St Helena Online

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First gray whale spotted south of the equator

Namibia sighting suggests much-hunted whales are regaining ancient migratory routes, or may be down to climate disruption.

Keep your eyes open on deck while traveling to or from Walvis Bay. You might catch a rare glimpse of the mighty Gray Whale. You won’t catch this view from the Air!

Of course you won’t have the opportunity on the RMS St Helena since that service was cancelled in 2010.

Astonishing news from Walvis Bay, Namibia, where scientists from the Namibian Dolphin project on Tuesday confirmed the sighting of a gray whale. Not only has this north Pacific species been extinct in the Atlantic since the 18th century, it has never been seen south of the equator.

More megawatts on the way to backup the existing wind farm

by Guy Gatien

Wind Energy Solutions (WES) has announced that it has received an order from the Government of St Helena for delivery and installation of six additional WES80 Hybrid turbines.

WES 80 Wind Turbine
WES 80 Wind Turbine

With the installation of the six new turbines St Helena will double its existing wind energy capacity. The six new WES turbines plus the wind turbines already installed on St Helena will provide a total of 20% of the energy needs of the island. With this much production, we will have to wait and see if the Saints get a break on electric costs, or…

The St Helena Government in June of 2012 said the existing turbines on Deadwood Plain help keep down the extremely high cost of electricity, which is subsidised at a cost of about £1.5 million a year. Even so, at up to 36 pence a unit, the island rates are thought to be among the highest in the world.

In California near where I live is the earliest wind farm’s in the United States. The Altamont Pass Wind Farm is still the largest concentration of wind turbines in the world, with a capacity of 576 megawatts (MW), producing about 125 MW on average and 1.1 terawatt-hours (TWh) yearly. It contains 4930 turbines.  One megawatt typically powers about 750 US homes.  All this capacity and technology comes with a high non-monetary cost as well. We will look into those costs next time the wind blows by.

Read More:
WES80 Turbine
WindTech International

Intrepid South Africans playing key role in St Helena airport adventure

The first plane to officially land at St Helena’s new airport – the first airport in the island’s more than 500 years of human habitation – is scheduled to do so in February 2016.

Saints Take To Flight
Saints Take To Flight

Building an Airport by Ship

Jimmy Johnston says the biggest challenge in building St Helena Airport has been creating and maintaining an efficient logistics chain.

There are no capital equipment dealers on St Helena, no cement plants and no brick factories. Almost everything, excluding rock, water and a large portion of the workforce necessary to construct the airport, has to be brought to the island.

To make this happen, Basil Read chartered a 2 500 t ocean-going vessel for a period of three years. However, there was no direct landing infrastructure on the island, and limited mooring facilities at the seafront of the capital, Jamestown.

Read More: Engineering News

Aconex reports that Basil Read will Use Aconex for Saint Helena Airport Project

Project Information Management System Supports Collaboration for Historic Development

Saint Helena Airport Terminal Rendering
Saint Helena Airport Terminal Rendering

JAMESTOWN, SAINT HELENA — (Marketwired) — 04/09/13 — Aconex, provider of the world’s most widely used online project collaboration solutions for the infrastructure, construction, power, mining, and oil and gas industries, today announced that Basil Read (Pty) Ltd, a leading global construction and engineering firm based in South Africa, is using the Aconex Online Collaboration Platform for the design and building of the Saint Helena Airport. Saint Helena, a British overseas territory, is one of the remotest islands in the world, located in the south Atlantic Ocean, more than 1,900 kilometers from the coast of Africa. This project will provide the first access to the island by air.

Read More: On Bloomberg: http://www.bloomberg.com/article/2013-04-09/avIJpEZat_rc.html

See Also: On Aconex: http://www.aconex.com

Engineering News reports New R49m St Helena power station project to be completed by April

Barloworld Power expects the St Helena Island’s diesel generator power station improvement project to be fully completed by April, following the installation of the final generator and facility handover in February.

The power company was awarded a R49-million contract in 2011 to supply and commission four new Cat generating sets, new medium-voltage switchgear, a modernised supervisory control and data acquisition and control system, new cable works, a fuel system, bulk tanks and all ancillary systems to support the new engines.

