Distinguished Professor
Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering School of Engineering and Technology SHARDA UNIVERSITY
Greater Noida, India

1. Introduction

Before we can identify and discuss the functions of SCADA system, let us briefly overview the layout, working and components of a SCADA system.

1.1 Overview

The RTU acquires analog values and status information through sensors and status sensors, respectively. Similarly, it delivers the set points and discrete control commands to automatic controllers and actuators, respectively. These devices thus act as the interface between the RTU and the controlled plant. Being located in the field (within the plant), these devices are known as field devices (FDs). The electrical communication system linking the field devices to the RTU is called the RTU-FD communication sub-system. Thus, a SCADA system is broadly comprised of the following five components:

(i) Remoteterminalunits(RTUs)

(ii) Master terminal unit (MTU)

(iii)MTU-RTU communication subsystem (iv)Field devices (FDs)
(v) RTU-FD communication subsystem.

1.2 Functions

A supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) system performs the following major functions:

(i) Human-machine interface (HMI)

(ii) Electrical communication

(iii) Data acquisition (DAQ)

(iv) Monitoring

(v) Control

(vi) Data collection, storage and retrieval

(vii) Calculation

(viii) Report generation

2. Human-Machine Interface (HMI)

2.1 What is HMI?

The SCADA system is designed to monitor and control the process/ plant automatically most of the time. However, for various reasons provisions are made for human operators to continuously watch its operation and to intervene as and when felt necessary by them. This requires an interface between the SCADA system and the human operators. The same is provided as a standard practice in the MTU located in the control room. The MTU is built and functions around a computer. Therefore, the human-SCADA interface is realised through human-computer interface, commonly known as human-machine interface (HMI) and sometimes as graphic operator interface (GOI).

2.2 Role of HMI

The human-machine interface (HMI) enables the operator:

(a) to ‘watch’ the process/plant being monitored and controlled by SCADA system, and

(b) to ‘intervene’ as and when considered necessary by him.

2.3 What Does HMI Comprise?

In order to perform the above role, the HMI comprises suitable hardware (input/output devices or computer peripherals as discussed below) and the related software drivers (or data- transfer software):

A. Input Devices for HMI: The input device almost always used for HMI is the standard (ASCII) keyboard, one on each operator console. The operator can use it for entering (a) data and (b) instructions for intervention in the computer control.

B. Output Devices for HMI: The following output devices are used for HMI:

(i) The mostly used output device is the video monitor or video display unit (VDU) along with a mouse, one monitor-mouse pair on each operator console. Colour LCD monitors are now preferred to achieve a better visual impact in presenting status, events, alarms and trends to the operator.

(ii) Very often, a speaker or buzzer is also provided on the operator console for issuing audio alerts and audio alarms to the operator.

(iii) A large wall-mounted high-definition LED screen is used for displaying boldly a single- line diagram (SLD) of the process flow, called as mimic diagram or simply mimic, and the screen is traditionally known as mimic board. The purpose of the mimic is to present at-a-glance picture or overview of the complete process to the operators. It can be either static or dynamic. A static mimic displays only a static SLD of the process, whereas a dynamic mimic displays the real-time status of major objects in the plant and the current measured values of important variables, both laid over the SLD of the process.

(iv) One or more printers are included for generating hard copy of (a) programs, (b) screen shots, and (c) reports.
(v) The HMI of the earlier SCADA systems used to incorporate a plotter as well for generating hard copy of trend curves, graphs and drawings. With the advent of high- resolution low-cost printers, the plotters have become obsolete.

3. Electrical communication
Electrical communication is required:

(a) Between the MTU and each RTU, and

(b) Between each RTU and the field devices connected to it. Details of these communications are described below.

3.1 MTU-RTU Communication

Each RTU is expected to acquire data (analog values of important variables and status information of important objects) from the plant section assigned to this particular RTU and to transmit data to the MTU after necessary processing of the acquired data. Likewise, each RTU expects to receive control instructions (relevant to the plant section assigned to it) from the MTU and deliver them to the plant. This necessitates two-way (or duplex) digital communication between RTUs and the MTU.

There is no need of providing individual point-to-point communication links between each RTU and the MTU. Such an arrangement would require the MTU to have one transceiver (transmitter + receiver) per RTU and the total length of communication cables would also be very large. This would make the cost of MTU-RTU communication subsystem very high and its performance and reliability very poor. A much better option, which is now commonly used, is to provide/ use a single data network linking all the RTUs with the MTU. However, depending on the geographic size of the controlled process and dispersion of its facilities, the data network may be a LAN (local area network), MAN (metropolitan area network) or WAN (wide area network).

For a public utility spread over a nation or beyond, even the Internet may be used for data communication between the MTU and the RTUs, subject to data security considerations.

3.2 RTU-Field Device Communication

Each RTU acquires the analog values of controlled and uncontrolled variables of the process through analog sensors and the status information from remotely and locally controlled objects in the plant using status sensors. Similarly, it delivers the set points to automatic or feedback controllers (of the controlled variables) and discrete control commands to various actuators (of the remotely controlled objects). Thus these devices (analog and status sensors, feedback controllers and actuators), known as field devices, act as the interface between the RTU and the controlled process/ plant. The following important points should be noted in regard to the communication between an RTU and the related field devices:

(a) The communication between simple (non-smart) field devices and RTU is in one direction only or simplex, as against an essential duplex communication between RTUs and MTU. To clarify the point further, the information or signal has to travel only from non-smart sensors to the RTU, but not from RTU to the sensors. Similarly, the information to the unintelligent controllers and actuators has to come from RTU and no information or signal goes from these devices to the RTU.

(b) The status information going from the status sensors to the RTU and the control commands delivered by the RTU to the actuators, both, are essentially discrete (or binary) in nature. These are sent using binary signals (high/low or 1/0 signals).

(c) The information going from the analog sensors to the RTU is analog in nature. This analog information is either transmitted as such to the RTU using analog communication (4-20 mA is the most widely used analog signal) or is first converted to digital value using an analog- to-digital converter (ADC) and then transmitted using digital communication techniques.

(d) The set points received by the RTU from the MTU are always digital in nature, because RTU-MTU communication is always digital. The RTU can deliver it in digital form itself using digital communication, provided the automatic controller receiving it is also of digital type. But if the controller is of analog type, the RTU will convert it to analog value (4-20 mA most likely) using a digital-to-analog converter (DAC) and send this analog signal to the controller.

(e) Lastly, if smart or intelligent field devices are used, then a two-way digital communication will be required between them and the RTU. In fact, a local area network (LAN) can be set up for the communication between such field devices and the RTU, with the attendant benefits of lower cost, reduced wiring/cabling and higher reliability.

4. Data Acquisition (DAQ)

Data are acquired and processed by RTUs and transmitted to MTU on the MTU-RTU data network.

