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Earth Finds

Crane Management Services Issues COVID-19 SOPs As Arcades Plot Comeback

Crane Management Services (CMS), a Ruparelia Group property managing agency, has issued Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs) to all tenants occupying all their buildings in Kampala.

The move by Crane Management Services has come at a time when commercial properties owners in Kampala are pressurizing the government to allow them to reopen their buildings for business after 3 months of COVID-19 lockdown.

Crane Management Services Managing Director, Rajiv Ruparelia, addressing a press conference on Friday said that they put at all their properties measures to prevent the spread of coronavirus like hand washing basins, temperature checks and ensure everyone wears a face mask.

”COVID-19 is not going to disappear soon. So, the question is how do we operate within its framework? And the measures we have put in place are quite simple; We have already ordered for many handwashing stations that will be placed at every entrance of the building,” Rajiv said.

“There will be automatic sprays that you put your hands under and the soap will come under. So, you will be able to ensure that very bacteria on your hands is killed and neutralized,” he added.

“What we will do is actually that we will control the entrance and exit points. We will set up checkpoints where you wash your hands, where temperature checks are done and we will deploy more security personnel, to ensure that everybody is checked before entering or exiting the building,” he explained.

Rajiv who emphasized that they will also ensure that everybody wears a face mask and observes the social distancing reiterated that will also control the number of people in the arcade at any one time.

He also noted that they will work hand in hand with their tenants to ensure that this is all observed and followed religiously because it is in their interest as landlords and tenants to start opening up the buildings so that the survival of the tenants can start.

“This way, tenants can start supporting their families again because they have been closed for the last four months and they have no other source of income, which is going to create a bigger threat to us and to the economy at large,” Rajiv said.

Uganda's 2nd Licensing Round Application Deadline Set For September

Among the few ongoing licensing rounds on the continent this year is Uganda's Second Licensing Round, announced by the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources last year. The deadline for submitting the application for qualification on the five blocks on offer in the Albertine Graben is September 30th, 2020.

The acreages on offer have become even more attractive since Tullow Oil announced the sale of its entire stake in the Lake Albert Development Project earlier this year to Total. The agreement puts an end to a long-standing capital gains tax dispute with Ugandan authorities, and opens up the way for the upstream development of up to 200,000 bopd by Total and CNOOC, along with an oil refinery and an oil export pipeline to through Tanzania.

As Total and CNOOC develop billions of barrels of proven oil reserves near Lake Albert, the government is committed to attracting more investment into the development of its hydrocarbons potential through the Second Licensing Round.

The Uganda National Oil Company is now also inviting interested entities to establish joint-venture partnership and participate in the licensing round in order to apply and secure an exploration license. All exploration and production companies with a proven track record of operating petroleum exploration licenses are eligible for such a joint-venture with UNOC.

The joint-venture proposal guidelines are accessible after sending a company profile and power of attorney to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The joint venture proposals will need to be submitted no later than 5pm local time on July 24th, 2020.

"Partnerships between National Oil Companies and International Oil Companies is a great opportunity for successful transfers of skills and technology. The call for such joint-venture partnerships in Uganda is a clear example of forward-thinking from the Uganda National Oil Company and the government. Uganda has a talented and trained youth who is eager to participate in the development of the country's hydrocarbons sector, and partnerships are the way forward to achieve that," declared Nj Ayuk, Executive Chairman at the African Energy Chamber.

The African Energy Chamber encourages all eligible exploration and production companies in Africa and abroad to participate in the round and form joint-ventures with the Uganda National Oil Company. This is a proven way to both develop local content by bringing in key expertise and capital into Uganda but also to efficiently enter a proven hydrocarbons province by directly partnering with the national oil company.

5G’s Impact On Global GDP Over $7.5trn

Huawei recently held its 5G+, Better World Summit, where various operators and industry partners shared their experiences of how 5G applications can drive significant business and industry efficiency.

"5G development has entered a new phase," said Huawei Carrier CMO Bob Cai.

"With over 80 5G networks commercially available worldwide, determining how to leverage 5G to create more value is currently a topic of great interest within the industry.”

“Currently, 5G for business is still more of a branding concept, and more solid work needs to be done. To build a positive business cycle, work should be done in four aspects: technology, ecosystem, standards, and business model.”

5G will drive future business

Dimitris Mavrakis, research director of ABI research, highlighted that new ‘G’ technologies have historically offered major benefits to consumers.

5G, however, is likely to be most beneficial to the commercial sector.

By 2030, Mavrakis predicted that 5G’s impact on the global GDP will be over $7.5 trillion – compared to the $5.1 trillion 4G contributed in 2019.

“We expect that 5G will transform businesses in the same way 4G transformed consumers,” said Mavrakis.