Read More:
Engineering News: http://www.engineeringnews.co.za/article/new-r49m-st-helena-power-station-to-be-completed-by-april-2013-04-08

See Also:
Barlowworld Power: http://www.barloworldpower.com/index.php?option=com_k2&view=itemlist&task=category&id=80:strapline-power-systems&Itemid=122

Batelco completes buyout of Cable & Wireless; includes Falklands, St Helena and Ascension services

Now let’s see what greater synergies and pricing are brought to the island to benefit the community.

Batelco Group (Ticker: BATELCO), the regional telecommunications operator headquartered in Bahrain, today announced the finalisation of its recent acquisition of various companies from Cable & Wireless Communications (CWC), which comprise its Monaco and Islands Division.

Batelcos Group Chief Executive Shaikh Mohamed bin Isa Al Khalifa and CWC announced that, following the agreement entered into with CWC on 2 Dec 2012, all necessary regulatory approvals and conditions precedent have now been satisfied and ownership of specific companies has now been transferred to Batelco, effective today.

“As a result of this deal and the further diversification of our business we have the opportunity to deliver greater innovation and value to our customers across many markets whilst also enhancing our ability to maintain strong levels of profitability and to deliver on our commitments to shareholders,” concluded Shaikh Mohamed.

Press release
More about Batelco

Astronaut chases a white herring

By Guy Gatien

So, International Space Station Astronaut Chris Hadfield—commander of Expedition 35, so you better take him seriously, folks—tweeted a picture of a certain volcanic island in the Atlantic that looks like the head of a giant fishbone skeleton made of clouds.

Still with me? Well, see for yourself:

Canadian Astronaut, currently living in space aboard the International Space Station as Commander of Expedition 35. http://www.asc-csa.gc.ca/eng/default.asp

SEE ALSO:
Swirling spectacle over St Helena – visible from space
Swirling clouds over St Helena, photographed from space

LINK:
Amazing gallery of images by Commander Chris Hadfield 

First ever Ascension Island flag to fly

His Excellency Mark Capes, Governor of St Helena, Ascension Island and Tristan da Cunha, has warmly welcomed Royal approval of the design of the first ever flag of Ascension Island, saying:

“I am delighted to announce that Her Majesty The Queen has graciously approved the design of the first ever flag for Ascension Island, part of the British Overseas Territory of St Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha.  Ascension Island now has its own flag, which it will fly with pride.

“The residents on Ascension Island will raise their flag for the first time during a ceremony on Saturday 11 May 2013, when the Island will celebrate Ascension Day, after which the Island was named in 1503.”  

Ascension Island Flag
Ascension’s Coat of Arms

The flag, as for other Overseas Territories, is the Blue Ensign adorned with the Coat of Arms for Ascension Island (see image to right).  Ascension’s Coat of Arms, which was approved by Her Majesty in May 2012, shows important symbols from the Territory, including a shield emblazoned with the Green Mountain that dominates the skyline, together with three Wideawake Birds, secured by two Green Turtles.

Both the design of the Coat of Arms and the flag emerged from an extensive public consultation exercise on Ascension.

Ascension Island has previously flown the Union Flag on Island and on state occasions.

See Also:
Turtles rampant: Ascension’s new coat of arms

St Helena votes NO in chief councillor poll

On Saturday 23 March 2013, a Poll was held on St Helena, on the question of a Chief Councillor, raised in the recent discussion paper ‘Improving Democracy and Accountability’ To the Question: Should St Helena have a Chief Councillor who can select the Executive Council?

The results were as follows:

  • YES – 42 votes
  • NO – 168 votes

The idea was put out to a public vote after members of Legislative Council said they had to be guided by concerns raised at meetings across the island.

Read more on the St Helena Government website.

Glasgow 2014: Commonwealth Games baton relay route unveiled

From BBC News Scotland

The Commonwealth baton will spend four days on board RMS St Helena as it crosses the South Atlantic Ocean from South Africa to St Helena. The RMS is to arrive Feb 19, 2014.

The final relay runner will hand the baton back to the Queen at the opening ceremony of the Games.

The Queen will then read aloud the hidden message and officially declare the Games open.

Read more here
SEE ALSO: Jonathan the tortoise snapped with the baton – pictures by Andrew Gurr

Contributed by Guy Gatien

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