4.1 What Data are Acquired?
As briefly mentioned under the review of SCADA system, two types of data are continuously acquired by the RTU:

(a) Analog Values: Values of the uncontrolled as well as controlled variables, which are almost always analog in nature, are acquired continuously using suitable analog sensors (or transducers), signal conditioners and a microprocessor-based data acquisition circuit. The sensors are naturally placed at the locations where the variables are located. The signal conditioners may be located close to the sensors or inside the RTU or in front of the RTU. In the last case, the external signal conditioner processes the electrical signal coming from a sensor before inputting it to the RTU. In case of a smart sensor, the signal conditioning circuit is integrated with a micro-sensor in a single chip. Data acquisition circuit is an internal and important component of the RTU.

(b) Status Information: Information about the states of remotely as well as locally controlled objects, which is essentially discrete or binary in nature, is also acquired continuously. This is done using suitable status sensors and a data acquisition circuit.

4.2 When are Data Transmitted?

The data acquired as above is processed in the RTU to extract the information as required by the MTU. Details of the data processing will be taken up under the “calculation” function of RTU. The extracted information (or processed data) is transmitted by the RTU to the MTU on five occasions:

(i) Periodically at a pre-determined rate (this rate is often different for different data).
(ii) Whenever an event takes place (event means a change larger than a predefined change
from the normal or the previous value of a variable or a change in the state of an object).
(iii) On start-up of the plant or process.
(iv) Whenever the process or plant is restarted.
(v) In response to a demand made by MTU.

5. Monitoring

It is a common practice to monitor (a) status, (b) events, (c) limits and (d) trends. This function (monitoring) is carried out jointly by RTU and MTU as discussed below.

5.1 Status Monitoring

As one its important functions, the RTU determines the status of two-state objects from the status information acquired continuously by it (as already discussed under Data Acquisition). It takes some finite time for the object to change from one stable state to the other stable state. Thus the object is in an intermediate but unstable state during the change-over. The method of determining the status should be such that the decision of the RTU is not vitiated by this intermediate state. Very often, this is achieved by introducing a delay in making the decision, which is a little more than the operating time of the object. The status of important objects monitored by the RTU in this way is transmitted by it to the MTU for displaying to the operator on video monitor.

5.2 Event Monitoring

Generally it is the RTU which is responsible for detecting events and intimating to the MTU. The RTU compares the current value of a variable against its previous, normal or reference value. If the change exceeds a predefined increment or decrement, an event is said to have taken place. Similarly, the RTU compares the current status of an object against the previous, normal or reference state of that object. If the change is of a predefined type, an event is said to have occurred. Moreover, the event can be one of the following types:

(i) Instantaneous Event: It means an abrupt change or a change without any intentional delay. This type of event is communicated at once by the RTU to the MTU.

(ii) Delayed Event: It means a change with an intentional delay. It is communicated by the RTU only when the change is completed.

(iii) Sequential Event: It means a sequence of activities or changes. This type of event is communicated by the RTU on the completion of the sequence.

In each case, as and when an intimation of the occurrence / completion of an event is received by the MTU, it stores the same in its computer memory and annunciates or displays suitably to the operator on speaker/ buzzer/ video monitor of HMI.

5.3 Limit Monitoring

Four sets of limits are monitored in a well-designed SCADA system:

(i) Reasonability Limits: Every feedback controller is expected to monitor and maintain the value of the variable controlled by it within a pair of upper and lower limits, called reasonability limits. In case the value of the variable tends to rise above the upper limit or fall below the lower limit, the controller take corrective action to keep the value within the limits.

(ii) Warning Limits:

The computer in the MTU monitors critical variables in the process against certain predefined limits on the basis of the data coming from the RTUs. In case such a limit is found violated, the computer displays a warning message to the operator on video monitor. Alternatively, the RTU monitors these variables and, in case of a violation of limits, communicates this fact to the MTU for warning the operator. The operator is then expected to intervene and take a planned action before the situation becomes alarming.

(iii) Alarm Limits:

If the operator fails to act on a warning, some critical variables may cross the farther set of alarm limits. When alarm limits are violated, the computer of the MTU generates an alarm so that the operator takes an emergency action before the system becomes unstable or unsafe. An alarm is in the form of sounding a buzzer or pronouncement on a speaker.

(iv) Safety Limits:

In case a certain parameter crosses a predefined limit indicative of danger to the process, plant or personnel, the concerned RTU or the protection system of the plant generates a command to shut down a part or whole of the process. Typically, one or more circuit breakers are tripped by protective relays to shut off power supply to a part or whole of the process/plant.

5.4 Trend Monitoring

The following trends are generally monitored:

(i) Variation of critical/ important parameters with time , and/ or

(ii) Rate of variation of critical/ important parameters.
These trends usually reveal the working and health of the system much more than do the absolute values of the system parameters. The trends are calculated in real time by the computer of the MTU from the data received by it from the RTUs, and are displayed to the operator as curves on video monitor to enable him to take appropriate action as and when he notices an abnormal trend.

6. Control

Control instructions (set points and discrete control commands) are sent by MTU to the RTUs. The set points received by an RTU are delivered by it to the concerned automatic controllers. The discrete control commands received by an RTU are executed as under:

(a) A simple device control command is delivered by the RTU to the concerned actuator.

(b) When a sequential control command is received by an RTU, it initiates the intended
sequence of actions.

(c) When a regulation command (like ‘raise-lower’, or ‘up-down’ command) is received by an RTU it is interpreted by the RTU and delivered to the related actuator. For example, ‘raise’ command is delivered to the ‘lower’ terminal of a gate controller for raising a dam gate continuously as long as the ‘raise’ command continues and ‘lower’ command is delivered to the ‘lower’ terminal of the gate controller for similarly lowering the gate continuously as long as the ‘lower’ command is present.

7. Data Collection, Storage and Retrieval

As explained earlier, each RTU acquires certain data from the controlled process/ plant, processes it appropriately, and then transmits to the MTU at appropriate instants. Some of the data so received by the MTU is stored in the mass-storage media of the MTU. An operator can later on retrieve a block of data of his interest from the storage and recreate an event, sequence or history for visualization and analysis

7.1 Types of Data Stored

Three types of data are stored by the MTU in its mass-storage media:

(a) Disturbance Data: Short duration data, the duration of which ranges typically between a few seconds to several minutes, is stored for recording a disturbance in the process.

(b) Historical Data: Medium duration data, its duration ranging from a few hours to several days, is recorded for keeping a history of operation of the process.

(c) Planning Data: Long duration data, recorded typically over a month, a quarter of a year, one full year, or even a few years, is meant to serve as a vital input for planning.

7.2 Time Stamping of Data

The data received from various RTUs is stored with chronology to recreate a disturbance event or a historical event. To that end, the individual data must be tagged with the time of its occurrence, or ‘time-stamped’, either at the receiving end (that is by the MTU) or at the transmitting end (that is by the individual RTUs). Because of variable delays in transmission of data from different RTUs to the MTU, the first option can distort the sequence of activities represented by the data. On the other hand, the second option can distort the data if the time clocks of various RTUs are not synchronized. The best option is synchronize the clocks of all RTUs and MTU and to time stamp the data at RTUs. If the controlled process is located within small premises, synchronizing the clocks of all RTUs and MTU becomes a simple task. On the hand, if the process is spread over a large area (typical in the case of utilities), the time clocks of all RTUs and MTU are synchronized using GPS (geographical positioning system).

