The Anonymous Widower

Giant Solar Farm Project In Doubt After Disagreement Between Mike Cannon-Brookes And Andrew Forrest

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

This is the sub-heading.

Australian billionaires had backed $30bn Sun Cable venture designed to help power Darwin, Indonesia and Singapore but the company has gone into voluntary administration.

It does look like the administrators will be able to continue the project and look for more funding.

Qatar must be in the frame, as this link will probably cut some of their gas sales.

I wrote about this monster project in Sun Cable’s Australia-Asia PowerLink.

I wonder if this administration will have any effects on the prospects of the other giant intercontinental interconnectors?

  1. EuroAfrica Interconnector – See The EuroAfrica Interconnector
  2. EuroAsia Interconnector – See The EuroAsia Interconnector
  3. Morroco-UK Power Project – See Moroccan Solar-Plus-Wind To Be Linked To GB In ‘Ground-Breaking’ Xlinks Project
  4. TransPacific Interconnector – See Chile Wants To Export Solar Energy To Asia Via 15,000km Submarine Cable

The economics will decide. But I do think, the last one could be a bit ambitious.

January 12, 2023 Posted by | Energy, Energy Storage | , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

€1m Qatar Corruption Scandal Rocks European Parliament

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

This is the sub-heading.

A senior MEP and three officials have been charged with corruption, money laundering and participating in a criminal organisation.

As Cilla would have said “Surprise Surprise!”

December 13, 2022 Posted by | World | , , , , | 4 Comments

What A Depressing Opening Game For A World Cup!

I’m sure that the game would be more exciting if Hartlepool and Forfar had been asked to put on an exhibition match.

I think the score was three-nil to Ecuador, as like the BBC panel, I can’t see any fault with the goal that was disallowed by VAR. But then like the BBC panel, I haven’t accepted any brown envelopes!

November 20, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

What Do You Call A Man From Qatar With Catarrh?

November 16, 2022 Posted by | Health, World | | 2 Comments

Qatar World Cup: It Is Hard To Know What Is Real At An Ever Creepier Tournament

The title of this post, is the same as that of this article on The Times, which has been written by Owen Slot, who is Chief Sports Writer of The Times.

This is the sub-heading to the article.

It is a disgrace that, less than a month before kick-off, we still don’t know how many workers died in the construction of the facilities

I agree with Owen Slot.

The article also details what I consider to be other dubious practices.

Fans from around the world have been recruited as a PR army to report anything derogatory to Qatar.

This is a paragraph from the report.

This is the part in the agreement where these recruits are obliged, effectively, to spy on their fellow fans: “You agree to report any offensive, degrading or abusive comments to the SC and, if possible, to take a screenshot of those comments and then promptly delete them.”

The SC is The Qatar Supreme Committee for Delivery and Legacy.

I can see this and Qatar’s views on human rights, homosexuality and alcohol, leading to serious trouble.

On my several trips abroad to support football teams, there has general been good humour and manners between the two groups of fans.

One trip, that fans on the way out might go terribly badly was England’s trip to Belarus in October 2008.

Everything went well because everyone wanted a good time and gestures on both sides diffused tensions.

  • The good people of Minsk helped visiting fans navigate the city.
  • A group of us were made very welcome in their excellent War Museum.
  • British fans laid a St. George’s Cross wreath on the War Memorial, which was much appreciated.
  • The Belarussian police were passing local kids into the England fans to get their programmes signed.
  • The hotel were excellent with my gluten-free food, after I gave them instructions in Russian.
  • Several locals engaged me in conversation to test their English.

I also wrote a piece for the East Anglian Daily Times about the trip.  It is in two parts.

Belarus to me indicates how the good people of a country, with help from a sensible police, can still organise things in a friendly manner.

November 5, 2022 Posted by | Sport | , , , | Leave a comment

Is Qatar 2022 Seriously Under Threat?

For various reasons, I’m not in favour of holding the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

I am not alone and summed up Greg Dyke’s views in Greg Dyke On Qatar 2022, where I came to this conclusion.

