DHB repairs…works unlikely to be completed this yearQuotations for the fabrication of panels for the Demerara Harbour Bridge are currently in process but it is highly unlikely that the works will be completed by the end of 2018.This is according to the General Manager of the Demerara Harbour Bridge Corporation (DHBC), Rawlston Adams, who told Guyana Times during an interview that the body is awaiting word from the contractor as it relates to the quotations.“The contractor who we’re having discussions with to get us some quotations is yet to provide that information. We’re trying to get that information so that we can begin to plan our works. It’s not only fabricating the panels, it’s also galvanising the panels and so we need some quotation for galvanising,” Adams said.While only some of the panels need attention, the broken ones which were repaired in the past would have to be replaced. While Adams is unsure of the period of time which will be taken for the quotation to be submitted, he noted that plans will be drafted as soon as this is done.“Galvanisng is not done locally so it has to be done overseas. It has to be shipped, returned, so unless we have those timelines available to us, we cannot start. We wouldn’t be doing that for all the panels, just the ones that are damaged. There are a few that are broken that needs replacement. We’ve done some repairs to them and we decided that we’ll have to replace them in the near future.”This is the only major work which will be undertaken by the Corporation along with other small maintenance works. There are other areas of the bridge which require rehabilitative works. However, the main focus of the company is to have the panels replaced.Earlier this year, the announcement was made by the DHBC to close all marine and vehicular traffic for about five days to change the panels. At that time, Adams was positive that the works would be completed by the ending of this year.In addition to this project, the DHBC was also working on the rehabilitation of six large pontoons and 15 regular ones along with the fabrication of 40 buoys, 20,000 feet of galvanised anchor chain and 30,000 feet of wire ropes and the rehabilitation of the traffic office for this year. This was expected to cost approximately $267 million.
Honda Motor Co Ltd on Wednesday said it aimed for new-energy vehicles to account for two-thirds of its line-up by 2030 from around 5 per cent now, as increasingly stringent global emissions regulations prompt automakers to make greener cars.Japan’s third-biggest automaker by sales said in its latest strategy update that its petrol-battery hybrid, plug-in hybrid, battery electric and fuel cell vehicles (FCV) would collectively outnumber its petrol-only offerings in less than 15 years’ time.ALSO READ:Honda Cars India to launch new generation Amaze on March 3Plug-in hybrids – which can also be recharged via household wall sockets – will be “at the core of electrification in the future” for Honda, said Chief Executive Takahiro Hachigo.Honda will release a plug-in hybrid in North America by 2018 that shares the same production platform as its Clarity FCV announced in October, Hachigo said. It will then make plug-in versions of its major models and raise model numbers, he said.The announcement makes Honda the latest automaker to set dramatic long-term emissions-related targets. In October, Toyota Motor Corp said it aimed to cut new vehicles’ average carbon dioxide emissions by 90 per cent from 2010 levels by 2050.Behind the push are governments globally rapidly raising emissions standards. But limited infrastructure such as charging stations make some green cars a hard sell, while low oil prices have sparked demand for sport utility vehicles and other petrol-guzzlers.ALSO READ:Honda inaugurates its 4th two-wheeler plant in IndiaR&D FOCUSHonda’s new-energy target featured in the automaker’s strategy update, the first under Hachigo. The CEO, who assumed the job almost a year ago, has restructured personnel and operations to revitalize research and development (R&D).advertisementOn Tuesday, Honda said managing officer Yoshiyuki Matsumoto would direct R&D, moving on from leading automotive operations.”Our appointment of a new head of the R&D centre is intended to position R&D at the centre of all product development, and make it responsible for the design and performance of each and every vehicle,” Hachigo said on Wednesday.The strategy update also included a shift to standardized vehicle platforms to increase production flexibility – in line with an industry trend – and a focus on global models such as the Fit compact, Civic and Accord sedans.ALSO READ:Honda to recall 57,676 units of City, Jazz, Civic in India”The key to improving sales is our global models … which are so central to the company’s brand. If we develop these models to raise their appeal, it will translate into higher sales,” Hachigo said.Separately, Honda repeated at the strategy update that it did not plan to offer further financial support to long-time supplier Takata Corp, whose airbag inflators are at the centre of a deepening global recall.