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15 Mar 12. Russia considers providing airbase for NATO’s Afghanistan mission. Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said that the draft agreement for the airbase had yet to be fully considered by the government. Trying to quell the deputies’ concerns over whether it would be a permanent base, Lavrov said, referring to the NATO personnel: “They aren’t going to live there. (Source: JIWK)

20 Mar 12. Government funding is ‘wonderfuel’ news for product. A Welsh company that has developed an entirely new clean green cooking fuel made from sugar cane for the military, camping and leisure markets plans to open a new manufacturing facility this summer thanks to support from the Welsh Government’s Economic Growth Fund. BCB International, an award winning company based in Cardiff with a reputation for innovation, is an established designer and manufacturer of survival and protective equipment supplying the MoD and defence organisations worldwide. BCB has been developing and formulating Fire Dragon – its new fuel – over the past five years, and has now applied for a patent and with £150,000 from the Economic Growth Fund can start production this summer.

22 Mar 12. Textron Inc. companies Bell Helicopter and Cessna Aircraft Company announced that their joint service facility, operated by Aviation Service a.s. in Prague, Czech Republic, has received European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) certification. This certification allows for maintenance, inspection, repair and component overhaul options applicable to the Bell 206, 407, 412, 427, and 429. It gives Cessna the capability to perform base and line maintenance — including systems, avionics and power plant support — for all Citations except for the Citation CJ3, CJ4 and the Citation X, but training is planned to incorporate those models in 2012.
In addition to this new customer service and support capability in Prague, it is also the European headquarters for regional commercial sales for Bell Helicopter. This 12,440 square foot facility will also be where Cessna’s second Mobile Service Unit, in central Europe, will currently be positioned. The MSU will complement the maintenance work done there for Citations by traveling to customers in surrounding areas.

22 Mar 12. Banbury-based Norbar Torque Tools is on the move and aiming for further international growth after securing £5.7 million of funding from HSBC’s Midlands Commercial Banking team. The funding has enabled the engineering business to acquire new commercial premises which more than triples its available floor space, allowing it to increase manufacturing capacity and boosting potential sales and the local economy. The firm, which is a third generation family business formed in the middle of the Second World War to aid the war effort, will move to a 170,000 square foot facility at the Wildmere Industrial Estate, Banbury, up from its current 50,000 square foot premises. The move will ensure the company has enough manufacturing capacity to accommodate future growth projections. The deal has been managed by Tom Brothwell, International Commercial Manager at HSBC’s Coventry and Warwickshire Commercial Centre. Norbar produces torque tightening and measuring equipment for bolting applications, particularly in the oil and gas, power generation, aerospace, transport, construction, mining and refinery industries. Its products are used hundreds of miles above earth on the International Space Station, right to the bottom of the ocean on subsea pipelines. The company exports approximately 75% by value of production and sells in approximately 130 countries, with group companies and a strong sales presence in the US, Australia and China. In January it opened a new subsidiary in India. Norbar currently employs 239 people in Banbury and has plans to increase staff numbers by at least 10% during 2012. Norbar was founded in 1942 by William Brodey and Ernie Thornitt to man

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