freeports In Firth Of Forth And Inverness And Cromarty Firth, contains this statement from Deputy Scottish First Minister; John Swinney.

This is a milestone achievement in the process to deliver Green Freeports for Scotland. Inverness and Cromarty Firth Green Freeport and Forth Green Freeport will support businesses to create high-quality, well-paid new jobs, promote growth and regeneration, and make a significant contribution to achieving our net zero ambitions.

A rigorous joint selection process has been followed. The successful applicants showed a strong determination to embed fair work practices, including payment of the Real Living Wage, and to enshrine net zero initiatives in their work.

We look forward to working closely with them to ensure they deliver maximum positive impact and become operational as soon as possible. We will also work with the unsuccessful bidders to consider how they can build on the plans set out in their bids to deliver jobs and growth in their regions outside the Green Freeports programme.

Scotland has a rich history of innovation, trade and manufacturing and as we look to seize the many opportunities achieving net zero offers, the creation of these internationally competitive clusters of excellence will help us to create new green jobs, deliver a just transition and support our economic transformation.

This statement may be a lot more about aspiration, than hard directions, but having in my lifetime seen Scotland rally round their newborn oil and gas industry, I am very hopeful that the concept of a green freeport will be successful.

Unless anyone can correct me, I do feel that Scotland’s two green freeports are a world first.

Forth Green Freeport

This is the home page of the Forth Green Freeport.

  • It talks about being Central to Scotland’s green ambitions.
  • Places shown on a map of the freeport are Burntisland, Edinburgh Airport, Grangemouth, Leith and Rosyth.
  • The freeport has a long list of partners.

It appears to be a well-backed ambitious plan.

Cromarty Green Freeport

Opportunity Cromarty Firth are leading the development of the Cromarty Green Freeport and they have this web site.

This is the sub-heading on the home page.

Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF), is a consortium leading a bid in the current competition for Green Freeport status, which could “revolutionise” the Highland economy and stimulate major new manufacturing activity locally and elsewhere in Scotland and the UK.

It is following by these two paragraphs.

The consortium is backed by port owners Port of Cromarty Firth, Global Energy Group, Port of Inverness and The Highland Council alongside a dozen regional businesses, public sector organisations and academic bodies.

OCF believes the creation of such a zone on the Firth would maximise local and Scotland-wide benefits from a pipeline of renewable energy projects placing the Highlands at the heart of the drive towards net-zero and create tens of thousands of jobs.

There would appear to be a lot of aspiration and a good list of partners, but the plans for the freeport don’t seem to be as advanced as those for the Forth Green Freeport.

No Shortage Of Electricity

One thing, that will not be a problem for either freeport, is going to be a poor electricity supply, as both the Forth Estuary and Cromarty Form will be the home to several gigawatts of offshore wind.

In addition, it is likely that the wind farms in the Cromarty Firth will be backed by large amounts of pumped storage hydroelectricity in the Great Glen.

Wind Farms Close To The Cromarty Firth Green Freeport

These wind farms are currently close to the Cromarty Firth Green Freeport.

  • Beatrice – 10 MW – Operational
  • Beatrice Extension – 588 MW – Operational
  • Moray East – 950 MW – Operational
  • Moray West – 862 MW – Operational in 2025
  • Caldeonia – 2000 MW – Operational in 2030

This is a grand total of 4410 MW. Hinckley Point C will be 3260 MW.

Wind Farms Close To The Forth Green Freeport

These wind farms are currently close to the Forth Green Freeport.

  • Seagreen – 862 MW – Operational in 2023
  • Inch Cape – 1080 MW – Operational in 2026/27
  • Neart Na Gaoithe – 450 MW – Operational in 2024
  • Forthwind – 12 MW – Operational in 2023/24
  • Berwick Bank 4100 MW – Operational in 2030

This is a grand total of 6504 MW.

North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme

One plan that seems to be being developed by OCF is the North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme, which has this web page on the OCF web site.

These paragraphs outline the plan.

The North of Scotland Hydrogen Programme was established through Opportunity Cromarty Firth and brings together key partners who share ambitions for the region’s renewable, low carbon future. The programme aims to develop a state-of-the-art hub in the Cromarty Firth to produce, store and distribute green hydrogen at scale to the region, Scotland, other parts of the UK and Europe.

