Economies of Scale – Rauen Sales Fri, 30 Sep 2022 13:35:23 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Southern Africa Leader Fri, 30 Sep 2022 12:33:00 +0000

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(Virtual Showroom): Sustained five-day factory work weeks during the pandemic, an increasingly strong order book and the recent purchase of BB Cranes in Cape Town all point to the possibility of Condra becoming the first Southern African crane manufacturer.

Industry watchers say that could already be the case if the number of permanent employees is used as a criterion. It follows continued growth resulting from a carefully planned expansion of company capacity and crane design and manufacturing capabilities, automation being one example. There has also been a steady extension throughout Central and Southern Africa of the after-sales service network.

Condra’s automated crane option, available since 2019, represents the culmination of fifteen years of experience in semi-automated installations. By using new developments in sensors, controls and software to precisely control the lifting and positioning of the load in repetitive operations, automation increases productivity and reduces the risk of load damage in applications specific manufacturing and mining operations. The option is available on all three types of Condra cranes: overhead (bridge) designs in single and double girder configurations, gantry (gantry) cranes and jib (cantilever) cranes.

The company also manufactures an extensive range of hoists in two main ranges: the K series and the SH (reduced height) series. In addition there are a variety of modular component sub-assemblies such as crabs, end carriages, bottom blocks and cable loop systems, all manufactured to customer specification from some 200 modular parts produced in large series to obtain competitive prices thanks to economies of scale. . Short lead times are obtained thanks to large stocks.

The endcarriages are configured with standard speed, double speed or variable speed drives, using individual or free drive bogies from 125 to 630 mm in diameter.

Hoists are supplied with capacities of 250 tons and above.

Condra customizes all component sub-assemblies to exact customer requirements, eliminating the time-consuming paperwork of transacting and liaising with many different vendors, and allowing them to focus on end user application.

All components have a standard twelve month warranty.

Condra’s growth was organic until in 2016 the company acquired a majority stake in BB Cranes, one of Cape Town’s leading lifting equipment manufacturers and a long-time customer of Condra hoists and endcarriages, which BB associates with crane beams manufactured in its own factory.

The remaining stake was purchased on March 1 this year, making BB Cranes a wholly owned subsidiary of Condra and allowing it to begin to increase its market share in the Western Cape through expanded manufacturing and refurbishment capabilities and to improved productivity. Immediately after the acquisition was completed, a beam jig was installed at BB’s plant to enable faster and more efficient fabrication of box sections of cambered beams, reducing production time by approximately 75%.

BB Cranes staff and branding remain unchanged. The company is currently working on ISO 9000 certification from which the parent group benefits.

Condra’s growth to a leadership position in overhead cranes and hoists is expected to continue. Significantly large orders have recently been obtained. Details are to be released when production is underway.

A new world for mergers and acquisitions Mon, 26 Sep 2022 20:20:56 +0000

The global pandemic has created havoc for organizations across all industries, affecting supply chains, customer demand, staff availability and a variety of other critical business factors. These effects have led to an increase in the number of mergers and acquisitions in the United States

M&A activity creates significant challenges for IT departments. These teams should be aware of these challenges, as observers predict that mergers and acquisitions are unlikely to decline in the coming months. In fact, according to a 2022 report from Deloitte, many business leaders expect the number of mergers and acquisitions to increase in the near future. Deloitte reports that 92% of executives expect M&A volume to increase or stay the same in the coming year.

“Most of the acquisitions we see are small acquisitions, which often means a company is looking for a specific capability,” said Michael Bock, director of sales at CDW.

When companies deal with M&A activities, they should pay close attention to IT issues. A smooth IT integration is an important step towards a successful merger or acquisition. This forces companies to establish strategic plans that put in place the integration of data, cloud platforms and personnel and also address security issues, among other things.

DIVE DEEPER: Find out how organizations are overcoming their IT integration challenges for mergers and acquisitions.

Key objectives for a successful M&A

Many organizations engaged in mergers or acquisitions seek to take advantage of economies of scale or expand their talent pools in specific capabilities, says Matt Varin, senior services manager at CDW.

