Tuesday, January 13, 2009

In other news... HM's old boat refitted; Mr Zawawi buys a piece of a US firm that makes electricity from waste; Paki British Soldier of Omani origin

A couple of interesting news item tit-bits on the web today...

MoT refits HM's old yacht

Press release from Super Yacht Times that a mysteriously un-named 103m super yacht is being refitted in Oman with a state of the art entertainment system.

The yacht in question - as there is only one 103m yacht in the world - is His Majesty's old 1982 yacht, renamed Loaloat al Behar and now owned by the Ministry of Tourism.

(actually, its 103.8m long, according to wikipedia's list of the world's biggest yachts)

A 103 meter superyacht, under Oman ownership, is currently being refitted with Lantic Systems Entertainment Solution. Lantic Systems A/S, based in Aarhus, Denmark, has won a refit project through its esteemed Systems Integrator in the Arabian Gulf, Elcome International LLC.

The 103 meter superyacht is currently undergoing a major refit in Oman. Part of the refit was implementation of an entertainment system and a key criteria for the Entertainment Systems selection, was minimal installation impact as many of the distinguished interior details on the vessel had to be preserved.


The Lantic Systems solution was selected for all 10 Guest Cabins, 5 VVIP Cabins, the Cinema, as well as for Saloons and Outdoor Deck Areas.

Sounds nice. After its refit, I bet it'll be one tasty ride. Wonder how much it'll cost???

Wizard of Oz buys Green electricity company
Reported today, Mr Omar Zawawi, probably Oman's richest and most successful businessman and owner of mega-conglomerate Omzest (as well as advisor to His Majesty), has bought a $20mln share of a US firm that uses high-tech gassification process to produce electricity from municipal waste.

Photo: Workers at Ze-Gen's waste-to-electricty test facility in Bedford, Mass.

Waste-to-energy firm Ze-gen piles up cash

Waste-to-energy firm Ze-Gen said Tuesday that it has raised money to further develop and commercialize its technology for converting municipal solid waste to electricity.

The company announced a series B round of $20 million that was led by a division of the Oman-based conglomerate Omar Zawawi Establishment.

There are a handful of firms developing different processes for converting municipal solid waste into usable energy. There are landfills that capture methane gas, which can be burned for electricity. Energy from incinerated trash can be used, too, but it is considered inefficient and polluting.

Ze-Gen uses presorted construction debris, which is put through a gasification process, where the trash is heated and put under pressure. Unlike burning, gasification yields what's called synthetic gas, which contains methane that can be burned to make electricity.

The company has a demonstration facility in Bedford, Mass., where it intends to supply electricity to the local utility.

Last year, the original developers of the core technology filed suit against Ze-Gen, alleging that the intellectual property was misappropriated. Company executives have said the case has no merit.

Nice to see that the credit crunch has not stopped Mr Zawawi from being able to make canny strategic investments like this one. This is the sort of technology for which there would be a great long term market in the middle east (incl. Oman) as we produce more waste per person than the average US citizen.

Certainly should be able to compete with imported coal!

And finally,
It seems the British muslim soldier Prince Harry's in a bit bother over after calling him a 'Paki' is actually of Omani decent, according to the UK's Guardian newspaper!

Racist slur or army banter? What the soldiers say
The Guardian, Tuesday 13 January 2009

In mess halls and parade squares across the country, Prince Harry's comments were being chewed over yesterday. As they pondered the media furore, some insisted his comments pointed to a wider problem of racism in the armed forces, but others were quick to come to his defence, claiming his critics had little or no understanding of army life.

However, no one with first-hand experience of the British military seemed remotely surprised that the 24-year-old, who is third in line to the throne, had chosen the term Paki to describe a fellow soldier.

Nabs, who spent 11 years in the British army, described the interest in Prince Harry's comments as "pure nonsense".

"When I joined the army my first nickname was 'Private foreign bollocks', and it was a relief when people started calling me that because I knew that it meant I had been accepted," said the 38-year-old British Muslim, whose family originate from Oman.

"It is the sort of thing that is said with good humour among friends and in that context it is something that we can all take it. What counts in the army is that you are good at your job. If you are then you will get a bit of banter but you will also get respect. If you are not any good people will pick on whatever they can, whether that is that you are ginger or Irish or a woman."...

He seems to have a pretty good attitude about it all.


  1. UD

    As a middle easterner who spent some years as an officer in the British army, I could tell you racially-based nicknames that would make your eyes water. All from guys who were (and still are) extremely close friends. It's the same as calling someone who's slightly rounded a "fat bastard" (or worse) - pure banter between friends. I dread to think what the army would be like were friends not able to talk to one another like this in the mess or in the field.

    I remember one of my young soldiers who happened to be from Newcastle in tears with me once - because the rest of the boys called him "xxx you Geordie Bastard" (my regiment recruits primarily elsewhere in the UK). I told him to live with it and he did; very happily as it turned out.

    What a load of b0llocks.

    I love your blog.

    WM (in Muscat)

  2. Hi!! Your blog are very nice and more info. I hope follow my blog and please click my google ads

  3. That would be
    "Dr.Wizard of OZ, M.D." to you, Mr. Dragon.

    I belive he is / was a OBGYN, and a pretty good one at that.


  4. More like Jaba the Hut than Wizard of Oz.

  5. Dragon,

    I think the one that is 'gifted' to the Min of Tourism is not properly HMs yacht but the follow on vessel with the radars and guns and stuff. His yacht was/is still named Fulk Al Salama. And mentioned in the same list as being 153m long.

    Cunning linguist.

  6. Nope - the Fulk al Salama is the tender. The new, improved yacht (like, I believe, the old) is "Al Said". And very handsome it is, riding at anchor in Mutrah Harbor.

  7. I think you got the wrong end of the stick regarding who is who in that article.

    The former Soldier of Omani origin is just being hit up for comment by the paper and isn't the same individual that was the subject of Harry's video.

  8. D,

    I was gonna say the same as Anon above......... but I like your tabloid headline style..........

    its always intresting to pass by this site.......... keep it up

  9. Just wanted to say the same as the last 2 comments. Good stories though. When I saw all the furore about the "paki" comment I just thought what rubbish. There is a limit for political correctness. Its ridiculous to what extents people take it sometimes.

    Interesting story about waste-to-energy. Its certainly something that will be very, very big in the future, if it works.

  10. Just wanted to say the same as the last 2 comments. Good stories though. When I saw all the furore about the "paki" comment I just thought what rubbish. There is a limit for political correctness. Its ridiculous to what extents people take it sometimes.

    Interesting story about waste-to-energy. Its certainly something that will be very, very big in the future, if it works.


If you wish to post anonymously, please pick a nickname by selecting the Name/URL option, or at least sign off your comment with one! I will delete comments I find objectionable or needlessly inflammatory. Sorry for the word verification.... OMG the spam has gotten BAD these past 12 months... trying to avoid making one log in...