The Highlands will be at the centre of future large-scale production of green hydrogen if the Cromarty Firth wins Green Freeport status.
ScottishPower and Storegga have expressed their support for the Green Freeport bid by Opportunity Cromarty Firth (OCF), which could attract more than £1 billion investment to the area and create thousands of jobs and local supply chain opportunities during construction.

The joint developers recently announced plans to develop one of the UK’s largest green hydrogen electrolyser plants on the Cromarty Firth. The project’s initial phase would see the facility produce up to 30 megawatts (MW) of green hydrogen to be used in heating processes in nearby whisky distilleries.

Achieving Green Freeport status would have the potential to bring forward significant investment in a larger-scale plant by up to 10 years and would place the Highlands firmly at the centre of future large-scale production of green hydrogen, because of the region’s enormous growth potential of offshore wind, which is critical to the industry’s development.


  1. The hydrogen from the first phase of the electrolyser will be used in the whisky industry.
  2. Gradually, hydrogen use will widen throughout the region.
  3. I suspect that as hydrogen production grows, it will be exported from the freeport.

This map from the web site shows all the energy flows.


  1. Aquaculture is a use for the oxygen produced by the electrolyser.
  2. Everybody is promoting spaceports. Both hydrogen and oxygen can be used as rocket fuel.
  3. Hydrogen or electricity is shown powering all sorts of transport, including buses, a cruise ship, trains and trucks.

It certainly is a comprehensive plan.

Hydrogen At The Forth Green Freeport

Hydrogen is mentioned on the About page of the Forth Green Freeport web site in this general statement.

Investments will stimulate growth in trade, providing expanded logistics and trade capacity for existing and emerging industries including advanced modular systems, biofuels, hydrogen and carbon capture and storage, as well as support additional R&D capability and green incubator space to drive SME and start-up business growth.

But as INEOS are a partner, I would expect some hydrogen production from all that green offshore electricity.

January 15, 2023 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen | , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Aviva To Eject Company Directors If Climate Goals Are Not Met

The title of this post is the same as that of this article in The Sunday Times.

Increasingly, I am seeing company boards taking decisions, that will cut their company’s carbon footprint.

Only yesterday, I wrote Suppliers Sought For New Bi-Mode Locomotives For TransPennine Express And Great Western Railway, which was about First Group’s moves to decarbonise some of their locomotive-hauled trains.

I have also written about BHP, BP, Fortescue, Go-Ahead and Rio-Tinto taking action to decarbonise.

It does seem that some company boards are following Aviva’s guidance, but then it is in the directors own interest.

Many directors of large companies own shares and in a big public company, these are publicly traded.

I would suspect, that if a company board, do the right thing in terms of decarbonisation, that the share price will rise.

So by following the accepted climate science, they are actually helping themselves.

If they don’t believe that, then aggressive shareholders from Norwich will punish them.

January 23, 2022 Posted by | Business, Finance, Transport/Travel | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Six Operators Award Joint Contract For Up To 504 Tram-Trains

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Railway Gazette.

These are the first three paragraphs.

A consortium of six German and Austrian transport bodies has awarded Stadler a framework contract for the supply and maintenance of up 504 tram-trains worth €4bn, the largest contract in the Swiss company’s history.

The VDV TramTrain framework contract was awarded on January 14 by Karlsruhe’s VBK and AVG, Saarbrücken’s Saarbahn Netz, Schiene Oberösterreich, the Land of Salzburg and Zweckverband Regional-Stadtbahn Neckar-Alb.

It includes a €1·7bn firm order for the supply of 246 Citylink tram-trains over 10 years from 2024, and the provision of 16 years of maintenance. There are options to order up to 258 more vehicles and to extend the maintenance to 32 years.

That will keep the factories running for a few years.

Note that all these Stadler Citylink tram-trains are similar to the Class 399 tram-trains, that run between Sheffield and Rotherham.

More Stadler Citylink tram-trains will start running in the next couple of years in Cardiff.

I can also envisage these tram-trains being used on the following projects in the UK, if they were to go ahead.


  1. Six are extensions to the Sheffield Supertram network.
  2. Three projects are extensions to the Manchester Metrolink.
  3. These are possible orders, that if the projects go ahead would likely have Stadler Citylink as the first choice of tram!
  4. All the tram-trains would be of a similar design.

How many other projects are under discussion in Europe?


Stadler have designed a tram-train that everybody likes and that generates orders.

