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In the papers - Wednesday, 30 April 2008

Tajikistan appealed to its citizens yesterday to donate funds for a hydroelectric project that could end energy shortages in the impoverished central Asian country and provide a source of revenue from electricity exports...

... Most of the population in the Muslim nation bordering Iran and Afghanistan were deprived of heat and light during a record cold winter this year, prompting the government to step up a campaign to complete the construction of a huge dam and power plant at Rogun on the River Vaksh - Financial Times

Hopes of an end to the Grangemouth oil refinery dispute rose last night, just hours after 1,200 workers ended their two-day strike over pensions that halted nearly half of the UK's North Sea oil production and threatened to disrupt fuel supplies. A proposal to break the deadlock was agreed after hours of negotiation between leaders of the Unite trade Union and executives from Ineos, the private company that owns the refinery, including Jim Ratcliffe, its chairman and principal shareholder - The Financial Times

A train passenger was given a £69 on-the-spot fine for stanfding in a first-class luggage area because there was no room in 2nd class. Nicola Myhill, 27, a graphic designer, pays more than £4,000 for her annual rail season ricket but it does not allow her to travel first class - Daily Teleggraph

An eco-friendly house made of straw has been built after women volunteers spent five years constructing it by hand. Rachel Shiamh, the ownerm gave up an off Broadway dancing career in New York to return to Wales and oversee the project, living in a shed in woodland for seven years before finally starting in 2003 - Daily Telegraph

Some of Britain's most prestigious science facilities are at risk of closure due to poor management of public research funds, MPs say. The criticism, from the Commons innovation, universities, science and skills committee, is largely directed at the leadership of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), which distributes around £678M a year of public funds for physics and research facilities - The Guardian

The prime minister, Gordon Brown, called on BP and Shell yesterday to invest more of their earnings in North Sea oil exploration amid a growing row about the companies' profits, which reached a combined total of £7bn for the first quarter of the year. Brown said: "I hope that these profits are going to be invested in getting more oil out of the North Sea" - The Guardian


Greece formally agreed yesterday to host a section of Gazprom's planned South Stream natural gas export pipeline, furthering its goal to become a regional transport hub for oil and gas supplies to Europe. Gazprom, Russia's state-run gas company, is building the pipeline in partnership with Eni, the Italian oil company, to carry up to £30bn cubic metres a year of Russian gas across the Black sea to Bulgaria - The Financial Times

The price of power and who foots the bill for Britain's rocketing energy costs took centre stage yesterday as the oil giants Shell and BP unveiled huge combined profits of £7.2bn, made in just three months, and consumers were hit with a new round of steep rises in prices from gas and electricity to air travel - Independent

The day of £5 per gallon petrol beckons. Airlines unable to cope with unprecedented fuel costs are falling out of the sky at the rate of nearly one a week. Wholesale gas prices - which are linked to oil - have jumped by more than 50% since January, leaving energy companies to pass on the extra cost to their customers. The £1,200 annual household fuel bill is not far off - Independent

Nearly half the British public have vowed to fly less in the coming year to help the environment, according to a new survey that will alarm airlines struggling with record fuel prices and the fallout from the credit crunch. An exclusive poll for The Times shows that 46% of consumers have pledged to cut air travel while 23% will fly only with those airlines that have a clear green strategy - The Times

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