8. Calculation

Calculations are made both in RTUs and MTU. The nature and extent of these calculations are brought out below:

8.1 Calculations in RTU

The microprocessor of an RTU is required to perform simple calculations or data processing, such as:

(a) Filtering the data acquired by it to remove noise,

(b) Extraction of desired information, like maximum, minimum, rms or average value or rate
of change, from filtered data,

(c) Conversion of numbers to values in engineering units, and

(d) Compression of data to reduce data-transmission-rate and storage requirements.

8.2 Calculations in MTU

The calculations that need to be made by the computer of the MTU are in general fairly extensive and complex. These calculations are made for predicting the behavior of the system (controlled process) through mathematical modeling for certain anticipated conditions and certain inputs to the system, both for normal and contingency operation. The output of these calculations is a set control instructions to be sent to different RTUs for each set of system conditions and inputs. The calculations are usually made on floating-point numbers and in batch mode.

9. Report Generation

One of the important functions of SCADA software is to generate a vast number of reports on the basis of the data stored by the MTU. To that end, SCADA software includes a report generator module, which retrieves data from the MTU database and generates the desired reports from it. The software module allows the user to choose the format of reports, customize the style of reports, insert graphics and even perform calculations.

9.1 Purpose of Report Generation

These reports provide an invaluable information support to decision making in:

(a) Operation of the whole system

(b) Maintenance of the whole system

(c) Management of the business related to the controlled process

(d) Technical and business planning, both short-term and long-term.

9.2 Types of Reports

A good report generator (software) is capable of generating the following types of reports. However, the exact nature, number, format and contents of the reports depend on the user’s need and liking and the purpose of such reports.

(a) Status Report: Reflecting the analog values of important variables, states of important objects, set points, limit settings, etc., at a specified time.

(b) Trend Report: Reflecting the trends of the variation or the rate of variation of certain selected variables over a specified period.

(c) Event Report or Event Log: A log of the events recorded over a specified period.

(d) Alarm Report or Alarm Log: A log of the alarms generated over a specified period.

(e) Communication Report or Communication Log: A log of the communications taken place between the MTU and the selected RTUs over a specified period.

(f) Display Printout or Screen Printout: A printout of a selected screen/ display on a VDU.

(g) Operational Reports: Reports on other operational aspects of the system, like a record of data preceding and following an event or disturbance, energy consumption by different parts of the process/ system over a specified period, record of production over a specified period, and so on.

(h) Statistical Reports: Reports showing statistical information or presenting information based on statistical analysis of the operational data recorded by the MTU.

9.3 When to Generate Reports?

These reports are generated variously on continuous, periodic or on-demand basis as under:

(a) Some of the reports, like status, trend, event or alarm reports, are generated periodically, for example, every 8, 12 or 24 hours. In addition, reports of the most recent events and alarms are generated on demand following a disturbance or breakdown in the system.

(b) An earlier practice was to generate continuous logs of events and alarms on a dedicated printer. This practice resulted in gross wastage of paper and printing ink, as most of the printed output would never be looked into. The reason for this practice was that the electronic/ magnetic memories were not considered very reliable or were too expensive. This practice is now largely obsolete because of the changed condions.

(c) Screen printouts are taken occasionally when a need to analyse the data off-line arises, say, following a major disturbance or breakdown.

(d) Operational and statistical reports are generated at longer intervals, say monthly, quarterly or annually, to serve as information inputs to management and planning exercises.

9.4 Where to Generate/ Print a Report?

Various reports are generated/ printed at different places as under:

(a) The reports required to be generated periodicallyl and/or on demand, are generated and printed in the control room. A printer is included as a part of operator’s console.

(b) As mentioned earlier, a dedicated printer was earlier used for continuous printing of event and alarm logs. To avoid printing noise in the control room, such printers were often placed in a separate (preferably sound-proof) chamber close to the control room.

(c) Statistical reportsk are usually required by the corporate decision makers. In a typical modern scenario, corporate servers and computers are connected to the MTU server on a network (LAN or WAN or Internet). Therefore, statistical reports are generated on the corporate computers and printed in the concerned corporate department.

(d) Some of the reports may need to be generated by a maintenance engineer to help him in trouble-shooting. He would generally use a laptop computer to access database of SCADA system and generate the necessary report by plugging it to the SCADA network.


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Jess C. Gregorio

Affiliate Marketing and Project Lead Generation Manager for the Philippine Territory

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The Easter Mass

From an Easter letter by Saint Athanasius, bishop

The paschal sacrament brings together in unity of faith those physically separated from each other

Brethren, how fine a thing it is to move from festival to festival, from prayer to prayer, from holy day to holy day. The time is now at hand when we enter on a new beginning: the proclamation of the blessed Passover, in which the Lord was sacrificed. We feed as on the food of life, we constantly refresh our souls with his precious blood, as from a fountain. Yet we are always thirsting, burning to be satisfied. But he himself is present for those who thirst and in his goodness invites them to the feast day. Our Savior repeats his words: If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink.

He quenched the thirst not only of those who came to him then. Whenever anyone seeks him he is freely admitted to the presence of the Savior. The grace of the feast is not restricted to one occasion. Its rays of glory never set. It is always at hand to enlighten the mind of those who desire it. Its power is always there for those whose minds have been enlightened and who meditate day and night on the holy Scriptures, like the one who is called blessed in the holy psalm: Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, or stood where sinners stand, or sat in the seat of the scornful, but whose delight is in the law of the Lord, and who meditates on his law day and night.

Moreover, my friends, the God who first established this feast for us allows us to celebrate it each year. He who gave up his Son to death for our salvation, from the same motive gives us this feast, which is commemorated every year. This feast guides us through the trials that meet us in this world. God now gives us the joy of salvation that shines out from this feast, as he brings us together to form one assembly, uniting us all in spirit in every place, allowing us to pray together and to offer common thanksgiving, as is our duty on the feast. Such is the wonder of his love: he gathers to this feast those who are far apart, and brings together in unity of faith those who may be physically separated from each other.


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Biogas. Properties and Uses of POME.

By Zalman Zafar

Palm Oil processing gives rise to highly polluting waste-water, known as Palm Oil Mill Effluent (POME), which is often discarded in disposal ponds, resulting in the leaching of contaminants that pollute the groundwater and soil, and in the release of methane gas into the atmosphere. POME is an oily wastewater generated by palm oil processing mills and consists of various suspended components. This liquid waste combined with the wastes from steriliser condensate and cooling water is called palm oil mill effluent.