“It’s often easier and more cost-effective to go out and acquire talent than to develop internally,” says Varin. “Talent is hard to spot, so making an acquisition gives you a chance to acquire that talent at scale.”

As companies engage in M&A activity, advises Varin, they should avoid making technology an afterthought. Instead, they should come up with a plan for the transaction. This should include the goals of the business and the steps needed to achieve them, with specific but reasonable timelines that IT teams can meet as the deal progresses.

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The importance of integrating technology platforms after a merger

One of the primary goals of any strategic M&A plan should be to integrate data and technology platforms between merging organizations. “If you are not able to fully integrate and engage in the sharing of data and knowledge that this enables, you are not going to realize the synergies that are the ultimate value that companies seek in a merger and acquisition,” says Varin. “Merging companies need to ensure that there is good collaboration and that they are able to share ideas and data within the new organization.”

Cloud computing solutions have become powerful tools to achieve this goal. Platforms such as Microsoft Azure, Amazon Web Services and Google Cloud make it easy to centralize information involved in a merger or acquisition, Bock says. This makes the cloud a more attractive option in many cases than standardizing on an on-premises solution. “Cloud platforms have taken center stage because they are much more agile and flexible,” he says.

In addition, cloud platforms allow employees of a merged company to access corporate data from anywhere they have an internet connection, supporting work models at distance and hybrids that have been widely adopted in recent years.

READ MORE: Find out why banks need to modernize their applications after a merger.

Security remains a top concern for M&A activity

Focusing on security is critical to successful M&A integration. Bock explains that even in industries that don’t seem to make cybersecurity a priority, like agriculture, data breaches can be a huge problem. This has made security a top concern as IT teams seek to integrate systems.

As organizations consider mergers and acquisitions activity, they pay close attention to issues such as risk assessment, patch management, multi-factor authentication, single sign-on, and network segmentation. A security audit is a critical step when companies engage in mergers and acquisitions, Varin says, so IT teams can identify security vulnerabilities before beginning integration efforts.

Ultimately, organizations that plan their transitions and execute them effectively will stand a better chance of successful mergers and acquisitions.

Affordable electric cars are coming sooner than you think with Fiat 500e, BYD Atto 3, MG4, Hyundai Ioniq 2 and more on the way – Car News Sat, 24 Sep 2022 17:00:01 +0000

MG hailed the recent return of its ZS EV as ‘Australia’s most affordable EV’ – but even at $44,990 drive-away, the small Chinese SUV can hardly be called a ‘cheap’ car.

But there’s reason to hope we could be on the cusp of a turning point for the auto industry, with a new wave of even more affordable electric cars heading into the near future that could finally bring them under a starting price of $40,000.

The reason is simple, automakers are finally starting to achieve the economies of scale needed to produce batteries, while at the same time consumers’ shift towards electric vehicles means they need a range wider options.

Learn more about electric cars

Specifically, automakers need smaller, more affordable electric cars that can grow audiences.

Below, we’ve outlined the most affordable electric models right now and take a look at what may be coming soon.


The new ZS EV has a range of 322 km.

The current price leader starts at $44,990 drive-through for the Excite grade and $48,990 for the better-equipped Petrol variant. The ZS EV was previously Australia’s most affordable electric model before it was temporarily pulled from the market while this updated version prepared to arrive.

As the old adage goes, ‘you get what you pay for’, so the ZS EV isn’t a market leader in terms of performance, range or charging times, but it’s a solid offering.

Importantly, the Chinese brand has increased the range to a claimed 322km, which is a major improvement over the older model which only offered 263km of travel.

BYD Atto 3

The new Atto 3 Standard Range model starts at $44,381. The new Atto 3 Standard Range model starts at $44,381.

MG’s very overt relaunch of the ZS EV with its eye-catching price tag was apparently prompted by the recent arrival of another Chinese brand with big aspirations for the Australian market, BYD.

The new Atto 3 Standard Range model is priced at $44,381, but that price doesn’t include on-road costs, which pushes it just above the MG (depending on what state you live in). BYD also offers the Atto 3 with extended range starting at $47,381 – giving it a pair of rivals to the ZS.

