According to a November 4 report from Bloomberg, Hitachi Construction Machinery Co (HCME) is to build its third mining equipment factory in Japan as demand for thermal coal rises in Asia. The plant near an eastern port in Ibaraki prefecture is expected to start production in 2013, Senior Vice President Shinichi Mihara said in an interview. The cost of building the factory is being studied and will be part of Hitachi’s three- year $2.4 billion expansion plan. The piece stated that Hitachi is seeking to increase mining revenue as competition in its main construction equipment business intensifies from Chinan, where the government has slowed public works and housing projects to cool the economy. Orders for thermal coal are rising in countries like India, where demand exceeds supply by as much as 14% during peak hours.Hitachi, Japan’s second-largest maker of construction- equipment, holds 40% of the global share for mining excavators weighing between 120 and 800 t, the article stated. The larger models include the 550 t EX5500 and 800 t EX8000. The new assembly plant is expected to increase Hitachi’s sales from mining equipment to 220 billion yen ($2.8 billion) by March 2014, or 20& of revenue, Mihara said. Miners expect demand for coal used in power generation to lead investments in mines in nations including Australia, Indonesia, Africa, Russia and China. Hitachi plans to expand supply of excavators weighing at least 120 t by 60% to 360 units by March 2014 and more than double output to 510 units in the following five years, Mihara stated. Sales of dump trucks weighing at least 140 t are expected to triple in three years. By contrast, demand for construction equipment in China is set to fall 20% to 89,000 units in the year ending March 31, 2012.
ONE POLITICAL PARTY is calling for a no vote in the referendum on establishing a Court of Appeal.Direct Democracy Ireland founder, Raymond Whitehead told TheJournal.ie that he will be voting against it, arguing that if this referendum is passed, people won’t have any recourse to the Supreme Court in most cases.“This is a farce,” said Whitehead.Democracy deficitWhen asked if there was enough debate about the establishment of a Court of Appeal he said the Seanad debate was taking up most of debate time, stating: “It is diversionary. We have a democracy deficit in this country. This will be the final nail in the coffin of this country in terms of democracy and the right to justice.”He added: “The government want to speed up the justice system, as there are delays in having appeals heard by the Supreme Court. But it will only speed it up in the interests of government and corporate interests. Sometimes democracy can be slow, but shouldn’t we be looking before we leap. Haven’t we learned from the past. Why are we rushing justice. Look where it got us before, rushing in at 3am in the morning with the bank bailout.”How will it work?He said he didn’t believe the government had given an adequate outline as how the Court of Appeal would clear the backlog of appeal cases that the Supreme Court is experiencing, adding that the government have not specified what their “plan b” is if it doesn’t get passed.“What is their plan then, they haven’t told us, so how can they expect us to vote on something when we don’t know the consequences of voting for or against it,” he said.In their flyer, Direct Democracy state that the long delays in having an appeal to the Supreme Court can be beneficial to mortgage holders in distress as it can delay the repossession process for banks in repossessing homes.Whitehead said he believed the establishment of a Court of Appeal would have unintended consequences and urged people to get informed.If you would like more information about the upcoming referendum on October 4, please visit the Referendum 2013 website here. Read: Here is Alan Shatter’s quick guide to the Court of Appeal referendum>Column: Irish politics won’t change until people demand accountability from leaders>