algae wonder: Hyderabad-based New Ambadi Estates Pvt Ltd is planning to launch in July-August a cosmetic using the algae spirulina. The product can be used to treat allergies, remove pimples and also as an application for burns. It is going to be launched in lotion and ointment form. Four years ago, a health food product made from spirulina had failed in the market. However, now many pharmaceutical firms including some multinational drug companies are taking an interest in the product. The company is also planning to extract phycocyanin, an anti-carcinogenic food preservative.

power package: A joint venture for manufacturing power generators for thermal and hydro projects is being set up by Elin Energieversorgung gmbH of Austria and Crompton Greaves of the Thapar group. Elin will invest around US $10 million in the new company Elin India Pvt Ltd which will be set up in Mandideep near Bhopal. The plant will be completed this year and production will start in mid-1998. The high tension power distribution generators would cater to the needs of public sector undertakings, various state electricity boards and other independent power projects.

biomass power: The Institute of Power Engineering Problems of Belarus is planning to tie up with Wheelabrator Environmental Systems Inc of the US in building a pilot plant to convert wood and litter from its contaminated forests into electrical energy. The new biomass power plant will collect hazardous radionuclides like caesium and strontium in the form of ash for disposal as low-level waste. During the Chernobyl nuclear disaster, about 25 per cent of Belarus, mainly the heavily forested southeast region was contaminated.

health for all: The US-based company Becton Dickinson is all set to increase its investment from US $30-50 million to make deep inroads into the Indian health care market and use the country as a launching pad for its major product lines for the entire subcontinent. The company is setting up a plant for the manufacture of a range of products including needles, syringes and catheters. One of the items on top if its agenda is the promotion of a new technology for ready-to-use pre-filled syringes. The company has tied up with Ranbaxy for production of these syringes.

green trucks: New emission standards adopted by Tokyo, Osaka and their surrounding prefectures in Japan have motivated Isuzu Motors Ltd to manufacture medium-sized diesel trucks that generate low levels of emission, fumes and particulate matter. Isuzu's engine is designed according to a technology for recycling emission gases and an improved fuel-injection mechanism to reduce nitrogen-oxide emissions to under 4.5 grams per kilowatt-hour. The trucks would be priced at and above US $43,270.

composite current: A hybrid generating plant costing US $2.6 million combining solar and wind power is being built in Kume Island, Okinawa Prefecture by Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp (NTT) of Japan. It will be the largest non-polluting power plant in the country with a combined generating capacity of 300 kilowatts. The plant will begin operating next year and produce power round-the-clock. The company is planning to set up additional hybrid power plants at two or three other sites in Okinawa.

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