Month: May, 2014

Global considerations


As I wrote about the seeming power 1 person can exert over the fortunes of a business in my last post, I will look to do the same this time, just in a completely different circumstance. Agricultural and chemical companies find their markets growing as the industry always seems to be developing. And right now with the increase we see in the industrial level of food production, it isn’t surprising when billions of dollars are being spoken about to build such factories. Incitec Pivot are already an established name in Australia, with new gas contracts for their Phosphate Hill plant in Queensland costing $50 million. In this world of energy, mining and chemicals, companies can operate in all sectors, and this is in fact one of the reasons why they have pulled the plug on their Australian ammonia plant. The booming shale gas revolution in America has led to cheap energy and a rebirth of the chemical manufacturing industry, part of the reason why it would cost $1.4 billion to build such a plant in Australia compared to $1billion in the US. It is worth remembering the scale of such worldwide micro-economies, as the shifts in balance have a knock on effect everywhere, often undermining anything governments and communities can do.


Tugboat time bomb

Business - BUS -  Port Hedland port

The production and processing of energy requires many parts of a puzzle to work together, and if these don’t work in harmony their own macro-economy will disfunction and in turn the wider micro-economy will do so also. From pre-exploration, right through to the extraction, delivery and usage of the differing types of energy, many different parties have vested interests, a fault at one small stage can have disastrous knock-on effects. It is no wonder then, that to effect a change workers still rely upon strikes to get their voices heard as the message goes further than the company. The company will have others that rely upon it, not just peers and consumers, but societies and economies. It is here that tugboat workers at Port Hedland have decided to strike. And with the place that the iron ore exporter holds not just in Australia but the world, the company are sure to listen to the workers as the effect it has on the economy will increase. In a time where we are lead by the mysterious entities of corporations, it is refreshing to see the power of people still showing its influence in such economic times.