BYD also has big plans for the Australian market, with several other models heading for local sale. These include the Seal sedan and Dolphin hatch (likely name changes), which could cut the price of the Atto 3 and MG ZS EV and potentially enter the $30,000 range.


The MG4 is expected to reach Australian shores in early 2023. The MG4 is expected to reach Australian shores in early 2023.

The race to come up with an electric car starting with a three could heat up between BYD and MG, with the latter set to introduce its all-new MG4 to the Australian market in early 2023.

The crossover hatchback is powered by a single rear-mounted electric motor that produces 125 kW from a 51 kWh battery for a range of 350 km. There’s also a 64kWh battery available which boosts range to 450km and power to 150kW.

It’s important to note that, using UK pricing as a guide, there is evidence to suggest that the MG4 could fall below the ZS EV in price, perhaps below $40,000. It would be a breakthrough for an electric car in Australia that hasn’t been seen since the early days of the Nissan Leaf; which quickly topped $50,000.

Fiat 500e

The 500e is a new version of the EV. The 500e is a new version of the EV.

Another possible contender to be the next sub-$40,000 electric car comes not from China, but rather from Italy.

Fiat Australia has finally confirmed the pint-sized, retro-styled electric city car is heading our way, but pricing and specs remain under wraps.

What we do know is that in the UK it starts at the equivalent of AU$35,000, leaving at least the possibility that it will soon become Australia’s most affordable electric car.

It will, however, be a challenge for the Italian brand to compete with the larger and more aggressive MGs and BYDs, but at the very least the 500e will be a new twist on the EV for buyers looking for something different.

Hyundai Ioniq 2

Hyundai could introduce an electric model that sits below the Ioniq 5. Hyundai could introduce an electric model that sits below the Ioniq 5.

The South Korean brand has become a mainstream player in the Australian market in recent years, with a focus on more premium and stylish models. But it’s built its reputation in this country on the back of affordable cars like the Excel and Accent, and it could dominate the market again with the rumored Ioniq 2.

The “e-GMP” platform that underpins the Ioniq 5 and the Kia EV6 would be scalable and produce several other models. Earlier this year, Hyundai’s European marketing director revealed that the company was working on a “low-end battery-powered pure electric mini-vehicle” for launch in Europe in “the next few years” to compete with the Fiat 500e and others.

Given Hyundai’s size and the possibility that it could use the ‘e-GMP’ platform for greater economies of scale with a small model, the potential for an Ioniq 2 to become an electric option affordable in the future is obvious.

Salcomp partners with Flowtrik to manufacture EV chargers Fri, 23 Sep 2022 00:49:48 +0000

CHENNAI: Finnish cellphone charger maker Salcomp is teaming up with urban start-up Flowtrik Technologies to start making chargers for electric vehicles (EVs), senior officials said.

The two companies on Thursday signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to that effect.

Under the agreement, Salcomp will be Flowtrik’s exclusive manufacturing and business development partner.

Flowtrik incubated at IIT Madras Incubation Cell will design and develop the chargers for advanced batteries (such as lithium-ion, lead-acid and others) used in electric vehicles.

“We will manufacture the chargers. There are synergies with our existing manufacturing facilities – such as molding machines and other infrastructure. There is a great opportunity for vertical integration. Lots of electronics are common. We purchase a huge amount of raw materials to manufacture mobile phone chargers and economies of scale can be leveraged to manufacture EV chargers,” said Sasikumar Gendham, MD, Salcomp India.

Salcomp performs about 100 million mobile loads a year in India – seven factories, 12,000 workers – and globally about 300 million a year. By the end of this year, Salcomp will reach one billion Made in India chargers.

Gendham said the EV chargers that will be made at his factory will be for the Indian market.

Salcomp already manufactures electric vehicle chargers for cars destined for the overseas market, but in small volumes and the segment is not new to the group, Gendham added.

According to him, cable suppliers for EV chargers need to be developed.