On average, for each ton of FFB (fresh fruit bunches) processed, a standard palm oil mill generate about 1 tonne of liquid waste with biochemical oxygen demand 27 kg, chemical oxygen demand 62 kg, suspended solids (SS) 35 kg and oil and grease 6 kg. POME has a very high BOD and COD, which is 100 times more than the municipal sewage.

POME is a non-toxic waste, as no chemical is added during the oil extraction process, but will pose environmental issues due to large oxygen depleting capability in aquatic system due to organic and nutrient contents. The high organic matter is due to the presence of different sugars such as arabinose, xylose, glucose, galactose and manose. The suspended solids in the POME are mainly oil-bearing cellulosic materials from the fruits. Since the POME is non-toxic as no chemical is added in the oil extraction process, it is a good source of nutrients for microorganisms.

Biogas Potential of POME

POME is always regarded as a highly polluting wastewater generated from palm oil mills. However, reutilization of POME to generate renewable energies in commercial scale has great potential. Anaerobic digestion is widely adopted in the industry as a primary treatment for POME. Biogas is produced in the process in the amount of 20 m3 per ton FFB. This effluent could be used for biogas production through anaerobic digestion. At many Palm-oil mills this process is already in place to meet water quality standards for industrial effluent. The gas, however, is flared off.

Palm Oil mills, being one of the largest industries in Malaysia and Indonesia, effluents from these mills can be anaerobically converted into biogas which in turn can be used to generate power through gas turbines or gas-fired engines. A cost effective way to recover biogas from POME is to replace the existing ponding/lagoon system with a closed digester system which can be achieved by nstalling ?oating plastic membranes on the open ponds

As per conservative estimates, potential POME produced from all Palm Oil Mills in Indonesia and Malaysia is more than 50 million m3 each year which is equivalent to power generation capacity of more than 800 GW.

New Trends

Recovery of organic-based product is a new approach in managing POME which is aimed at getting by-products such as volatile fatty acid, biogas and poly-hydroxyalkanoates to promote sustainability of the palm oil industry. It is envisaged that POME can be sustainably reused as a fermentation substrate in production of various metabolites through biotechnological advances. In addition, POME consists of high organic acids and is suitable to be used as a carbon source.

POME has emerged as an alternative option as a chemical remediation to grow microalgae for biomass production and simultaneously act as part of wastewater treatment process. POME contains hemicelluloses and lignocelluloses material (complex carbohydrate polymers) which result in high COD value (15,000–100,000 mg/L). Utilizing POME as nutrients source to culture microalgae is not a new scenario, especially in Malaysia. Most palm oil millers favor the culture of microalgae as a tertiary treatment before POME is discharged due to practically low cost and high ef?ciency. Therefore, most of the nutrients such as nitrate and ortho-phosphate that are not removed during anaerobic digestion will be further treated in a microalgae pond. Consequently, the cultured microalgae will be used as a diet supplement for live feed culture.

In recent years, POME is also gaining prominence as a feedstock for biodiesel production, especially in the European Union. The use of POME as a feedstock in biodiesel plants requires that the plant has an esterification unit in the back-end to prepare the feedstock and to breakdown the FFA.


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122 solar powered pumps installed in Koraput district

By PTI | Dec 29, 2014, 02.02 PM IST

The scheme is being executed by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) with the Centre funding the entire project.


KORAPUT (ODISHA): To provide potable piped water in inaccessible tribal pockets, Koraput district administration has installed 122 solar power-based pumping systems this financial year.

“With most tribal hamlets thinly populated and without electricity, it became difficult to supply piped water to these places under the present scheme. So we introduced solar energy-based piped water system in areas with a population of less than 300,” Executive Engineer (rural supply and sanitation), Koraput, Monaranjan Mali said.

The solar-operated submersible pumps, which draw 5,000 to 20,000 litre water everyday, operate automatically and store water in an overhead tank, he said.

Officials said a solar array (300-800W) is installed near a borewell and one HP submersible pump is placed inside it. These work on power generated from photo-voltaic solar cells.

On a regular day, the pump operates for about 7-8 hours, Mali said.

The scheme is being executed by Odisha Renewable Energy Development Agency (OREDA) with the Centre funding the entire project.

“The solar panel will last for 15-20 years. Both operation and maintenance costs are low. OREDA will maintain the project for first five years,” Mali said.


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Jess C. Gregorio

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Make Things Better.

God’s Mercy

From a letter by Saint Maximus the Confessor, abbot

The mercy of God to the penitent

God’s will is to save us, and nothing pleases him more than our coming back to him with true repentance. The heralds of truth and the ministers of divine grace have told us this from the beginning, repeating it in every age. Indeed, God’s desire for our salvation is the primary and preeminent sign of his infinite goodness. It was precisely in order to show that there is nothing closer to God’s heart that the divine Word of God the Father, with untold condescension, lived among us in the flesh, and did, suffered, and said all that was necessary to reconcile us to God the Father, when we were at enmity with him, and to restore us to the life of blessedness from which we had been exiled. He healed our physical infirmities by miracles; he freed us from our sins, many and grievous as they were, by suffering and dying, taking them upon himself as if he were answerable for them, sinless though he was. He also taught us in many different ways that we should wish to imitate him by our own kindness and genuine love for one another.

So it was that Christ proclaimed that he had come to call sinners to repentance, not the righteous, and that it was not the healthy who required a doctor, but the sick. He declared that he had come to look for the sheep that was lost, and that it was to the lost sheep of the house of Israel that he had been sent. Speaking more obscurely in the parable of the silver coin, he tells us that the purpose of his coming was to reclaim the royal image, which had been coated with the filth of sin. You can be sure there is joy in heaven, he said, over one sinner who repents.

To give the same lesson he revived the man who, having fallen into the hands of the brigands, had been left stripped and half-dead from his wounds; he poured wine and oil on the wounds, bandaged them, placed the man on his own mule and brought him to an inn, where he left sufficient money to have him cared for, and promised to repay any further expense on his return.

Again, he told of how that Father, who is goodness itself, was moved with pity for his profligate son who returned and made amends by repentance; how he embraced him, dressed him once more in the fine garments that befitted his own dignity, and did not reproach him for any of his sins.

So too, when he found wandering in the mountains and hills the one sheep that had strayed from God’s flock of a hundred, he brought it back to the fold, but he did not exhaust it by driving it ahead of him. Instead, he placed it on his own shoulders and so, compassionately, he restored it safely to the flock.

So also he cried out: Come to me, all you that toil and are heavy of heart. Accept my yoke, he said, by which he meant his commands, or rather, the whole way of life that he taught us in the Gospel. He then speaks of a burden, but that is only because repentance seems difficult. In fact, however, my yoke is easy, he assures us, and my burden is light.

Then again he instructs us in divine justice and goodness, telling us to be like our heavenly Father, holy, perfect and merciful. Forgive, he says, and you will be forgiven. Behave toward other people as you would wish them to behave toward you.

Make Things Better.