I think Stadler will soon need to increase production of these Citylink tram-trains.

January 19, 2022 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | 3 Comments

How To Tell A Valid Year-End Forecast From A Vague, Unreliable Prediction

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article in The Times.

It is a thought-provoking must-read article.

December 24, 2021 Posted by | Business, World | , | 2 Comments

Northumberland Line: Railway ‘Could Create Economic Powerhouse’

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on the BBC.

This is the first paragraph.

An “east coast economic powerhouse” stretching from Edinburgh to Leeds could be created if the Northumberland Line rail scheme goes ahead, a public inquiry has been told.

The article also explains why a public inquiry is needed.

The article also says that about thirty objections have been raised.

November 9, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , | Leave a comment

Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Future Industries Inks Deal With Kingdom of Jordan For Green Hydrogen Study

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The West Australian.

I can’t read the contents without subscribing, but I assume the title says it all.

However, I have a few thoughts.

This Google Map shows the Kingdom of Jordan.

Jordan is outlined in red.

The map suggests how hydrogen could be produced.

  • I would assume that there is plenty of sun in Jordan and there appears to be plenty of space for solar panels.
  • What is the potential for wind energy in the desert?
  • It would appear to me, that there are two routes to export the hydrogen. By pipeline across Israel to the Mediterranean Sea or by tanker from a port on the Red Sea, which just creeps onto the map in the South-West corner.
  • Perhaps, a giant electrolyser and export terminal could be built near Aqaba, which is Jordan’s only seaport.

What I like about this plan, is that to the North-East and South-East of Jordan, lie the deserts of Iraq and Saudi Arabia. Could these in future be carpeted with solar panels, where the electricity is fed to Aqaba to create more green hydrogen?

Andrew Forrest is a busy man and seems to be organising a one man project to provide the world with green hydrogen.

He is the second richest Australian according to Wikipedia.

I wouldn’t be surprised to see some more hydrogen deals at COP26, where Andrew Forrest is involved.

November 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Hydrogen, World | , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Rolls-Royce To Re-Engine A Fleet Of Aircraft That Went Into Service In 1955 For $2.6 Billion

This sounds like good business if you can get it for Rolls-Royce.

It’s all described in this press release from Rolls-Royce, which is entitled Rolls-Royce North America Selected To Power The B-52 Commercial Engine Replacement Program.

These are the first two paragraphs.

Rolls-Royce North America has been selected to provide the powerplant for the B-52 Stratofortress under the Commercial Engine Replacement Program (CERP), further extending a long history of powering the United States Air Force.

The decision means the American-made Rolls-Royce F-130 engine will power the B-52 for the next 30 years. The Air Force made the announcement after a vigorous multi-year competition.


  1. It looks like the B-52s will stay in service until 2050.
  2. That is not bad for an aircraft that first flew in 1952, when I was five.

Wikipedia describes the deal like this.

The USAF intends to purchase 650 engines (608 direct replacements, 42 spare engines) for its fleet of 76 B-52H aircraft in a $2.6 billion deal.

I suspect the accountants are pleased at Rolls-Royce, as $2.6 million is good cash-flow.

  • The F-130 engine is a military variant of the BR725 engine, which was developed by Rolls-Royce Deutschland, which although it started as a joint-venture between Rolls-Royce and BMW, is now part of Rolls-Royce.
  • The engines will be built by Rolls-Royce North America in Indianapolis.

So I suspect development costs will not be too horrendous!


October 5, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , | Leave a comment

Twenty Years On!

On the eleventh of September in 2001, I had three jobs to do in London.

  • I had to visit my press cuttings client near Borough tube station to talk about something, which I have long forgotten.
  • I had to deliver a thousand Al Stewart CDs to his manager, as the singer was going on tour. The handover was to be performed in Waterloo station.
  • I was then going on to Soho to see a Chinese bookmaker, for whom I offered computer advice.

I parked my car on a meter and went to visit the first client at about two.

When I returned to the car, I needed to phone my wife; C about something. My phone was installed in my Discovery and it didn’t have any calling list, as I remembered numbers and just typed them in.

But for some reason I couldn’t remember her mobile phone number or the Office number at home, so I didn’t make the call.

This was very unlike me, as I’ve always had an excellent memory. Especially for numbers.

I did remember to deliver the parcel to Al Stewart’s manager and made my way to Soho, where I parked in an underground car park.

