Published: Wednesday 15 October 1997

saving species: UK-based Glaxo Wellcome will help save the endangered medicinal Leech from extinction. The blood sucking creature is used by doctors to prevent blood clotting. The pharmaceutical company is the latest to sign up for the UK's government's initiative to find private sector companies toprotect 116 endangered species. A company official said, "Species with a medical link would clearlybe of interest to us, and the Leech clearly falls into that category." The group will become the official sponsor of the Leech for US $29,340 a year, which would help to identify where the creature lives and what conditions it needs to flourish.

car venture: The Indian government has approved Japan's Toyota Motor Corp's joint venture with Kirloskar Group to build utility vehicles at an assembly plant in Bangalore. The joint venture is worth around Rs 6 billion. The venture will be known as Toyota Kirloskar Motor Co where the Japanese company will put up 74 per cent of the financing. The company plans to make a 10-seat utility vehicle.

project contenders: Germany's Siemens and France's Alcatel Alsthom are the likely contenders to take over the contract for Malaysia's US $5-billion Bakun dam project from the Swedish-Swiss engineering giant Asea Brown Boveri. The project has been scheduled to start commercial operations by the year 2003. The plant has a power production capacity that could exceed 2,400 MW. As one of the largest infrastructure projects in south-east Asia, the project will clear about 69,000 ha of forest land.

port terminal: UK-based BG PLC has proposed to build a port terminal to import liquefied natural gas (LNG) into India. The US $140 million project will include building processing facilities to turn the LNG back into vapour and storage tanks and a pipeline for distribution. The port terminal will be in Gujarat and will import about 2.5 million tonne of LNG a year. The port will cost about US $40 million, the gas processing plant about US $270 million and a pipeline to Hazira, also in Gujarat, about US $90 million, government officials said.

smoke suckers: Kankyo, a Japanese company, has developed an office-use air purifier which sucks in smoke from within a radius of two metre. Built into a table, the system runs on regular electrical power. The air purifier offers smokers a convenient place to smoke, thus saving the cost of setting up a separate smoking room. The device uses an electronic filter made of activated carbon sandwiched between grass-wool fabric. The table product is more effective than a ceiling-mounted type when used in offices with tall ceilings, a company spokesperson said.

tractor pact: The Eicher group has entered into a technical collaboration with Finland-based Sisu Tractors Inc. to develop higher Horse Power (HP) tractors and engines. As per the agreement, Sisu will provide technical and production assistance to the proposed plant. It will also train the personnel for manufacture of higher tractors and engines. The proposed project plant will be located at Mandideep near Bhopal and will produce 12,000 tractors per annum. An expansion plan of Rs 100 crore is under implementation at various stages by the group.

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