“Initially, chargers designed and developed by Flowtrik and manufactured by Salcomp will be for small electric vehicles. We will also launch fast chargers,” said Prof. Ashok Jhunjhunwala, Chairman, IIT Madras Research Park, IITM Incubation Cell. Jhunjhunwala said declared that Flowtrik chargers meet all existing standards.

According to Anitha Dhianeshwer, co-founder of Flowtrik, the team size of 20 members makes portable chargers for electric vehicles.

Cummins Fuels Hydrogen Pledge at IAA Tue, 20 Sep 2022 23:19:49 +0000

Cummins Inc. confirmed its commitment to the IAA to play a major role in the hydrogen economy as part of its Destination Zero initiative.

“Cummins has been at the forefront of developing power solutions for more than a hundred years, and we continue to demonstrate industry leadership by developing a diverse line of sustainable powertrains – with hydrogen playing a key role,” said said Alison Trueblood, Executive Director of Cummins – On-Highway Business Europe. “Our goal is to focus on the entire hydrogen value chain to drive sustainability and enable faster adoption.”

Through acquisitions and investments, Cummins is focused on three key areas for hydrogen: green hydrogen production, hydrogen management and transportation, and the application of hydrogen in engines and fuel cells.

Production of green hydrogen

Green hydrogen is produced by electrolysis to transform sustainable energy (wind, solar, hydro) into hydrogen without carbon dioxide emissions. As announced in May 2021, Cummins is establishing a new Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Electrolyzer plant in Spain that will house system assembly and testing for approximately 500 MW/year and will be scalable to over 1 GW/year . Cummins is investing in this technology, with more than 600 electrolyzers deployed worldwide in 100 countries.

Hydrogen storage and supply

On-board storage is an essential part of hydrogen production. The hydrogen must be compressed into the available space to store enough of it to meet the vehicle’s duty cycle requirements. Cummins has a joint venture with NPROXX, a world leader in high pressure hydrogen storage for stationary and mobile applications, to support the OEM integration process.

NPROXX hydrogen tanks were installed on the concept medium-duty delivery vehicle on the Cummins booth at the IAA. The truck is powered by Cummins’ 216 ​​kW B6.7H hydrogen engine and paired with a high-capacity hydrogen storage system at 700 bar pressure, enabling a potential range of up to 500 kilometres.

“The offer and the infrastructures will take time to develop. Hydrogen adoption will likely begin with applications where fueling can be done centrally, such as home operations or near large hydrogen hubs,” Trueblood noted.

Hydrogen engines

Cummins is developing hydrogen combustion engines that will provide sustainable solutions more aligned with current vehicle designs to reduce complexity for OEMs and their customers. Reusing appropriate components results in economies of scale while providing reliability and durability equal to diesel.

In addition to the medium truck’s B6.7H hydrogen engine, IAA visitors could see Cummins’ largest X15H hydrogen engine for heavy trucks up to 44T GVW, with a maximum output of 530 hp (395 kW). ) and an impressive peak torque of 2600 Nm.

“A hydrogen combustion engine fits into today’s vehicles, works with today’s transmissions, and integrates seamlessly into existing industry networks and service practices,” said added Trueblood.

Hydrogen fuel cells

Hydrogen fuel cell technology can offer an efficient power solution for heavy-duty vehicles with high energy usage and requirements, while meeting zero emissions needs. The fuel cell uses oxygen to create a reaction, turning hydrogen into electricity. It works with battery technology – ultra-capacitors, lithium-ion or lead-acid – in a parallel hybrid configuration to provide instantaneous response.

Cummins showcased its fourth-generation fuel cell at the IAA that offers improved power density, efficiency, and durability while producing zero greenhouse gases and zero air emissions criteria. It is available in 135 kW single module and 270 kW dual module motors for medium and heavy duty applications.

“We view hydrogen engines and fuel cells as complementary energy sources, offering different options to customers depending on where they are on their path to zero carbon. The introduction of hydrogen engines market will also accelerate the growth of hydrogen infrastructure to support widespread adoption of fuel cell powertrains,” Trueblood concluded.

