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DEFENCE GOES GREEN

DEFENCE GOES GREEN
By Julian Nettlefold, Editor, BATTLESPACE

29 Mar 07. A Report in The Sunday Times this week that wealthy entrepreneur Vincent Tchenguiz is planning to build a £5bn business by helping arms and aerospace companies go green, is one of a number of pointers that the Defence Industry is gearing itself up for a ‘Green Push.’

Tchenguiz has set up a new company called Co2 — Offset to Ozone, which aims to help defence manufacturers find investment opportunities in environmental, technology and healthcare companies under so-called “offset” arrangements. Tchenguiz told The Sunday Times: “I can see the money. I will make a fortune.” Foreign defence and aerospace companies are compelled to invest back in the country they have sold arms or planes to. The investments in effect offset the trade imbalance caused by the funding of the arms deals. Offset agreements vary from country to country, but many developing nations prefer defence companies to facilitate investment in companies or projects that create jobs and help tackle environmental problems, rather than ploughing money back into the arms industry. Offset requirements typically range from 10% of the purchase price to more than 100%. Existing defence-related offset liabilities from defence companies are estimated to be worth $177bn (£90.7bn). About $16bn of new, defence-related offset liabilities will be created each year, as more countries introduce official offset policies. Defence companies do not have to invest all the cash themselves in offset deals — they just have to prove they have caused the investment to happen. Tchenguiz aims to cash in by co-investing alongside defence companies in offset projects. He also hopes to get fees from defence companies for helping them to find suitable offset investments.

“New world and EU directives on the disposal of obsolete vehicles mean that military fleet users in particular are now looking at innovative ways of managing their fleets to comply with these requirements,” Peter Hobson, Managing Director of Hobson Industries told BATTLESPACE

Hobson Industries Ltd

Hobson Industries Ltd, established in 1987, provides Vehicle Through Life Support solutions with Logistic, Armouring, Engineering, Asset Management, Vehicle build and Homologation workshops. The company employs 48 people at a plant located at Donington on Bain, Lincolnshire, UK.

“In 1993 we foresaw that there would be a huge need for safe disposal of obsolete vehicles so we obtained a licence, one of the first in the U.K., for an Authorised Treatment Facility to manage the disposal of vehicles and associated toxic parts such as oils and batteries. We have developed a complete Through Life Support Solution that makes use of our comprehensive facilities, technical and logistic expertise to Asset Manage the through life parts package, including major and minor units to complete vehicle build, based on Original Equipment Standards. Every year since 1993 we have reduced our energy use and combined this with proper management of metal waste in particular, we have fitted an EPACK system which removes all noxious particles during metalworking. We have a full range of QA Certificates complying with BS EN ISO 9001:2000 and an ISO 14000:2004 Environmental Certificate,” he said.

“We can offer our clients a complete One-Stop Shop from cradle to grave to manage fleets during their life time and then dispose of them. We have proved this with our RUC customer where, by the use of Asset Management we have reduced fleet costs by 30% a year. The company has a complete range of engineering and workshop facilities to undertake all aspects of vehicle and parts build including reconditioning and homologation, including armouring solutions and in-house ballistic testing. We also provide full technical support and a comprehensive in-house CAD/CAM design function.”

The UK MOD and the SUV IPT, headed by Nigel Gilhead has been a pioneer in Asset Management techniques

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