Netherlands Begins NEREUS Study
(March 1996) – At the instigation of ROMAWA, a small company led a former Royal Netherlands Navy engineering specialist, the Netherlands government and several large industrial companies have begun a study of a nine megawatt nuclear gas turbine designed for heat and/or power production, district heating and ship propulsion.
Capt. Gulian Crommelin RNN(Ret.), ROMAWA’s founder said “This is an example of innovative thinking which is a challenge to the young, who are much more aware for the future than the generation which is in power at the moment. This generation I often call “the flower power generation”, the generation of wealth, soft thinking and acting, the generation with a lack of courage and initiative, the generation of more of the same.”
Florida Rejects Orimulsion
(April 23 1996) The Power Plant Siting Commission, consisting of the governor and his cabinet, voted 4-3 to reject the application of Florida Power and Light to convert two 800 megawatt oil burning power plants to Orimulsion, a patented blend of 70 percent tar and 30 percent water. FP&L has spent five years planning for the conversion.
Governor Chiles, who voted against the proposal, said “I’m not sure that Florida should rush to be the first,” in the United States to burn the relatively new fuel from Venezuela.
Going into the hearing, the FP&L had gained the approval of the state Department of Environmental Protection and the support of several local, state and federal agencies. According to the company, the conversion to the lower cost fuel and the increased productivity that it would enable for the currently under used plants would have saved its ratepayers $4.4 billion over a 20 year period.
Oil Majors Report Improved Profits
(April 22, 1996) All seven of the major oil companies in the United States reported sharply higher first quarter profits, exceeding the expectations of securities analysts. Compared to the results of the first quarter of 1995, improvement ranged from a high of 39 percent at Amoco to a low of 14 percent at Exxon. Net profits for the companies ranged from a low of $370 million for Arco to a high of nearly $1.9 billion for Exxon. Total profits for the seven companies was $5.2 billion dollars for the first quarter of 1996.
The primary driver in this exceptional performance was higher oil and gas prices caused by a frigid winter in many of the principle oil consuming regions including the United States and Europe. The average price of natural gas for the quarter at Chevron was $2.28 per thousand cubic feet, 83 cents higher than the same period in 1995.