Read more of our sustainability articles here

KCB invested Ksh. 120 billion to help oil traders import oil Mon, 19 Sep 2022 08:58:18 +0000

KCB Bank Kenya injected more KSh. $120 billion to support fuel-importing Petroleum Marketing Companies (OMCs) as they seek to shore up support for the energy sector.

The Bank has facilitated the importation of oil into the country by financing oil companies in its portfolio that have won contracts under the Open Tendering System (OTS) through the Ministry of Petroleum and Mining.

This gives the CMOs leeway to import refined white oils from multinational oil suppliers for distribution in Kenya and the wider East African region. Funded tenders include the import of JET A-1 (Jet Fuel), PMS (Gasoline) and AGO (diesel) products.

Under the OTS system, the winning petroleum distributor imports the fuels on behalf of the other companies using the confirmed allocations; the other oil traders are mandated to sell their volumes on arrival.

With the government announcing the removal of oil subsidies, the price of fuel in the country is expected to rise in the coming months. Therefore, KCB’s contribution to near-term price stabilization will be vital.

KCB Group CEO Paul Russo said, “KCB is a champion of regional trade, extending its services across the East African border and beyond as an enabler of the energy sector. . We work with petroleum distributors to better help them compete in the global petroleum market. »

The centrality of energy in the economy has been identified as a key driver of the development agenda with a ripple effect across all sectors of the economy.

Since 2005, Kenya has been importing refined petroleum products through the open tender system – in which the successful bidder only imports the petroleum products and delivers them to the port of Mombasa, where other petroleum traders buy from the importer.

Importing petroleum products through the OTS allows petroleum marketing companies to access petroleum products at the same price and thus leveling competition in the petroleum market.

The OTS is managed through monthly tenders and involves the supply of oil primarily from the spot market, with oil sourced from the open market without any prior contracts. The industry recognizes that the OTS is an efficient procurement system that creates a competitive and transparent way to get the product to Kenyans through economies of scale.

KCB facilitates local and cross-border trade through operations and liquidity financing, as well as by mitigating the risks inherent in trade.

Is craft rum the next big thing? Sat, 17 Sep 2022 14:00:00 +0000

Australians have embraced craft wine, beer, whisky, vodka and gin. Could craft rum be the next big thing?

David Ward and his business partners and investors at Sydney Rum Distillery believe so. They are so confident that they expect to spend $60 million over the next three years to build a distillery, launch brands and grow the business.

Master distiller at Sydney Rum Distillery Jonny Croft, samples local rum. Credit:Wolter-Peeters

“Most of the premium rum in the world – anything over $50 a bottle – comes from the Caribbean and a lot of their infrastructure has been underinvested over the last half century, and they’ve also had issues with their sugar cane,” Ward said.

“We believe that Australian providence and the quality of our sugar cane and the value added to that [is an opportunity]. Australia and the world [rum] The scene is dominated by big players, not unlike wine and other alcoholic beverages of the past, so we believe rum is the next wave of premiumization as spirits.

The company is studying a potential site near Gosford to build its rum distillery and hopes to have it operational by 2024.

Meanwhile, the company, which was founded in 2015, blends third-party rums and sources new rums, the alcohol that comes straight from the still, and then matures it.

Ward said the liquor industry was a good investment even when the economy was weak.

“In good times, there are always people who want to enjoy the socializing that comes with music and parties and good company and [that’s also true] in a downturn,” Ward said. “We saw that in the GFC and also in the pandemic. It holds its place as a commodity.

Greg Holland, Managing Director of Spirits & Cocktails Australia, said some very good rums are produced in Australia, particularly in Queensland.

TAAHP Testifies at Senate Local Government Committee Hearing – Legislative News – TAAHP Fri, 16 Sep 2022 01:06:24 +0000

“Historically, housing has played a very important role in the story of affordability in Texas, but restrictive land use policies and other disruptions to the creation of this supply have eroded the benefits.” – Nathan Kelley, President of the GALA.

