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Chinese Wind Power Companies Target Global Markets

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China’s Goldwind Science & Technology Limited is one of the world’s biggest makers of wind turbines, a cornerstone of the booming clean power business, but is unknown outside its home country.

Goldwind aims to change that. In a Minnesota farmer’s cornfield, the company is erecting three 20-story-tall windmills in its first American project and hopes it will help to woo other buyers.

“There are a lot of leads and we are following them up,” said Kerry Zhou, Goldwind’s director of development. “We certainly expect that by 2011 we can get good results.”

China’s market for wind equipment is on track to overtake the United States this year as the world’s largest, spurred by a government campaign to promote renewable energy to clean up its battered environment and curb surging demand for foreign oil and gas.

Now the biggest Chinese manufacturers want to expand to the United States, Europe and other markets. Western suppliers could face new competition as low-priced Chinese rivals seek to profit from global efforts to limit climate change.

Chinese manufacturers could get a boost if officials at this week’s United Nations climate summit in Copenhagen, Denmark, agree on new measures to spread use of clean energy.

Beijing is promoting the industry as part of sweeping efforts to transform China into a creator of profitable technologies. Utilities have been told to step up clean energy spending even as the global crisis cuts into investment elsewhere.

“China is a major player and will dominate the future development of wind,” said Lars Andersen, president for China of Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S, the world’s biggest maker of wind turbines.

Chinese wind companies’ technology lags behind global leaders such as Vestas and General Electric Co. But their prices are up to 50 percent lower, which industry analysts say should make them competitive abroad.

“The performance-to-price ratio is quite attractive,” said Victoria Li, who follows the industry for Credit Suisse in Shanghai. “I think they could see strong growth from export revenue within two years.”

Last year, China accounted for 22 percent of new global wind capacity, while the United States was 29.6 percent, according to BTM Consult, a Danish research firm. This year, Credit Suisse says China will install up to one-third of new capacity.

The industry has gotten a boost from a flow of money through the Clean Development Mechanism. The U.N. programme allows industrialised economies to meet commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by paying developing countries to cut their own instead. China is the biggest recipient of CDM money.

Chinese demand is so huge that with almost no foreign sales, Goldwind and rivals Sinovel Wind Co. and Dongfang Electric Co. already rank among top global manufacturers.

Sinovel, Goldwind and Dongfang together made one of every eight wind turbines sold worldwide in 2008, according to BTM. Vestas led global sales with 19.8 percent and GE was second with 18.6 percent.

Beijing-based Sinovel made its first foreign sale last year, shipping 10 1.5-megawatt turbines to India, said a company spokeswoman, Liu Chang. Also in 2008, Goldwind sold six of its smaller 750-kilowatt units to Cuba.

In Minnesota, Goldwind is installing three 1.5-megawatt turbines on a farm in the town of Pipestone. Zhou said the company hopes the site will prove its turbines operate reliably under U.S. weather conditions.

Beijing’s tactics in promoting its suppliers have caused strains in trade ties at a time when other governments are scrambling to preserve jobs.

The European Union Chamber of Commerce in China complains that foreign producers have been shut out of bidding for major wind projects. Beijing also required that 70 percent of parts in turbines used in China be domestically made, a rule that was dropped in September only after major foreign producers had set up Chinese factories.

November’s announcement that a Chinese manufacturer, A-Power Energy Generation Systems, would build a Texas wind farm prompted an outcry from American critics that stimulus money the project might receive should not go to China. A-Power and its American partners said they would open a U.S. factory.

“We definitely are closely watching the controversy and obstacles for this current project to see what will happen,” said Goldwind’s Zhou.

Aggressive government goals issued in 2005 call for at least 15 percent of China’s power to come from wind, solar and hydropower by 2020. Officials say that target might be boosted to 20 percent.

In July, Beijing raised its wind power goal to 150 gigawatts of generating capacity by 2020, the equivalent of 300 standard coal-fired power plants, up from the 2005 plan’s target of 30 gigawatts.

But the industry faces technical hurdles to its growth.

Wind farm construction has raced ahead so fast that 25 percent have yet to be connected to the national power grid. Like the United States, China faces the problem that its windiest areas in the desert northwest and northern grasslands are far from populous cities, requiring expensive transmission lines.

Other companies are developing technology ranging from solar panels and fuel cells to more far-out systems that make power from garbage and used cooking oil.

