As we start a new year, consider the miserable plight of the average Pakistani electricity consumer. With about 50 per cent less electricity generation capability than the actual demand, Pakistan's National Grid is facing more than a 5,000-megawatt shortfall in power generation, leading to blackouts in both urban and rural areas of the country. Due to unscheduled shortages by the National Power Control Center, urban areas are facing unscheduled minimum 8-hour power blackouts each day, while in rural areas the blackouts can last as long as 14 hours.
China's manufacturing sector gained slightly in October on expansions in production output, new orders, and new export orders, but the continued sluggish growth is fueling worries of a prolonged economic slump in the nation that could impact trade and the global economy. The Flash China Manufacturing PMI published by HSBC in conjunction with Markit Economics climbed to 50.4, up from September's final reading of 50.2, which was unchanged from August's measure.
The 2010 Kalamazoo spill and the 2013 Exxon leak in Arkansas are the most glaring incidents, but these are just the big leaks that are found right away and reported. Most leaks are found eventually—but there is money to be saved and damage to be avoided by catching them at the smallest rupture. Right now, we rely on pigs in the pipeline to do this. It's called "pigging". Pigs are inspection gauges that can perform various maintenance operations on a pipeline—from inspection to cleaning—without stopping the pipeline flow.