TAAHP was invited to testify before the Texas Senate Committee on Local Government in Austin on September 13 regarding the Committee’s interim charge on affordable housing. The charge aims to study issues related to affordable housing, homelessness, and methods of providing and financing affordable housing and make recommendations for improving transparency and accountability, as well as making better use of federal, state programs and existing premises.

This is the first interim affordable housing charge ever taken by the Senate Committee. Its importance to the industry is evident from the large number of people present, who eventually fill the auxiliary room. For more than five hours, affordable housing experts, organizations and key stakeholders shared details about housing affordability issues in Texas, ideas for possible legislative solutions. Senate Committee members actively responded to questions, information and requests for resources and shared their own stories of how the affordability crisis has affected their constituents.

The hearing began with public testimony from various experts in the affordable housing industry. TAAHP Board Chairman Jean Latsha was among those testifying alongside TDHCA Executive Director Bobby Wilkinson. Latsha described ongoing issues in the housing industry and shared TAAHP’s legislative priorities regarding Section 2306 with the committee. TAAHP Government Affairs Committee Chairman Nathan Kelley followed with testimony primarily focused on utility companies.

The Texas Senate isn’t the only Texas legislative body to include an interim affordable housing fee. Last July, TAAHP testified at the Texas House Urban Affairs Committee hearing regarding its interim labor housing charge.

Key points to remember

TAAHP outlined proposed legislation to remove regulatory barriers to increase the supply and improve the distribution of housing tax credit development. Here are the legislative priorities of the TAAHP [click here to see legislative priorities document] which have been discussed.
Streamline Section 2306 – QAP

TAAHP seeks to support legislation that would streamline certain regulations in Sec. 2306, which governs the tax credit program. The following recommendations were mentioned at the hearing by Jean Latsha.

  • Removal of the two-mile rule – The two-mile rule aims to prevent the concentration of affordable housing developments in the same area. In practice, this rule prevents developers from building in high-income areas. When asked what the impact of eliminating the two-mile rule would be, Latsha said, “I think it would give developers more options when deciding where to go to place development credits. housing tax, then reduce land costs as there are more sites to compete with. for.”
  • Census tract limitations removed – “Developers competing for 9% credits all tend to search for the same site in the same census tract, which dramatically increases the cost of land.” Sellers understand that when tax credit developers search for their land, they can get the highest prices for it. That’s a huge inefficiency for the tax credit program – because it could produce over 13,000 units if we didn’t spend half of that on expensive land because we’re driven to the same place.
  • Increased funding limits per development – Increasing the developer cap from $3 million to $4 million gives developers more flexibility to create economies of scale and have more financially feasible developments.
  • Removal of cost/square foot limits
  • Fixing the No Objection Requirement (RONO) Required for 4% Tax Credit Developments

Long waiting period to receive HTCs

Senator Menendez was also interested in discussing the time it takes to close the deal and how that affects the relationship between seller and buyer. Latsha described the current situation with 4% bond trades and how they are extremely oversubscribed. She gave an example of one of her own 4% developments that waited 11 months to get a bond reservation and then would have to wait 90 days for TDHCA to consider the tax credit claim. In total, this development will take 15 months to complete. Several committee members agreed that this was too long a waiting period.

Public equipment companies (PFC)

Created in 2015, the Public Facilities Corporations (PFC) tool has been used to stimulate growth and revitalization in targeted areas and has encouraged private investment in areas that have not otherwise attracted private capital. In its essence, the PFC is an economic development tool used to stimulate the creation of housing in rural markets and put housing on the ground for the workforce. Small and medium-sized municipalities can then use this as part of their economic development strategy to attract jobs to these markets. As a component of this, it can be used to revitalize or rehabilitate existing housing stock which is naturally affordable housing.

However, the public amenities program has recently come under scrutiny when questions have been raised about properties being removed from tax rolls via tax exemptions and not returning a significant public benefit. The current law creates opportunities for abuse, which violate its original intent as a tool for economic development and revitalization.

Senator Menendez expressed concern about the CPD program and its effects on other affordable housing programs. He said: “When one tool is abused, it hurts all affordable housing… We need every tool possible to create affordable housing, but we also need to provide protections against any abuse or exploitation of this program or of any other program.