However, he cautioned that it could take several years for the manufacturing world to adopt technology.

Mavrakis also implored governments to provide opportunities for 5G to flourish within their countries and highlighted ways that this is already being done, such as in the provisioning of free 5G spectrum and the reduction in taxation of carriers.

Several Huawei partners also highlighted the different industries that are already getting great benefits out of 5G.

Ports of trade

Xu Mengqiang, General Manager of China Mobile Ningbo, highlighted that several 5G implementations have resulted in substantial benefits to a Ningbo port.

These include 5G-powered self-driving container trucks, remote-controlled cranes, and backhaul HD video streaming - which shows key cranes in real-time.

The Ningbo port envisions that efficiency will be increased by over 260% while labour costs will be cut by over 70% as a result of new 5G-powered technologies.

Agriculture

Dr Thomas Anken is the head of the Digital Production Federal Department of Economic Affairs Education and Research in Switzerland.

Anken highlighted that 5G is enabling a variety of smart farming methods that have a significant impact on the yields of farms in the country.

Examples include:

  • Multispectral imaging of wheat fields by drones resulting in a 10% decrease in fertiliser usage.
  • Tractors with an automated hoe that recognises plants and eliminates the weeds around them.
  • The swift delivery of important intelligence to the cloud which ensures that automated robots receive data to update their machine learning capabilities, while farmers also receive insights into how they can optimise their processes.

Smart factories

Guo Lihong, Deputy Director of the Engineering Equipment Department of Hunan Valin Xiangtan Iron and Steel, explained that 5G is expected to increase the factory’s efficiency by 30% while reducing costs by the same margin.

5G is used with remote-controlled cranes and slag-adding arms to streamline the factory’s processes, and these cranes have improved production efficiency by 33%.

The ability for production line surveyors to watch real-time production through HD video has also optimised these workers’ jobs.

In total, the factory plans to build 100 5G macro sites as well as three management centres to continue to reap the benefits of 5G.

Hospitals

Hospitals in the Henan province have implemented a variety of impressive 5G-powered functionalities to improve their response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

These systems were installed within 82 hours and involved the building of remote systems for 147 hospitals in 18 cities within the province.

Features that were available to these hospitals included:

  • Remote surgery guidance.
  • Robots through which doctors can talk to patients.
  • Systems in ambulances which support first response teams – in an ambulance moving at 80km/h, backhaul speed is 50MB/s.

Equatorial Guinea Adopts New Petroleum Regulation

The Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons (MMH) of the Republic of Equatorial Guinea has announced the adoption of the new Regulation of Petroleum Operations, Regulation No. 2/2020 of June 15th, 2020.

The new Regulation modernizes Equatorial Guinea's existing regulatory framework and is intended to maintain the country's attractiveness for foreign investors. It notably covers key matters such as the extension of the productive life of mature fields though mechanisms allowing operators to generate greater value from these assets; the exploration of marginal and onshore fields along with investments in deep and ultra deep water acreages; the monetization of gas and the development of the petrochemicals industry, along with further integration of the national workforce and local companies across the value-chain.

"This new Regulation gives an opportunity to the Republic of Equatorial Guinea to continue being a world reference in the hydrocarbons sector. To maintain our position, we must be prepared, with updated norms and policies, to respond to the great challenge that the recovery of commodity prices, the creation of employment and the execution of projects after the Covid-19 pandemic will pose for the sector," declared H.E. Gabriel Mbaga Obiang Lima, Minister of Mines and Hydrocarbons.

"It is for this reason that the Ministry of Mines and Hydrocarbons, in its desire to continue betting on the growth and economic diversification of the country, has decided to update the regulations to answer all the questions of the industry, as well as create a space of trust with all the actors in the country's hydrocarbon sector," he added.

The new Regulation is seen as a pillar of Equatorial Guinea's recovery strategy post Covid-19, and clarifies several aspects of petroleum operations in the country. It also comes as Equatorial Guinea pushes for additional local participation across the value-chain, and is developing several gas monetization and downstream projects. The Regulation notably stipulates that refining, petrochemicals and commercialization activities can be realized under a specific license granted by the MMH (Article 93) on the basis of technical and financial capabilities notably.

It also strictly prohibits gas flaring, except under very specific circumstances, and stipulates that Field Development and Production Plans must always be designed in such a way as to allow the use, conservation or commercial exploitation of associated gas (Article 149).

It also clarifies new rules and frameworks on exploration and production from mature and marginal fields, defining the former as a field that has entered into decline and is no longer economically viable, and the former as a field that has produced 90% of its proven hydrocarbons reserves (Article 41). Such fields will benefit from 10-year contracts, which can be renewed every five years after study and assessment by the MMH.

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