Aiming to raise awareness of the potential of solar energy in transportation, Solar Impulse 2-a solar-powered plane, landed in Seville, Spain, yesterday after a 71-hour flight across the Atlantic ocean.
Solar impulse 2
The solar plane has an absolutely massive wingspan—roughly the same as a 747 jumbo jet’s—to accommodate all the solar cells that power its myriad engines, but unlike a boeing 747, its cabin just sits two passengers which are the pilots. As a result, the plane may be susceptible to turbulence, consequently the team had to wait for ideal weather conditions to cross the ocean.
Solar impulse 2 landing in Tulsa
The worldwide flight expedition, which started in Abu Dhabi in 2015 (but was delayed in Hawaii for few months after some fuel cells broke), is led by Andre Borschberg, a Swiss businessman and pilot, and Bertrand Piccard, the pilot who completed the first non-stop balloon flight around the world in 1999. The team, aiming to show what’s possible with solar power, had planned to land in Paris, to mimic Charles Lindbergh’s first flight across the Atlantic in 1927, but because of weather patterns, it had to settle for the southern Spanish town.
The zero-emission plane will be making its next stop somewhere in Greece or Egypt—depending on the weather—before it returns to Abu Dhabi.
Dr Ibe Kwachikwu: minister for state on petroleum-Nigeria
Meanwhile, the Federal Government of Nigeria in its continued campaign against corruption; yesterday after taking over the Bruce brother’s Silverbird group (an erstwhile broadcast and entertainment company), owing monies running into about N11bn, Minister of State for Petreleum Resources Dr Ibe Kachikwu yesterday said Nigeria would end fuel importation by 2019. He said it requires $50billion dollars to fill the infrastructural gap in the industry and get it functioning optimally.
He said by 2019, Nigeria expects to become a net exporter of refined products, adding that an investment drive is ongoing to meet the infrastructure requirement.
Dr Kachikwu speaking with newsmen.
Kachukwu was a guest speaker at the 10th Annual Business Law Conference of the Nigerian Bar Association Section on Business Law (NBA-SBL) in Abuja, with the theme: Law reform and economic development.
Speaking on the sub-theme: Future prospects for the oil and gas industry, the minister said the refineries are currently working at about 40-50 per cent capacity.
He said the aim is to get them working at 90 per cent capacity or more and build the needed infrastructure as investors come in.
On why refineries are working at low capacity, he said: “How does a refineries work if the pipelines supplying them are out most of the year and so they can’t supply crude? You can’t refine an empty space.
“How does it work when you don’t do your turnaround maintenance or if when monies are budgeted for them they are diverted? How does it work if your contracting process is so long that you never meet the turnaround days you’re supposed to? How does it work when you send the wrong set of people with the wrong set of skills to what should have been very important portfolios in the establishment?” he said. The minister said engagements with militants in the Niger Delta has been successful, resulting in a ceaseful and rise in crude production. He said he visited the creeks and met with the local chiefs with a view to finding a short, medium and long term solution to the crisis. Kachukwu praised President Muhammadu Buhari for not employing force in solving the problem, adding that when he visited the creeks, the militants “never fired a gun” while he was there.
The minister said oil production has picked up as the Niger Delta crisis is being resolved.
According to him, 1.89million barrels was produced as at Wednesday. He said he expects it to hit 2.3million barrels by next month.
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