During the hearing, Nathan Kelley stated that “TAAHP will focus on amending the PFC statute to incorporate some of the best practices that are already present and prevalent in the affordable housing space, ensuring better transparency among sponsors of the PFC, implement more stringent liability and compliance requirements, and further encourage the rehabilitation of such aging rolling stock or provide greater accessibility within existing communities acquired using this tool specific.

ML and AI workloads with full encrypted isolation Wed, 14 Sep 2022 09:03:02 +0000

Any mention of machine learning in the context of sensitive data sets sets off alarm bells in multiple departments of an average organization. Compliance and data governance supervisors have their say, as do public relations teams worried about the fallout from data breaches. And IT and data professionals need to understand a) how to use machine learning to deliver business value and b) how to empower any ML data model to learn and eventually process while balancing confidentiality (anonymization of medical data, for example) and quality of inferred results.

The answer has usually been to throw money at the problem and invest heavily in on-premises hardware that can generate numbers fairly quickly. Or, just break out to an AIaaS cloud with non-sensitive data – a solution that in itself poses resource issues.

However, there may be a solution to this thorny problem. In a talk this week at the Linux Foundation’s Open Source Summit Europe, Daniel Huynh, CEO of Mithril Security, presented BlindAI, a method by which ML can work on datasets in a highly secure sandbox. A big advantage for organizations whose data models use sensitive data is that they can take advantage of external cloud computing without compromising data security. In short, information can leave the building, be ingested elsewhere, and come back, all without prying eyes seeing a single unencrypted byte. And those prying eyes include any miscreant operating on the inside the cloud provider hosting the necessary processing grunt.

Source: Mithril Security

In the BlindAI cloud, machine learning deployments run in secure enclaves using isolated memory. A hash of the code can be verified remotely to ensure that it has not been compromised and is reliable. There is also virtual machine hardware attestation via Intel (SGX), AMD (SEV), and AWS Nitro (NVIDIA attestation is also in the works).

As you can imagine from the context in which the presentation was made (the Linux Foundation Open Source Summit), all the code is available on GitHub, so it can be checked out by all interested parties by deploying the solution.

While many enterprises use remote AI compute and storage for heavier workloads and encrypt to and from third-party clouds, data must be handled in the clear. By isolating the machine learning algorithms in an enclave, the intellectual property that is the AI ​​code is protected, as is the data that produces inferences. This removes the risk of a malicious party gaining access to either element through the cloud entity.

BlindAI offers end-to-end encryption that exceeds data governance and protection requirements for applications such as secure speech processing or medical analytics. There are also opportunities for AI-as-a-service vendors to add highly secure layers to their offerings, with full model isolation effectively guaranteed.

Daniel also talked about BastionAI, which is currently in development. BastionAI is a zero-trust data training platform that will allow, for example, multiple datasets to be ingested and processed simultaneously with complete separation. For organizations that need data from different stakeholders to be isolated (resellers of AI services, for example), this solution can prove to be a path to decent economies of scale.

Mergers and acquisitions are back with $10 billion in new deals Sat, 10 Sep 2022 23:00:00 +0000

The last two energy crises that have threatened hundreds of energy companies with bankruptcy have rewritten the playbook of oil and gas mergers and acquisitions. Previously, oil and gas companies made many aggressive tactical or cyclical acquisitions following a price crash after many distressed assets became available on the cheap. However, the 2020 oil price crash that sent oil prices into negative territory saw energy companies take a more restrained, strategic and environmentally focused approach to closing M&A deals. So it’s no surprise that big oil executives have been somewhat coy after the latest wave of mergers and acquisitions turned into a disaster for acquisition companies.

According to data published by the energy analysis firm Enverus, US oil and gas transactions contracted by 65% ​​over one year to 12 billion dollars in the last quarter, a far cry from the $34.8 billion recorded in the corresponding period last year, as high volatility in commodity prices left buyers and sellers clashing over the value of assets .

Soaring commodity prices following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine temporarily stalled mergers and acquisitions as buyers and sellers disagree on asset values“said Andrew Dittmar, director of Enverus Intelligence Research.

