Best of our wild blogs: 31 Dec 12

Latest Green Jobs in Singapore [24 - 30 Dec 2012]
from Green Business Times

A new Clover-leaf Desmodium in Singapore?
from Urban Forest

2012 - The Year in Review
from Butterflies of Singapore

Intermediate Egret with odd looking wings
from Bird Ecology Study Group

Finlaysonia fun at Mandai
from wild shores of singapore

Feral Pigeon
from Monday Morgue

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ExxonMobil starts work at compound cracker project

Aaron Low Straits Times 31 Dec 12;

OIL giant ExxonMobil has started operations at one of the world's largest ethylene steam crackers.

The cracker, which breaks down complex organic compounds into light hydrocarbons, is part of a multi-billion-dollar expansion to its existing petrochemical complex located on Jurong Island here.

The project is the largest chemical expansion project in ExxonMobil history.

ExxonMobil Chemical Company president Steve Pryor said the expansion will double the size of

the company's finished product capacity in Singapore.

"This is among the most technically advanced and competitive manufacturing sites in Singapore and the Asia-Pacific region," he said.

The expansion, which had been delayed for almost 1 1/2 years, will increase headcount for the chemical plant by 50 per cent, bringing total employment at ExxonMobil's Singapore integrated refining and chemical complex to 1,800.

In all, ExxonMobil employs some 3,300 workers in Singapore.

Said Mr Matthew Aguiar, chairman and managing director, ExxonMobil Asia-Pacific: "The completion of this expansion is a significant achievement for ExxonMobil and it demonstrates our continued confidence in Singapore."

Among other innovations, the expansion includes a new "cogeneration plant" which allows for efficient generation of electricity to run pumps and other equipment, while producing additional steam for the production process.

The expansion is powered by a new 220-megawatt cogeneration plant and adds 2.6 million tonnes per year of new finished product capacity.

The expansion will also employ other new technologies, such as membrane bioreactor technology for water treatment, said Mr Georges Grosliere, venture executive and manufacturing director of the Singapore Chemical Plant, ExxonMobil Chemical Company.

Chemicals remain one of the biggest industries in Singapore, contributing $38 billion in manufacturing output in 2010.

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Indonesia: 22 Turtles Saved in Latest Bust on Bali Smugglers

Made Arya Kencana Jakarta Globe 29 Dec 12;

Denpasar. Police in Bali have successfully prevented the attempted smuggling of 22 endangered turtles into the island, bringing the number saved from the restaurant trade this month to 55.

Comr. Ambariyadi Wijaya, the Denpasar Police’s chief of detectives, said on Friday that community guards patrolling Pandawa Beach in South Kuta discovered the 22 turtles, all tied and bound, late on Thursday evening.

He said that the green sea turtles were an average of one meter in length and estimated to be at least 50 years old.

“Their resale value is quite high, fetching at least Rp 5 million [$518] per animal,” he said.

The smugglers are believed to have planned to sell the turtles to restaurants for slaughter and consumption, he said.

“We’re trying to get the perpetrators,” Ambariyadi said, adding that they were believed to have fled when the patrol came along.

He added that the perpetrators were in the middle of unloading their cargo.

“They didn’t have time to take the turtles away,” he said.

Ambariyadi also said that police suspected that the group was the same group that attempted to smuggle 33 turtles into the island on Dec. 9.

Soemarsono, the head of the Denpasar Nature Conservancy Office (BKSDA), voiced anger at the continuing attempt to trade the endangered species, saying that his agency was planning a special operation against smuggling syndicates.

He declined to give more details other than saying that some targets had already been identified.

Soemarsono said that some of the newly seized turtles were suffering from dehydration and had wounds. He said the BKSDA would take custody of the animals for rehabilitation before releasing them back to into the sea.

Green sea turtles are listed as endangered and are a protected species under Indonesian law.

There have been at least six turtle smuggling attempts in Bali this year involving hundreds of the animals, Soemarsono said.

Officials have acknowledged that Bali is a profitable smuggling destination because of the continuing high demand for turtle meat, both for consumption and for Hindu ritual sacrifices, despite an official prohibition.

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