SCADA System

By Motorola


With the wide range of RTu (Remote Terminal units) and PlC (Programmable logic Controllers) currently on the market, SCADA system engineers and deci- sion makers face several challenges. Which classes of units provide the optimal functionality, expandability, and cost effectiveness for a given SCADA application? What type of unit will serve the mission not just today, but years into the future?

As implemented, RTus and PlCs serve overlapping application niches and share some design details. To combat industry confusion, the discussion that follows provides a background of RTu and PlC units, and compares the various technical aspects for specifying the units including environmental ruggedness, modularity and scalability, and CPu performance. With remote applications for PlCs and RTus continuing to expand, the discussion also helps the reader understand crucial remote system communication requirements including store and forward, report by exception, support for multiple protocols, and two-way communication with acknowledgements.


Many industrial and infrastructure-scale enterprises depend on equipment located at multiple sites dispersed over a large geographical area. A vast majority of large infrastructure and industrial-scale ventures use Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. According to newton-Evans, the power utility industry alone uses SCADA at more than 50% of their installations. SCADA systems provide monitoring, control, and automation functions that allow the enterprise to improve operational reliability, reduce costs through eased work force requirements, enhance overall Quality of Service (QoS), or meet expected QoS or other key performance factors as well as boost employee and customer safety.
Some key examples of SCADA applications include:

•Public or Private Infrastructure:

• Water treatment and distribution

•Waste water collection and treatment

•Electrical power transmission and distribution

• oil and gas pipeline monitoring and control
• Industrial Processes (continuous, batch, or repetitive):

• Remote monitoring and control of oil and gas production, pumping, and storage at refineries from both offshore platforms and onshore wells

• Electrical power distribution from nuclear, gas- fired, coal, or renewable resources

In SCADA systems, RTUs and PLCs perform the majority of onsite control. The RTU  or PLC acquires the site data, which includes meter readings, pressure, voltage, or other equipment status, then performs local control and transfers the data to the central SCADA system. However, when comparing and specifying a solution for challenging SCADA environments, RTU and PLC-based systems are not equal.
PLCSystems are Sub-Optimal for Complex SCADA Systems originally designed to replace relay logic, PLCs acquire analog and/or digital data through input modules, and execute a program loop while scanning the inputs and taking actions based on these inputs. PLCs perform well in sequential logic control applications with high discrete I/O data counts, but suffer from overly specialized design, which results in limited CPU performance, inadequate communication flexibility, and lack of easy scalability when it comes to adding future requirements other than I/O.

With the rapid expansion of remote site monitoring and control, three critical industry business trends have recently come into focus:

• System performance and intelligence – Process automation improves efficiency, plant safety, and reduces labor costs. However, complex processes like AGA gas flow calculations and high-resolution event capture in electric utility applications require very high performance and system-level intelligence. The reality is that even high-performance PLCs cannot meet all these expectations.

• Communication Flexibility – Redundant communication links between remote systems and the central SCADA application form the basis of a reliable, secure, and safe enterprise. Power routing automation in electric applications, water distribution, warning systems, and oil and gas processes all require unique communication mediums including slow dial-up phone lines, medium speed RF, and broadband wired/wireless IP.

• Configurability and reduced costs – Although process monitoring and control are well defined and understood within many industries, the quest for flexibility and reduced Total Cost of ownership (TCo) remains challenging. In the past, proprietary PLC units customized with third party components filled the niche, but suffered from lack of configurability and higher maintenance costs than fully integrated units.

Today, businesses look for complete modular off-the shelf systems that yield high confingurability with a signicant improvement in TCO.
At the technical level, several requirements currently influence the SCADA speci cation process:

• local intelligence and processing – High processing throughput, 32 bit CPus with expanded memory for user applications and logging with support for highly complex control routines.

• High-speed comm ports – monitoring large numbers of events requires systems that support multiple RS232/485 connections running at 230/460 kb/s and multiple Ethernet ports with 10/100 mb/s capability.

• High-density, fast, and highly accurate I/O modules Hardware that implements 12.5 kHz input counters with 16-bit analog inputs and 14-bit analog outputs for improved accuracy.

• Broadband wireless and wired IP communications Recent innovations in IP devices demands reliable connectivity to local IEDs (Intelligent Electronic Devices) as well as emerging communication network standards.

• Strict adherence to open standard industry protocols including modbus, DnP3, and DF-1 on serial and TCP/IP ports

• Robust protocols for support of mixed communication environments.

• Protection of critical infrastructure – Enhanced security such as password-protected programming, over the air encryption, authentication, and IP rewall capability.


Over the past decade, RTUs and PlCs have slowly progressed toward a common design and usage point. Still, primary markets determine the amount of change that systems can accommodate. In practice, the typical PlC usage model revolves around localized fast control of discrete variables.

RTU usage focuses on remote monitoring with control, but with a higher demand for application communications and protocol exibility. As a result, RTU designs tend to have greater CPU horsepower, programming flexibility and broader communication support than PlC systems.
like a PlC, the RTu functions at the remote location wherever a SCADA system needs equipment monitoring or control.

The optimal RTu system is modular—integrating the two-way data acquisition interface for process equipment control, and the interface to the communication subsystem. modular RTUs and PLCs contain separate CPU IO and communication modules, and support the addition of new modules through a common backplane.

When specifying SCADA system hardware, there are several critical areas to consider when comparing RTUs to PLCs. The following sections detail each area.

Rugged and Reliable Hardware Construction
unlike PlCs, modular high performance RTus include additional hardware features, power supplies with multiple AC/DC voltage rails, diagnostic displays, and provide support for integrated battery backup.

Furthermore, RTus must withstand the harsh environmental conditions encountered at offshore drilling platforms, arctic power stations, and other installations that require NEMAA4/IP65 enclosure options.

Key hardware specications include:

• modularity – RTU systems that use a modular approach enable flexible CPU, I/O, and radio/modem configurations. As a result, RTU modules provide mission-driven configurations and enable quick expansion as needs change.

• Intelligent power management, battery backup and optimized temperature compensated battery charging for overcharging and discharging protection. Some provide accurate remaining battery life to permit alarm or shut down procedures.

• Temperature and hazardous environment hardening:
– operating temperature: – 40 oC to +70 oC (-40 oF to 158 oF)

– operating humidity: 5% to 95% RH @ 50 oC without condensation

– mechanical vibrations: Per EIA/TIA 603 base-station, Sine 0.07 mm @ 10 to 30 Hz, 0.035 mm @ 30-60 Hz

– operating altitude: – 400 meter to + 4000 meter (-1312 ft to + 13120 ft)

– Input isolation: 2.5 kv DC/AC between input and module logic

– overload and short circuit protection: Constant current limit with automatic recovery
– over-voltage protection

Extensive Programming and Performance Capabilities

PLCs commonly contain limited intelligence, while older units reflect obsolete CPu technology, lack performance, and cannot scale when task size or functional requirements increase.

