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Daily industrial news and top headlines for plant and maintenance managers

Shell Scraps Plans To Build $12.5B Plant In La.

December 6, 2013 9:56 am | by The Associated Press

The decision comes just two months after Shell selected a site for the plant. It would have created 740 jobs, according to a late-September announcement that championed the plant's location in Ascension Parish, near Baton Rouge.       

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GM Using Landfill Gas To Power Fort Wayne Plant

December 6, 2013 9:51 am | by The Associated Press

The project will increase the use of gas from a landfill about nine miles away that began in 2002 when the factory began using it to create steam for the 4,000-worker factory that assembles Chevrolet Silverado and GMC Sierra pickup trucks.    

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Unemployment Rate Falls To 7 Pct.

December 6, 2013 9:46 am | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

A fourth straight month of solid hiring cut the U.S. unemployment rate to a five-year low of 7 percent in November, an encouraging sign for the economy. The Labor Department says employers added 203,000 jobs, nearly matching October's revised gain of 200,000. The job gains helped lower the unemployment rate from 7.3 percent in October.

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EU Raids Electronics Companies In Prices Probe

December 6, 2013 9:44 am | by The Associated Press

European Union antitrust regulators have raided the offices of several companies that make and sell consumer electronics and domestic appliances, in an investigation into whether they artificially boosted the prices of goods online.The raids were carried out by the European Commission, the EU's executive arm, which declined to identify the companies targeted.

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Explosion Sparks Fire At Mich. Plant; No Injuries

December 6, 2013 9:41 am | by The Associated Press

Authorities say an explosion sparked a fire at a western Michigan manufacturing facility and prompted an evacuation at the plant. No one was injured. The Muskegon Chronicle reports an explosion in a titanium dust collector caused the fire late Thursday at the Alcoa Howmet facility in Whitehall, near Muskegon. Fire officials say the fire spread through duct work.

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States Grovel Before Boeing In Bid For 777X Jobs

December 6, 2013 9:38 am | by David A. Lieb, Associated Press

From coast to coast, states are rushing to impress Boeing with lavish incentive packages that offer property, labor deals and billions of dollars in tax breaks. All this in the hopes that the aerospace giant will select them to assemble the new 777X — or at least give them a wing to construct.

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Obama To Feds: Boost Renewable Power 20 Percent

December 5, 2013 1:56 pm | by Matthew Daly, Associated Press

Obama says the plan to use renewables for 20 percent of electricity needs will help reduce pollution that causes global warming, promote American energy independence and boost domestic energy sources such as solar and wind power that provide thousands of jobs.

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FDA Reaches $1.25M Settlement With J&J Unit

December 5, 2013 1:42 pm | by The Associated Press

Under the civil penalty, Advanced Sterilization Products, a unit of J&J's Ethicon business, will pay $1.2 million to settle allegations that it made and sold "adulterated and misbranded" sterilization monitoring products, the FDA said. Two company executives will pay an additional $30,000 and $20,000, respectively.

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Nissan Looks To No-Frills China Brand For Revival

December 5, 2013 1:29 pm | by Joe McDonald, AP Business Writer

Venucia is a leader in the latest twist in the world's biggest auto market: Chinese brands created by global automakers with local partners to sell foreign cachet at lower prices.  The trend started with government pressure on global automakers to help create Chinese brands. But some are trying to turn that into a commercial advantage.

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Honda's Fit Remains Japan's Best-Selling Car In Nov.

December 5, 2013 1:24 pm | by The Associated Press

The Fit sold 26,235 units, up 181.5 percent from a year earlier, with its hybrid model with a fuel economy of 36.4 kilometers per liter drawing robust demand, according to the Japan Automobile Dealers Association and the Japan Mini Vehicles Association.  

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China Approves $1.3B Renault Auto Joint Venture

December 5, 2013 1:20 pm | by The Associated Press

China has given Renault and a local partner approval to launch a $1.3 billion auto manufacturing joint venture, the French brand's first in the world's biggest vehicle market. Renault SA, maker of the Clio and Megane hatchbacks, is one of the last major auto brands without its own manufacturing in China.

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Mohawk Industries To Expand 2 Georgia Plants

December 5, 2013 11:53 am | by The Associated Press

Governor Nathan Deal has announced that flooring manufacturing company Mohawk Industries is planning to renovate two facilities in northwestern Georgia and create more than 400 new jobs. Deal said Wednesday that Mohawk industries is planning to invest $85 million in the renovation of two facilities in Rome and Dalton over the next two years.

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GM To Largely Pull Chevrolet From Europe

December 5, 2013 11:47 am | by The Associated Press

GM said Thursday that Chevrolet will no longer have a "mainstream presence" in Europe and said the decision was "largely due to a challenging business model and the difficult economic situation" on the continent. GM has continued to lose money in Europe even as its performance elsewhere improves.

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SolarCity To Back Up Solar With Tesla Batteries

December 5, 2013 11:44 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer

The solar panel installer SolarCity is beginning to address one of solar power's big drawbacks: The sun doesn't always shine. The solution: big battery packs that will provide backup power while lowering electric bills. The supplier: electric car maker Tesla Motors, whose CEO Elon Musk is also the chairman of SolarCity.

Carl Icahn Ups Ante In Crusade For Apple Buyback

December 5, 2013 11:25 am | by Michael Liedtke, AP Technology Writer

Activist investor Carl Icahn is seeking the support of Apple shareholders as he tries to pressure the iPhone maker into spending more of its cash to buy back the company's stock.                     

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BP Pushes Technical Limits To Tap Extreme Fields

December 5, 2013 11:20 am | by Jonathan Fahey, AP Energy Writer

BP is leading an industry-wide push to develop technology that can retrieve oil from formations that are so deep under the sea floor, and under such high pressure and temperature, that conventional equipment would melt or be crushed by the conditions.

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Mexican Truck With Radioactive Load Stolen

December 4, 2013 2:47 pm | by Rodrigo Soberanes, Associated Press

A truck carrying an extremely dangerous radioactive substance has been stolen in central Mexico, the U.N. nuclear agency said Wednesday.The International Atomic Energy Agency said the truck was carrying cobalt-60, used for radiotherapy treatment to combat cancer.

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4 Plunge To Deaths In Polish Industrial Chimney

December 4, 2013 1:45 pm | by The Associated Press

Firefighters in central Poland say four maintenance workers have plunged to their deaths some 120 meters (400 feet) down a chimney that they were working on at a coal-fired power plant.Spokesman Waldemar Krakowiak said Wednesday that the four were standing on a platform that came loose inside a chimney at the Kozienice plant.

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Woman Fights Ticket For Driving With Google Glass

December 4, 2013 1:40 pm | by Justin Pritchard, Associated Press

A woman has pleaded not guilty to what is believed to be the first traffic citation alleging a motorist was using Google's computer-in-an-eyeglass.  The device known as Google Glass, not yet widely available to the public, features a thumbnail-size transparent display above the right eye.

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Survey: U.S. Companies Add 215K Jobs, Most In Year

December 4, 2013 1:35 pm | by Christopher S. Rugaber, AP Economics Writer

A private survey shows U.S. businesses last month added the most jobs in a year, powered by big gains in manufacturing and construction.  Payroll processor ADP said Wednesday that companies and small businesses added 215,000 jobs in November.   

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