Owens Corning selects Constellation to develop 2.6-megawatt solar project for Delmar, N.Y., facility

Owens Corning and Constellation today announced the development of a 2.6-megawatt solar generation project that will supply clean energy to the company’s thermal and acoustical insulation plant in Delmar, N.Y. Scheduled for completion in late 2013, the solar project is designed to supply more than 6 percent of the plant’s annual electricity needs and will support Owens Corning’s 2020 Environmental Footprint Goals for energy use and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. “The Delmar Plant is committed to environmental sustainability and advancing both our plant and Owens Corning toward our 2020 sustainability goals,” says John Becker, Delmar plant leader for Owens Corning. “In addition, this project is part of our continuing efforts to implement innovative programs that improve and protect New York State’s environment, and have a positive impact on the state’s economy.” Constellation will finance, build, own and maintain the system. Electricity generated by the system will be purchased by Owens Corning under a 20-year power purchase agreement with Constellation.


Energy efficient materials market: New industry research report is now available

A recently added market report by Transparency Market Research on “Energy Efficient Materials Market—Global Industry Size, Share, Trends, Analysis And Forecasts 2012-2018” is now available. Energy efficient materials are largely used for thermal insulation of buildings as a result of which, demand for these materials is on the rise. Thermal insulation is the most efficient and effective way to improve the energy utilization and efficiency in the building. This method will preserve the indoor heat during winter while keeping the building cool from inside in summers thus improving comfort and saving energy. Some important factors which are necessary for energy saving potential include thermal insulation, efficient lighting system, insulation of windows etc. The most common energy efficient material is fiber glass which is largely used in constructing energy efficient windows. Energy efficient materials industry has a huge market potential in developed countries of America and Europe however, this technology is expected to catch momentum in developing markets of Asia Pacific in near future owing to the increasing adoption of the concept of energy efficient homes. Energy efficient materials market is also driven by increasing consumer demand for operating various appliances and increasing standard of living. In America about 38 percent of total energy consumption is used for heating and cooling purpose in buildings while China accounts for 47.2 percent of total energy consumption.


US Silica exceeds sustainability targets in workplace safety, community investment and environmental protection

U.S. Silica exceeded all of its 2012 Sustainability Targets including those for workplace safety, community investment and environmental protection. The company released its third annual Sustainability Report, Connected, which provides a summary of the company’s goals and accomplishments over the past year. Under the guidance of the company’s Sustainability Council, the 2017 Bold Goals and Annual Targets are focused on three distinct areas: People, Planet and Prosperity. Building off of the company’s last two reports, Connected reflects U.S. Silica’s commitment to employees, neighbors, shareholders and the natural environment. It also underscores U.S. Silica’s leadership in sustainability efforts, ranging from tree plantings and wildlife preservation initiatives to financial and in-kind support for local charities and outreach groups.


EU tariffs aim to prevent Chinese ceramics dumping

(Reuters News) From whitewares to solar panels, ceramic products imported from China are about to become much more expensive for European consumers after the European Commission agreed to impose punitive duties on Chinese ceramic imports to counter what it says is dumping at artificially low prices. Imported Chinese whitewares are now subject to tariffs of between 13.1 and 36.1 percent, according to the EU’s official journal. The European Commission says ceramic tableware and kitchenware imports from China totaled €728 million in 2011. After an investigation of alleged dumping by Chinese producers of €21 billion of solar panels and components, the commission also imposed punitive tariffs of 47 percent on Chinese solar goods and said it is also ready to launch an investigation into Chinese imports of mobile telecom equipment.


NSL Analytical is testing out more space

Growth in industrial markets, more regulations and a shortage of skilled metallurgists all mean the same to NSL Analytical Services Inc.: more business. The independent commercial testing company recently invested more than $1.6 million to buy and renovate a new metallurgical laboratory in Warrensville Heights, Ohio, thus expanding that component of its business. At 11,500 square feet, the new building offers more than double the space of its old metallurgical lab, with more than $560,000 of that investment going to new microscopes, testing machines and other equipment. NSL Analytical, made up of a chemical testing lab and a metallurgical lab, has embarked on an aggressive growth plan in recent years, doubling its revenues and adding 17 employees since 2007, says company president Larry Somrack. He declined to share the company’s annual revenues, but cited the hiring increase as a sign of success. NSL is setting itself up to double its revenue again during the next three years, and Somrack says he plans to hire another 19 employees in the next three to five years. NSL currently has 66 employees. Somrack thinks opportunities exist to support that growth. A rise in regulations in recent years has led to a greater need for outside testing. Also, chief metallurgist Kevin Holland says in an email that he’s seen growth in the oil and gas industry and in manufacturing since the end of the recession.


CoorsTek chief spearheads African ‘impact investing’ fund

After spending years supporting charitable work in Africa, John Coors, chief executive of CoorsTek, the US ceramics manufacturing giant, reached the conclusion that philanthropy was not the answer to fostering economic development. A defining moment came in rural western Kenya about two years ago, when he and a team of doctors and dentists had to turn away lines of people seeking medical help at an orphanage they supported because they could not meet the demand. High quality global journalism requires investment. The experience was the catalyst for Mr Coors to come up with an alternative view, shifting from a charitable approach to capitalism. The result is an initiative that aims to attract investment from influential, wealthy families into a private equity-type fund that has an initial target of raising $300m to invest in sub-Saharan Africa. The One Thousand & One Voices (1K1V) project was launched at the World Economic Forum on Africa in Cape Town with the concept that money would be put to better use if it was invested in growing African businesses and boosting job creation.


3M reports first-quarter results; company posts sales of $7.6B

3M reports first-quarter earnings of $1.61 per share, an increase of 1.3 percent versus the first quarter of 2012. Sales rose 2.0 percent year-on-year to $7.6 billion, an all-time first-quarter record. Organic local-currency sales grew 2.1 percent and acquisitions added 1.7 percent to sales. Currency impacts reduced sales by 1.8 percent year-on-year. Operating income was $1.6 billion and operating income margins for the quarter were 21.6 percent. First-quarter net income was $1.1 billion and free cash flow was $670 million. “We achieved record first-quarter sales and solid operating margins in the face of a low-growth economic environment and the strong U.S. dollar,” said Inge G. Thulin, 3M chair, president and chief executive officer. “At the same time, we further strengthened the company through increased investments in innovation, commercialization and manufacturing.” The company paid $440 million in cash dividends to shareholders and repurchased $805 million of its own shares during the quarter.