When specifying a SCADA system, analyze the following key architectural building blocks while considering their affect on overall performance:

• CPU – RTus require high processing capability
to manage complex control tasks efficiently. For example, RTUs that contain a 200 mHz, 500 million Instructions per Second (MIPS) CPU with multiple communication port support are optimal for performing simultaneous communications, networking, and control tasks.

• ladder and C source code – Support for legacy, current, and future software applications and upgrades.

• Scan times – High processing power, I/O counts, and data rates translate directly into high scan rates. RTUs with high scan rates in the order of 1-ms SoE (Sequence of Events) resolution helps enable rapid respond to changing conditions at the remote site.

• Real Time Operating System (RTOS) – PLCs generally employ a proprietary OS architecture, while some RTUs use inefficient non-RTOS architectures. because RTOS kernels use a highly optimized, efficient data model requiring minimal source code, RTUs built with RTOS benefits from faster task processing, reduced memory requirements, and lower risk of failure due to overly complex code.

Broad Communication and Protocol Support

While adequate in situations where system communication requirements are minimal, PLCs suffer from a lack of communication flexibility—only the larger and more expensive units can function both
in a peer-to-peer and as the master controller. PLCs perform local processing tasks well, but lack the capability for handling newer system communication requirements or multiple protocols to connect with IEDs. Support for wireless IP stands out as another key issue when specifying a SCADA system.

To enable high SCADA communication reliability, redundancy, and flexibility make sure the system supports the following:

• Time synchronization – Ensure that the unit can time sync to the required accuracy. The electrical power industry requires sub-millisecond accuracy, which is not achievable without fast processors and an accurate time signal from a GPS receiver.

• Store and forward – Allows easy extension of radio networks without additional, expensive RF equipment; this adds redundancy, fault tolerance, and improves overall system reliability.

• Dual link communications – Improves system redundancy through full two-way messaging with acknowledgements on both links; also allows the data to travel “through” the RTu and communication medium simultaneously. For example, from IP to trunking radio, thus enabling easy system extension.

• Alternate links – Equipping the unit with multiple links increases the likelihood that communications reach their destination. For example, if path 1 fails, use path 2, or path 3.

• Dual mode operation – make sure the unit can operate and easily switch between master/slave and peer-to-peer operation. In a master/slave system, every message must go through the SCADA master, thus creating a single point of failure. RTUs with dual mode operation significantly improve overall system reliability.

• Data rates – The higher the data rate, the faster the unit can acquire and act upon information from high I/O count modules and scale with SCADA system complexity.

• Two-way radio operation – Supporting multiple radio types and spectrums provides exibility, especially in areas with high RF (Radio Frequency) interference:

– mobile/portable two-way radio

– Analog/digital trunking

– mAS 900 mHz

– broadband (WlAn, CanopyTM, inet900, etc)

– Cellular modem (gPRS)

• Report by exception – Enables fast reporting of alarm conditions, yet minimizes channel use because the system only reports when necessary.

• Wide range of CPu protocols and programming interfaces:

– mDlC and mDlC over IP

– modbus RTu on serial and TCP/IP

– DnP 3.0 on serial and IP
– IEC 60870
– DF1 (Allen bradley)

– Any protocol implemented in the application
program for serial ports (RS-232/485) and Ethernet ports (TCP/IP).

Local Control and High Capacity

For large monitoring and control tasks, SCADA systems require sufficient hardware and software capacity to perform their mission efficiently. While control loops and multiple protocol support can consume large amounts of system resources, intelligent hardware must also have enough resources to perform historical analysis and take predictive action if a system failure occurs. PLC systems with extensive control and capacity resources for logging historical data tend to be highly specialized—and expensive.

• PID (Proportional Integral Derivative) – Designers size various classes of PLC systems based upon the number of PID loops they can support within a specified time. The more loops a system supports, the faster and more expensive the processor/PlC.

• SOE (Sequence of Events recording) – because most PLC bdesigners optimize the unit to execute control routines not monitor them, PLCs generally lack SOE capabilities. RTUs, however, contain detailed support for SOE monitoring. High performance RTus can log thousands of events time tagged to 1-ms.

• Data logging – To perform event data logging, systems require large amounts of available program and or user memory. large PLCs tend to support data logging, but at a great expense in memory
Band price. When specifying a system, ensure that suf cient program memory exists for the target application.

• I/O types and sizing – When compared to an RTU, PLCs generally contain smaller I/O counts per module with overall lower density, which may require larger I/O racks to support needed capacity. For serial and/or IP links to another IED, make sure that the system contains suf cient hardware connections and programming exibility to retrieve status and alarm information from other devices.

Ease of maintenance and Upgradability

BecausPLC-centric solutions contain limited configurability and program expandability, combining multiple functions into a single unit presents a major challenge. This limitation makes longterm SCADA system maintenance and scalability costly when compared to RTUs. Be sure to consider the needs of the overall system in two-five years, not just expanded I/O or a few new module slots. Further- more, verify that the system can support future additions or changes in design and communication requirements.

To achieve optimal system scalability and lowered TCO, make sure the remote unit supports:

• Remote programming through wired/wireless IP networks and other communication mediums

• Remote downloads of applications, enabling rapid, secure configuration and upgrades of software code:

– Site configuration IP configuration tables

– network configuration data

– Phone book and modem setup  files (STM files)

– user programs (ladder and C) and user data
• Remote “safe” download of unit firmware allowing for upgrades without having to establish a local connection.

• High storage capacity (FLASH, DRAM, SRAM) for adding new programs, functions and increased user data storage

• module hot swapping, which eliminates the need to power down the system to replace modules

Scalability of Security

Many PLC solutions perform well in a specialized functionality set, but lack the flexibility to add new capabilities for protecting infrastructure—such as remote security monitoring and access. Adding security enhancements to a PLC frequently requires the use of expensive ancillary hardware. In contrast, modular RTUs enable rapid scalability of a wide range of current and emerging security applications.

Monitoring and control are only two aspects of optimizing and protecting infrastructure. With today’s expanding homeland security requirements, consider the following when specifying a SCADA system:

• Support for multiple passwords  at multiple abstraction levels – Allows for compartmentalization of application software and SCADA hardware access control

• Hardware IP Firewalls – Hides the unit’s wireless/wired IP address

• Support for currently available encryption

– most PLC and RTU systems do not meet Data Encryption Standard (DES) and Advanced Encryption Standard (AES) requirements. New RTU systems under development use both a DES and AES compliant encryption routine.

• Over the air and over the wire authentication

– All incoming packets veri ed and authenticated as valid, preventing unauthorized access by rogue programs.

• Adding authorization to security routines

– grants/restricts permissions to users and devices based upon user/device name and system access level.

• maintaining a sign-in and activity log

– Even though a system provides encryption or firewall, the unit must keep track of all access related activities autonomously.


