Published: Sunday 15 September 1996

at all costs: The Mathura refinery seems to be sparing no cost for sprucing up its image on the green front. It has invested Rs 18,620 million to minimise polluting emissions. For this purpose, it is going to install a catalytic reforming unit at a cost of Rs 5,450 million, which will help eliminate the use of lead in petrol. Rs 300 million will be invested for substituting compressed natural gas in the boilers and furnaces in the refinery within next few months, to bring down the sulphur dioxide emission level.

flesh to fertiliser: A tie-up between the Calcutta Municipal Corporation (CMC) and Greentech Farms and Agro Pvt Ltd will give a fresh lease of life to tanneries in and around Calcutta. The joint venture is all set to produce organic manure from 'leather fleshing', a hazardous waste from more than 500 tanneries.The plant will have a capacity to manufacture 60 tonnes (t) of organic manure a day. The CMC will supply 50 t of leather fleshing every day to Greentech, which will initially invest Rs 15 million in the venture.

net calling: Long-distance calls will become cheaper thanks to a new software programme launched by the US-based Intel Corporation. The programme would help users make long-distance calls through the Internet. The cost of such calls would add up to only as much as a local connection to the global computer network, which makes computer telephony a profitable venture. The software is based on a standard, which allows users to talk to each other even if they possess different computers and phone software. The standard is used by nearly 120 companies including Microsoft Corp.

got you: Early detection of HIV, the AIDS virus, is crucial for checking further spread of the disease. Japanese researchers from Nippon Roche KK, Olympus Optical Company and Tosoh Corp have developed a device that comes in handy for this purpose. It detects HIV through the examination of genes. The detector can test up to 100 blood samples in a half-day shift. Normally, the virus could be detected only after six to eight weeks following the onset of AIDS. But researchers said the US $7.4 million-device could detect it earlier and more accurately.

coastal current: The British coast would soon be dotted by windmills, courtesy PowerGen, a power generating group in the UK. The group is planning to build the world's largest offshore wind farm on Scroby Sands, a sandbank near Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. The farm would generate an estimated 37.5 MW that could meet the daily electricity needs of a town of 56,000 people. It will consist of 25 large wind turbines, each 190 ft tall, capable of generating 1.5 MW of electricity. The US $54.2 million project is being jointly funded by Vestas, a Danish company.

on the green track: Environment seems to be a priority with the Orissa-based Rourkela Steel Plant which is spending around Rs 1,300 million on pollution control measures. The plant has already completed 11 environmental schemes, according to an assess-ment made by the National Environmental Engineering Research Institute, Nagpur. By the end of the year, the plant will complete the phasing out of all open-hearth furnaces.

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