It was only when I got to the bookmakers did I realise what was going on in New York, as they had the televisions on and were watching the drama continuously.

I have a feeling, that I made my excuses and returned quickly to Suffolk.

By this time, my memory had returned and I was able to phone C.

But the worst terrorist attacks of recent memory were probably over.

Did my brain pick up the bad news or was it due to being close to the City of London, where there would have been a large amount of electronic communication to New York?

I have no idea.

But there is another incident, where I may have picked up tragic news through the ether.

On Sunday, the 31st August 1997, I woke up about five as I generally do and remarkably said to C. “Something tragic has happend! I think Tony Blair has been assassinated!”

She told me to stop being silly and I went downstairs to make a cup of tea and do some programming. It was then that I turned on the radio and heard that Princess Diana had died in the traffic accident in Paris.

September 11, 2021 Posted by | Business, Computing, News, World | , , , , | 3 Comments

Northern line Extension’s Opening Date Announced

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on Ian Visits.

Services will start on Monday, September 20th.

This sentence from Ian describes the service levels.

There will be an initial peak time service of six trains per hour on the extension, increasing to 12 trains per hour by mid-2022. There will be five trains per hour during off-peak times, doubling to 10 trains per hour next year.

I shall certainly try it when it opens, but I doubt I’ll be a regular user, as the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line can be difficult to access from Dalston. My best way is probably to use a 73 bus to Goodge Street station.

How Do I Use The Northern Line to Go Between The new Battersea Power Station Station and Bank or Moorgate Stations?

This map from shows, the track layout of the extension.


  1. The extension to Battersea links to the loop that turns trains that have come South through London on the Charing Cross Branch of the Northern Line, which runs North-Westerly from Kennington station.
  2. The Bank Branch of the Northern Line is the pair of tracks that runs North-Easterly from Kennington station.
  3. The Victorian builders of the Northern Line didn’t dig the tunnels and add the track, so that the loop could turn trains coming South through London on the Bank Branch of the Northern Line.

So passengers will have to change, with these possible routes.

  • For London Bridge, Bank, Moorgate and Old Street change at Kennington for the Bank Branch of the Northern Line.
  • For Piccadilly Circus, Oxford Circus and Paddington change at Waterloo for the Bakerloo Line.
  • For Canary Wharf, London Bridge, Westminster, Green Park, Bond Street, Baker Street and Paddington change at Waterloo for the Jubilee Line.
  • For Tower Hill, Monument, Westminster, Victoria and South Kensington change at Embankment for the Circle or District Lines.
  • For Holborn and Kings Cross St. Pancras and Harrods change at Leicester Square for the Piccadilly Line.
  • For Liverpool Street, Bank, St. Paul’s, Holborn, Bond Street and Marble Arch change at Tottenham Court Road for the Central Line.
  • For Canary Wharf, Liverpool Street, Moorgate, , Bond Street, Paddington and Heathrow change at Tottenham Court Road for Crossrail.


  1. These are a selection of the possible routes available.
  2. I have included some of the possible routes to London’s important transport, tourism and business hubs.
  3. I suspect many will change at Tottenham Court Road station for the City, as the station has been completely rebuilt for Crossrail with full step-free access.

Residents and visitors to the large amounts of new residential properties around Battersea Power Station and Nine Elms stations, will probably find their best routes fairly quickly, but there are a large number of routes to try to most important hubs.

Will Battersea Become An Area, Where Visitors To London Stay?


  • The Northern Line Extension has connections to to Central London’s important transport, tourism and business hubs.
  • The Thames Clippers give access to the Thames.
  • There appears to be several good hotels open in the area.
  • For Gatwick Airport, it’s Gatwick Express and a taxi from Victoria station, at around a tenner.
  • For Heathrow Airport, it’s an easy journey from Heathrow on Crossrail with a change at Tottenham Court Road.
  • For City Airport, it’s a direct journey on a Thames Clipper from Royal Wharf to Battersea Power Station pier.
  • For Eurostar, it’s probably a £25 taxi from St. Pancras, but if you know the Underground there are several one-change routes via Euston, Kennington, Leicester Square and Warren Street.

I feel that if they get the hotels and the hospitality right, that the area could become an important one for visitors to London.

September 4, 2021 Posted by | Business, Transport/Travel | , , , , | 2 Comments