SCADA systems built with the latest RTU technologies can deliver the optimal reliability, efficiency, and cost-effectiveness that today’s complex infrastructure and industrial processes require. When specifying a SCADA system, be sure to investigate not only the current business and technical needs of the application, but the long-term scalability and TCO of the overall solution. Just as important, consider all aspects of the system, including performance, capacity, communications, ruggedness, and security.


On SCADA and Gateway RTU’s

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Jess C. Gregorio

Affiliate Marketing and Project Lead Generation Manager for the Philippine Territory

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Masturbation Opens Spiritual Portals



People who cannot control the urge to masturbate or watch pornography are almost always plagued with a sexual devil. Maybe more than one.

In the world of the spirit and according to Jesus Christ: the sexual thought is the same as the sexual act (Matthew 5:28).

When we use the powerful force of imaging something as if it were real, we are actually attracting that which we image into physical being.

When we imagine having sex with another via masturbation, we are actually summoning the power of the spirit realm to manifest the thing we are imagining.

We’ve all heard about the law of attraction by now, made popular from books and movies like The Secret. Well the law of attraction also works with sexual imaginings.

There are such things as sex demons. And the danger in masturbating is that one could inadvertently summon a sex demon to attach itself to you through the act of masturbating.

And once that demon attaches, it is difficult to get it to leave. It will drive you to masturbate, even when you don’t want to. You’ll be hit with urges to play with yourself so powerful that only an orgasm will allow you some temporary relief.

In worst case scenarios the one demon may gather other unclean spirits to itself to also attach to your life. That way it can wrap you tighter in its web of control, making it that much more difficult for you to get free. And many never do (Matthew 12:43-45).

By engaging in those acts of sexual impurity you are giving such evil spirits legal access into your life. And they will remain, causing untold personal pain, guilt and shame until the more powerful force of Jesus Christ is used against them to expel them from your life for good—See: Luke 8:29, Luke 9:39 and verse 42; Galatians 5:19-21; 2nd Corinthians 6:17-18


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From a sermon by Saint Leo the Great, pope

The virtue of charity

In the gospel of John the Lord says: In this will all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other. In a letter of the same apostle we read: Beloved, let us love one another, for love is from God, and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God; he who does not love does not know God, for God is love.

The faithful should therefore enter into themselves and make a true judgment on their attitudes of mind and heart. If they find some store of love’s fruit in their hearts, they must not doubt God’s presence within them. If they would increase their capacity to receive so great a guest, they should practice greater generosity in doing good, with persevering charity.

If God is love, charity should know no limit, for God cannot be confined.

Any time is the right time for works of charity, but these days of Lent provide a special encouragement. Those who want to be present at the Lord’s Passover in holiness of mind and body should seek above all to win this grace, for charity contains all other virtues and covers a multitude of sins.

As we prepare to celebrate that greatest of all mysteries, by which the blood of Jesus Christ did away with our sins, let us first of all make ready the sacrificial offerings of works of mercy. In this way we shall give to those who have sinned against us what God in his goodness has already given us.

Let us now extend to the poor and those afflicted in different ways a more open-handed generosity, so that God may be thanked through many voices and the relief of the needy supported by our fasting. No act of devotion on the part of the faithful gives God more pleasure than that which is lavished on his poor. Where he finds charity with its loving concern, there he recognizes the reflection of his own fatherly care.

In these acts of giving do not fear a lack of means. A generous spirit is itself great wealth. There can be no shortage of material for generosity where it is Christ who feeds and Christ who is fed. In all this activity there is present the hand of him who multiplies the bread by breaking it, and increasing it by giving it away.

The giver of alms should be free from anxiety and full of joy. His gain will be greatest when he keeps back least for himself. The holy apostle Paul tells us: He who provides seed for the sower will also provide bread for eating; he will provide you with more seed, and will increase the harvest of your goodness, in Christ Jesus our Lord, who lives and reigns with the Father and the Holy Spirit for ever and ever.


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El Niño is over – but it leaves nearly 100 million people short of food

By John Vidal

Monday 30 May 2016 11.00 BST

Posted in The Guardian

Scientists say sea temperatures are back to normal, but from southern Africa to southern Asia, droughts and heatwaves have left a trail of devastation

The strongest El Niño in 35 years which has seen long droughts, scorching temperatures, water shortages and flooding around the world is officially over. But the consequences of a second year of extreme weather will be seen for many more months in food shortages for nearly 100 million people, the loss of income for millions of poor farmers and higher prices in cities, say the UN and leading meteorologists.

According to Australian and US government scientists, sea surface temperatures in the Pacific, which warm significantly every few years, have cooled to normal levels and are unlikely to rise again this year. This marks the end of an 18-month global weather hiatus which has created social and ecological turmoil in Asia, Africa and Latin America.

“There is little chance of [sea surface temperatures] returning to El Niño levels, in which case mid-May will mark the end of the 2015–16 El Niño,” said an Australian government spokesman.
However, scientists say a reverse effect “La Niña” phenomenon is possible. This would see temperatures fall below normal in the Pacific equatorial waters, bringing heavier rains, floods and much cooler temperatures to many countries.

Overstretched humanitarian groups have warned that the extreme conditions will last for many more months. Concern is mounting in southern Africa, where 50 million people are expected by the UN’s World Food programme to need help with food supplies in the coming nine months.

Global Development – The Guardian Why is east Africa facing a hunger crisis and what can be done? – podcast


Some of the most extreme weather has been felt across southern Asia in the last nine months, where countries including India, the Philippines, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Indonesia have all experienced their worst droughts and most intense heatwaves in decades.

According to US meteorologists at Accuweather, highest ever temperatures have been recorded in Thailand at 44.6C (112.3F), Cambodia at 42.6C (108.7F), Laos at 42.3C (108.1F) and the Maldives at 34.9C (94.8F). Last week India broke the world record, with a temperature of 51C (123.8F) recorded in Rajasthan.

“Millions of families are living in El Niño’s devastating path of extreme conditions. Children, especially, face hunger, disease and futures shorn of the opportunities provided by education. Countries most affected by El Niño are also bearing the brunt of climate change, and it’s the most vulnerable and impoverished communities that will continue to be the hardest hit,” said Tanya Steele, interim CEO of Save the Children.


Two consecutive failed monsoons, the lowest rainfall in seven years, and some of the hottest days and nights ever recorded in India saw vast tracts of farmland scorched and rice, maize, sugar cane and oilseed crops badly damaged in 2015/16.

Hundreds of millions of Indians who depend on farming for livelihoods were badly affected, with reports suggesting thousands of poor farmers have abandoned their withered crops and gone to live in towns.

May and June are usually India’s hottest months and temperatures regularly exceed 40C in the run-up to the monsoon rains. But the severity of this year’s heat has been been unprecedented. Rivers, lakes and dams have dried up in many parts of Rajasthan, Maharashtra and Gujarat states.

The heatwaves have also made life intolerable in many cities. Indian weather officials warned last week of more frequent heatwaves as the scorching temperatures triggered power cuts, after demand for air conditioning and fans greatly exceeded supply.