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Customs Intercepts N6, 974m Worth PMS

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Barely two weeks after seizing a tank-full equivalent of Premium Motor Spirit (PMS), known locally as petrol, the  Seme Command of the Nigeria Customs Service has intercepted 1005 jerry cans of the same product.
The product, amounting to 3000 litres, is with Duty Paid Value (DPV) worth  of N6,974,750.00.
A statement signed by the Command’s Spokesman, DSC Hussaini Abdullahi, and made available to our correspondent in Lagos at the weekend, said the seizure was made during a routine check of the adjoining creeks, beaches, and flash points.
The statement quoted the Customs Area Controller, Comptroller Bello Mohammed Jibo, as saying that “as long as unrepentant and undesirable elements engage in acts of economic sabotage and smuggling, so shall officers and men remain a step ahead to counter their illicit trades”.
The statement further reads: “In continuation of our efforts to suppress smuggling of petroleum products within the nooks and crannies of the command, officers and men of the Seme Area Command on a routine patrol along the creeks within Seme and Badagry intercepted another large quantity of petroleum products in sacks.
“After successful evacuation of the said item to the command’s premises where examination was conducted, one thousand and five (1005)x 30 litres of jerry cans of petroleum products each, equivalent to thirty thousand, one hundred and fifty (30,150) litres  were discovered. The Duty Paid Value (DPV) is Six million, nine hundred and seventy four thousand, seven hundred and fifty naira (N6,974,750.00), only”.
While showcasing the seized products, Jibo commended the doggedness, patriotism, dedication and high level of professionalism exhibited by his men, noting that the new Land Cruiser patrol vehicles (Buffalo) recently donated to commands by the Management of the NCS has aided the operation of the command, as the vehicles enhance access to a wider circle.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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NASS, MDAs’ Non-Remittance Of Taxes Cost FIRS N5.8bn …NCAA Tops Defaulters With N2,984bn

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Non-remittance of tax deductions by the National Assembly, comprising the Senate and House of Representatives, as well as Federal Ministries, Departments, and Agencies has resulted in a loss of tax revenue amounting to N5.8 billion by the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS) in 2019.
Disclosing this in its 2019 Annual Report on non-compliance, internal control, and weakness issues in MDAs of the Federal Government of Nigeria, the Office of the Auditor General of the Federation said it is for the year ended December 31, 2019.
The MDAs, according to the Report, are the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development; Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa; Advertising Practitioners Council of Nigeria; Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority; Nigerian Communications Satellite Limited; Hussaini Adamu Federal Polytechnic, Jigawa State; Federal Medical Centre, Keffi, Nasarawa State; Department of Petroleum Resources; National Assembly Service Commission; and Nigerian Correctional Services.
It stated that between 2018 and 2019, the MDAs failed to either remit one per cent stamp duty, value added tax, withholding tax or Pay As You Earn tax deducted from awarded contracts, thereby contravening sections of the Financial Regulations and Treasury Circular issued on December 29, 2015.
The Report further stated that Paragraph 234(I) of the Financial Regulations states that “it is mandatory for accounting officers to ensure full compliance with the dual roles of making provision for the Value Added Tax and withholding tax due on supply and services contract and actual remittance of same”.
Specifically, it quoted Paragraph 235, saying, “Deduction of VAT, WHT, and PAYE shall be remitted to Federal Inland Revenue Service at the same time the payee who is the subject of deduction is paid”.
It continued that the Treasury circular Ref No. TRY/A12&B12/2015 and OAGF/CAD/VOL.II/390, dated December 29, 2015, states that “1% Stamp Duty chargeable on contract awards and the remittance be made to the relevant tax authority (Federal Inland Revenue Service)”.
The Report also stated: “The audit observed that the sum of N5,828,621,715.06 was the amount of taxes not remitted by 12 Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
“The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has the highest amount of N2,984,887,250.00, while Federal College of Freshwater Fisheries Technology, New Bussa has the least amount of N1,021,011.13”.

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NCS, Apapa Records N870,39bn Revenue Boost

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The Apapa Command of the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) recorded an impressive performance in its revenue generation and anti-smuggling campaign in 2021.
Disclosing this recently during a review of its activities in 2021, the Area Controller of the command, Comptroller Yusuf Malanta, said the sum of N870.38 billion of the N2.24 trillion announced recently by the Service was collected in Apapa Command in 2021.
Giving an insight into the command’s revenue profile, Malanta told newsmen that the  N870.38 billion collected by the command was 68 percent more than what was collected in 2020 which was N518.4 billion.
He stayed that the Command recorded 103 seizures worth N31 billion in 2021.
Malanta identified the seizures as 46.55kg of cocaine, which was concealed on board MV Karteria and MV Chayanee Naree laden with raw sugar; containers of foreign parboiled rice, tomato paste, secondhand clothes, unregistered pharmaceuticals such as captagon pills, tramadol, codeine syrup, etc.
“These were seizures made in accordance with the provisions of sections 46, 47, and 161 of the Customs and Excise Management Act (CEMA) CAP C45 LFN 2004. These seizures are condemned by a competent court of law and the suspects are still undergoing investigation and interrogation”, the Customs boss said.
He continued that 5.38 metric tons of non-oil commodities were exported through the command as against 1.3 million metric tons in 2020.
According to him, the Free on Board (FOB) value for the exported items rose from $340 million (N140 billion) in 2020 to $641 million (N264 billion) last year.

By: Nkpemenyie Mcdominic, Lagos

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