Enervous reported that transactions by private equity firms rose significantly in the first quarter as they bought assets that oil companies considered non-essential to their development plans. These assets tended to be outside of oil-prolific areas like the Permian Basin of West Texas and New Mexico.

Private equity still has some dry powder for deals. They use it to target assets labeled as non-core by public companies. Once you get out of the heart of the Permian Basin and a few other key areas, the competition for bids lessens, and these positions are often available at buyer-friendly prices. That said, private equity is still a net seller in the space and will likely remain so for the foreseeable future. given the number of investments in progress and the duration of deployment of this capitalDittmar remarked.

Yet deals in the U.S. oil and gas industry remain alive and well, with energy executives still striking big deals. Here are the most notable.

EQT Corp buys Rival THQ Appalachia and XcL Midstream assets for $5.2 billion

In May, the Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania oil and gas producer EQT Corporation (NYSE: EQT) unveiled a plan to produce more liquefied natural gas (LNG) dramatically increasing natural gas drilling in Appalachia and around the nation’s shale basins, as well as the capacity of export pipelines and terminals, which he said would not only enhance U.S. energy security, but would also help break the global dependence on coal and countries like Russia and Iran.

Related: Drought forces British Columbia to suspend water permits for oil companies

Well, EQT is moving fast to achieve its LNG ambitions: confirming earlier speculationEQT Corp announced on Tuesday that he has agreed to acquire The upstream assets of THQ Appalachia and Intermediate XcLcollecting and processing assets for a combined $5.2 billion in cash and stock,

Owned by private gas producer Tug Hill Operating, THQ Appalachia and XcL Midstream are backed by capital commitments from funds managed by Quantum Energy Partners. CEO and founder of Quantum Energy Partners Wil VanLoh is expected to join EQT’s board after the merger. EQT disclosed that the acquired assets include approximately 90,000 base net acres offsetting its existing head lease in West Virginia, producing 800 million cfe/day and expected to generate free cash flow at average natural gas prices above approximately $1.35/MMBtu over the next five years. The company also doubled its buyout program to $2 billion and said it was increasing its debt reduction plan by the end of 2023 to $4 billion from $2.5 billion. .

EQT has been one of Shale Patch’s most active dealmakers, buying up assets and businesses around the Marcellus in a bid to shore up the company’s position. Last year, the company bought rival producer Marcellus Alta Resources for $2.92 billion. EQT CEO Toby Rice’s gamble paid off this year as natural gas prices hit their highest level in more than a decade.

Sitio Royalties to Merge With Brigham Minerals in $4.8 Billion Deal

Oil and gas company and royalty company Sitio Royalties Corp.. (NYSE: STR) is heading towards a merger with Brigham Minerals (NYSE: MNRL) in an all-stock deal with an aggregate enterprise value of approximately $4.8 billion, creating one of the largest publicly traded mining and royalty companies in the United States.

The agreement will become one of the most important combinations in the American oil sector this year, and comes in a period of high oil prices.

Like the rest of the industry, Sitio and Brigham have seen their sales and earnings grow at a healthy pace due to rising oil prices. The merger of the two companies will allow the new entity to achieve significant economies of scale and become a leader in the mining rights sector.

The merger will create a company with complementary high-quality assets in the Permian Basin and other oil-focused regions. The combined company will have approximately 260,000 net royalty acres, 50.3 net line-of-sight wells operated by a diverse and well-capitalized set of exploration and production companies and pro forma net production of 32, 8,000 boe/day in the second quarter.

The deal is also expected to yield $15 million in annual operating cash cost synergies.

Sitio and Brigham shareholders will receive 54% and 46% of the combined company, respectively, on a fully diluted basis. Sitio Royalties recently reported second-quarter net income of $72 million on revenue of $88 million.

Mineral owners receive a 12.5% ​​to 20% reduction in the oil and gas pumped from their lands in the form of royalty payments. They don’t control the pace of development, but neither are they responsible for drilling costs or overhead, which means they directly reap the benefits of high commodity prices.

By Alex Kimani for

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