Vietnam has suffered its worst drought in nearly 100 years with record low river flows and salinisation of fresh water supplies. Because of low water in the Mekong river and its tributaries, saltwater intrusion started two months earlier than usual and reached 20km to 30km further inland than normal.

As a result, more than 429,500 hectares of crops were damaged, severely hitting rice production. According to the UN, 500,000 hectares (1.2m acres) of rice paddy are still under threat and 300,000 households have had no income for many months.

More than 10,000 households in 11 provinces have had to be supplied with bottled water, and water purification tablets. Rain has reportedly returned to Vietnam’s parched coffee belt but around 20% of all coffee trees have either been killed or damaged.


This winter, Mongolia suffered a particularly severe dzud, or winter of snow, blizzards and temperatures as low as minus 50°C. It has been a disaster for tens of thousand of herder families who have lost around 40% of their herds and seen more than 1 million livestock die, primarily due to starvation or from the cold itself. More than 2.5 million cattle are expected to die by the end of the year. The knock-on effects are seen in children’s education, unemployment and financial losses.


Nearly 250,000 hectares (617,763 acres) of unique flooded forest around the ecologically vital Tonle Sap lake have been devastated by fire since January. The lake is the most important breeding ground for many species of fish which migrate into the Mekong river and provide thousands of Laotian, Cambodian and Vietnamese communities with food.

According to Chhéng Phén, the director of the Ministry of Agriculture’s Inland Fisheries Institute (IFReDI), the fires will reduce fish production next year. Fish forms 80% of the protein in Cambodians’ diet.

The exceptionally severe drought has also left tens of thousands of farmers unable to plant rice crops. Annual rains have come late, exacerbating the drought, and exports of Asia’s staple food are expected to be the lowest in many years. Although water has been brought in to help farmers plant, the rice industry now fears that the arrival of La Niña will bring devastating floods.

Some 2.5 million farmers people were affected by the dry spell, which also led to the deaths of cattle, monkeys and tonnes of fish, said the National Center for Disaster Management (NCDM).


Monsoon rains are expected to start within days but it may take months before the full effects of the deepest drought and highest temperatures in living memory are over. Water shortages are common in April and May but this year more than 2,000 villages have been left desperate for drinking water, with dried up wells, ponds and rivers. Inle, the country’s second largest lake, suffered from unprecedented low water levels and farmers have been unable to plant crops. The Magway, Mandalay and lower Sagaing regions, known as the “dry zone”, have been especially hard hit.

The Philippines

The Philippines depends on rice imports from Vietnam and Thailand, but prices are expected to rise dramatically as both these countries have been hit hard by droughts and crop losses. In a country where rice accounts for about nearly a quarter of all poor people’s spending, any price increases or shortages can translate into political dissent. Farmers have warned of more crop damage later in the year when La Niña, the counterpart of El Niño, could develop and bring intense rains.

More than 5 million people, many on the island of Mindanao, have been severely affected by drought and heatwaves. Nearly 200,000 farmers are said by government to have lost crops.


Indonesia has seen failed harvests, increased hunger, and severe floods and landslides. The El Niño conditions peaked in January and coincided with the main growing season for maize and the planting season for rain-fed paddy rice. Heavy rains have now started, resulting in widespread flooding and landslides that have caused many deaths.

Latest estimates suggest nearly 25% of the main rice crop was not planted by the end of December 2015 in eastern Indonesia, Java and Sulawesi. The drought is said by the World Food Programme to have affected about 22 million people who rely on agriculture. More than 1 million are expected to need food aid. Income losses have been reported for 80% of households. The worst effects are expected to be felt after July.

Nearly 500,000 people – half of that figure living in the poor eastern province of Nusa Tenggara Timur (NTT) – are said by the UN to be in need of food, with a further 700,000 at risk of food insecurity. If the late, heavy rains cause flooding, food access could become problematic for the people in the most affected provinces, say humanitarian groups, and crops could be hit by landslides and flooding.


Severe drought delayed crop planting and has significantly reduced yields, and left many communities seriously short of water. According to the Ministry of Agriculture, nearly half the households across the country are likely to experience hunger, with around 120,000 people severely affected.


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Jess C. Gregorio

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Biogas Power Plants Market Trends


Focus on Alternative Energy to Reduce GHG Emissions Drives the Global Market for Biogas Plants, According to a New Report by Global Industry Analysts, Inc.

GIA launches comprehensive analysis of industry segments, trends, growth drivers, market share, size and demand forecasts on the global Biogas Plants market. The global market for Biogas Plants is projected to reach US$10 billion by 2022, driven by the focus on alternatives to fossil fuels as a means to achieve energy sustainability and security, and government support for eco-friendly alternatives.

Rising demand for fuel & energy, growing concerns over depletion of fossil fuel reserves, and increased environmental degradation caused by polluting conventional energy sources are driving focus on cleaner alternatives. The scenario is throwing the spotlight on biogas as a compelling alternative to petroleum- or coal-based energy sources. The market for biogas plants is witnessing steady growth, encouraged by the rising environmental cost of conventional power-generation, and stringent regulations governing coal-fired power plants. The flexibility of producing biogas from a wide variety of organic materials and wastes, such as crop residues, animal manure, sewage sludge, municipal/industrial organic waste, stillage from ethanol production and specially grown energy crops is attracting immense interest in biogas. Steady economic growth and GDP gains especially in developing countries is benefiting investments in clean energy technologies. Biogas helps reduce harmful greenhouse gas emissions, while simultaneously enabling countries to energy self-sufficiency. The gradual migration of industries from traditional to renewable sources of energy will continue to benefit growth in the market.

Governments across the world are encouraging the development of biogas, guided by its several beneficial features, over and above fossil fuels. Emerging use of biogas as transportation fuel in growing number of countries worldwide coupled with the establishment of biogas based power units will drive growth in the market. Anaerobic digesters are gaining importance supported by growing concerns over appropriate disposal of the massive quantities of waste organic materials and the sustainable use of animal and solid waste such as industrial residual biomass, agricultural wastes, and municipal sludge.

As stated by the new market research report on Biogas Plants, Europe represents the largest market worldwide, followed by the United States. Growth in these markets is driven by the implementation of eco-friendly energy policies, favorable state and federal legislations and the fact that biogas can be upgraded to Renewable Natural Gas (RNG) that is identical to petroleum-derived products. Rapid urbanization, strong demand for electricity, emphasis on renewable energy sources, and favorable government policies make developing Asian countries attractive markets for biogas production. India ranks as the fastest growing market with a CAGR of 13.3% over the analysis period.

The research report titled “Biogas Plants: A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts Inc., provides a comprehensive review of the market trends, market issues, growth drivers, and strategic industry activity of global companies. The report provides market estimates and projections for major geographic markets, including the US, Canada, Japan, Europe (France, Germany, Italy, UK, and Rest of Europe), China, India, and Rest of World.


On turning organic waste into non pollutant

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