I think the whole tournament is already dead-in-the-water and that it probably won’t take place in Qatar. If it does, it will be in fully-enclosed air-conditioned stadia, with virtually no spectators and absolutely no real fans or atmosphere.

The air-conditioned stadia will probably use masses of electricity generated in fossil fuel power stations.

This article on the BBC is entitled Christian Eriksen: Denmark Midfielder Suffered Cardiac Arrest, Says Team Doctor.

Was Eriksen’s cardiac arrest caused by the heat in Copenhagen?

We shall probably not know until the full investigation has been completed.

Now put yourself in the position of an owner of a Premier League or other important football club.

Would you allow your star player to go and play in the heat of Qatar without a full investigation into what happened with Christian Eriksen?

I suspect many owners would tell Qatar and FIFA, where they could stick their World Cup.

They just can’t afford to risk their assets!

 

 

June 14, 2021 Posted by | Sport | , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Doha’s Disgrace

The World Athletics Championships in Doha is being ruined by the lack of crowds.

It should also be remembered that this may be partly due to the political situation between Qatar and its neighbours, which mean there are no flights, to allow those in the Emirates to come over to watch the action.

Those who decided to give Doha these championships, should hang their heads in shame and open their affairs to Fraud Squads around the world.

Will we be seeing empty stadiums at the ridiculous World Cup in Qatar?

Some of the athletes seem to have been affected by the heat and withdrawn from events, so will we see some footballers decide not to go to the World Cup?

September 30, 2019 Posted by | Sport | , | 4 Comments

First Qatar Airways Flight From Doha Lands In Cardiff

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

The story is also reported in the Business section of The Times under a title of Direction Of Travel Brings Qatar Airways To Cardiff Airport.

This is the first paragraph from the latter article.

Trade winds from the Middle East have brought a whiff of what a successful Brexit might look like: a 300-seat, state-of-the-art Qatar Airways jetliner carrying a full business-class cabin and several tonnes of freight that has travelled from the 35C of Persian Gulf heat to 10C of Welsh drizzle.

To some it might seem to be a surprising new route.

As a former private pilot, who knew many of the UK’s airports pretty well, Cardiff Airport has many advantages.

  • It has a long runway.
  • It is not very busy.
  • Air traffic control and other services are top class.
  • It has a terminal capable of handling a large number of planes.
  • British Airways have a large maintenance centre at the Airport.
  • Ground transport to Cardiff includes buses and a railway station at Rhoose Cardiff International Airport station.

It could be an airport, that just needs more airlines and passengers to take advantage of its facilities.

The two articles suggest various reasons, why Qatar are going to run a service, that will be daily by July.

  • It gives Cardiff a direct link to the world’s fastest growing hub airport at Doha.
  • Qatar have lots of investments all over the UK.
  • Doha gives direct access flights to to Australia, China, India, Japan, Korea and New Zealand, to give six examples.
  • Cardiff Airport wants to develop as a warehousing hub and Qatar Airways is big in freight.
  • The export market for Welsh food and other perishables could be transformed.
  • The Times reminds us there are nine million sheep in Wales.

The Times also has this memorable phrase.

Quite why the flights have been launched has as much to do with Welsh lamb as it does with not being Bristol.

But I think there are other reasons.

New Routes For Qatar Airways To North America

Look at Qatar Airways routes to North America.

  • They serve mostly Eastern seaboard destinations from Doha.
  • Chicago and Los Angeles are also served from Doha, but they are long flights of over sixteen hours.
  • San Francisco, Seattle and Vancouver are not served.

So would Cardiff with its top-class facilities make an excellent hub for Qatar Airways?

Would a pos-Brexit UK be free to allow Qatar Airways to run services from Cardiff to selected destinations in North America?

Remember, it’s also about freight!

Improved Rail Access

This Google Map shows the Airport.

Note.

