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12 Mar 12. Japan’s Toray Industries said Friday it will invest more than half a billion dollars to boost synthetic materials production and meet soaring global demand for the stuff of next generation aircraft. Toray, which supplies the carbon fibre for Boeing’s 787 Dreamliner aircraft, said it was spending $555m at plants in Japan, the US, France and South Korea as part of a plan to increase worldwide production by around 50 percent. The company said the money would go toward ramping up annual production to 27,100 tonnes by March 2015. About 90 percent of the demand for carbon fibre comes from outside Japan, but the company said half of the investment will be domestic, using a government subsidy to promote job creation. Three hundred jobs will be created worldwide, with half of them in Japan, it said. The company said its bases in Japan were “mother plants” that would concentrate on producing advanced materials and act as the base for developing new technologies and new products. The investment in the United States will be aimed at meeting the demand from the expanding market for environmental and energy-related applications, including natural gas pressure vessels used in the extraction of shale gas, it said. (Source: ASD Network)

07 Mar 12. QuEST Global Engineering, a leading pure play engineering services provider, announced the opening of their new UK head office in a prestigious location in the heart of the South West’s Aerospace industry. The facility, located at the Brabazon Office Park, will support QuEST’s growing local customer base that includes major players such as Airbus, GKN Aerospace, BAE SYSTEMS, Thales and Rolls Royce. This move is also consistent with the company’s plans to reach out to new customers in the UK in Aerospace, Defence, Energy and other neighbouring industrial markets. “Following the acquisition of Engineering Services from GKN Aerospace last year, this is our first step in formalising and making concrete our focus for the European market. Through this centre we will be able to extend our global delivery model to our customers in this market while ensuring high quality services at optimised costs in aerospace and defence”. (Source: Yahoo!/BUSINESS WIRE)

09 Mar 12. The Minister for Defence Science and Personnel, Warren Snowdon, officially opened the Lone Pine Soldier Recovery Centre at Robertson Barracks, in Darwin. Mr Snowdon said the 1st Brigade Soldier Recovery Centre, named after the historic Battle of Lone Pine, will provide seriously wounded, injured and ill soldiers with a dedicated venue to support them on the road of recovery. Other Soldier Recovery Centres are located at 3rd Brigade in Townsville and 7th Brigade in Brisbane.

06 Mar 12. Kenya: Infantry Training. The Armed Forces’ Minister said (6 Mar 12) that the running costs of the British Army Training Unit Kenya (BATUK) Collective Training Establishment were about £14m for the 2010/11 financial year. 9,540 troops were trained by BATUK in 2009/10 and 8,600 in 2010/11. The number for 2011/12 is expected to be 8,600.
Comment: The Minister was replying to further Questions from Mr J Lefroy, a Conservative MP. As noted in DNA 12/10, Mr Lefroy has business interests in East Africa and speaks Swahili.

04 Mar 12. At least 200 people are reported to have been killed and more than 1,000 injured after an arms depot caught fire in Brazzaville, capital of the Republic of Congo. Several large explosions rocked the riverside city on Sunday morning, destroying houses and causing residents to flee their homes. A huge plume of smoke rose over Brazzaville, with the blasts’ impacts felt several miles away in Kinshasa, in neighbouring Democratic Republic of Congo, shattering windows and causing panic there. Republic of Congo’s defence minister Charles Zacharie Bowao told state radio that a fire at the regimental base in the Mpila neighbourhood had triggered the blasts. (Source: FT.com)

01 Mar 12. Russia rejuvenates K

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