  1. Rhoose Cardiff International station is South of the Airport at the bottom of the map.
  2. The main terminal is on the North side of the Airport.
  3. The Vale of Glamorgan Line through the station and then skirts past the Eastern end of the runway on its way to Cardiff.
  4. The Vale of Glamorgan Line is double-track with sections of single-track.
  5. The Vale of Glamorgan Line was scheduled to be electrified.

It would appear that providing better passenger and freight access would not be the most challenging of problems, if they were to become needed in the future.

Improved Passenger Services

The current service at Rhoose Cardiff International station is as follows.

  • An hourly service to Bridgend.
  • An hourly service to Cardiff Central, Cardiff Queen Street and Aberdare.
  • On Sundays the service is only two-hourly.

The service needs to be improved.

It would be possible to run a service from Cardiff to Swansea along the Vale of Glamorgan Line.

  • The service would call at Rhoose Cardiff International station.
  • The service could be run by trains designed for an airport service.
  • The service would connect to all the Cardiff Valley Lines at Cardiff Central station.
  • The service could be extended at the Western end to Llanelli and Fishguard.
  • The service could be extended at the Eastern end to Newport, Bristol Parkway and Bristol Temple Meads.

If bi-mode or diesel trains were to be used no new infrastructure would be needed.

Two trains per hour are needed and may be possible, but it might be necessary to find a solution to the two single-trac sections of line.

Freight Services

After reading, the two articles, I’m convinced that both Cardiff Airport and Qatar Airways are backing the use of the airport as a freight hub.

But all freight would have to leave the airport by truck, as there is no rail connection.

Because of the closeness of the Vale of Glamorgan Line to the airport, it would be possible to create a high-quality cargo-handling facility, with rail access.

In The Go-Anywhere Express Parcel And Pallet Carrier (HSPT), I proposed using four-car Class 321 trains as parcel and pallet carriers.

  • These could serve anywhere in the UK from Cardiff Airport.
  • If from the Airport to Cardiff were to be electrified, electric freight could go fast to London and the South East.
  • Cardiff could be used as an alternative freight hub,, for an over-crowded Heathrow.

I shall be interested to see how Cardiff Airport develops a cargo terminal..

Conclusion

Qatar Airways may have more money than Croesus, but they seem to be spending it wisely, in developing a route to Cardiff.

 

 

 

 

May 3, 2018 Posted by | Transport/Travel | , , , , , | Leave a comment

Grenfell Tower Gas Pipes Left Exposed, Despite Fire Safety Expert’s Orders

The title of this post is that of an article in the Guardian.

Read the article and you’ll see the standard of the work done on the gas system in the tower by National Grid.

This is a paragraph.

In March, three months before the blaze, residents told the London fire brigade (LFB) that people living in the 24-storey tower were so scared by the pipes “that they are having a panic attack”.

There is a lot more like that.

Interestingly, Cadent Gas; the division of National Grid that did the work was spun off and is now owned partly by the Qatari government.

Agas system, when it is installed by nincompoops is a disaster waiting to happen.

Workmanship of the quality shown in the pictiures would have been rejected by the inspectors on the chemical plants, I worked on in the 1960s, so why when the consultant rejected the installation, was action not taken by Cadent?

The gas may not have caused the Grenfell House fire, but I wonder if the unprotected gas pipe fractured in the heat of the fire and then just added to the inferno.

 

July 6, 2017 Posted by | World | , , , | 3 Comments

When Will We Ever Learn?

One of our mistakes in 2008 was to rescue banks, rather than let them go bust! Retail customers up to the savings limit should be compensated, but for everything else, that’s business!

This article on the BBC is entitled Santander Rescues Rival Banco Popular From Collapse.

One of the things, I was told by my friend, who rose to be Business Banking Director of a major Clearing Bank, was to never bank with a bank, that was headquartered and/or owned outside the UK. I would change that to England after Royal Bank of UK Taxpayers and Bank of Scotland.

So who will eventually pay for Santander’s purchase?

Incidentally, with Qatar’s problems at the moment and their stake in Barclays, I personally will be staying clear of that bank.

June 8, 2017 Posted by | Finance, World | , , , | Leave a comment