Gazprom receives construction permit for second string of TurkStream

Gazprom received through diplomatic channels a construction permit from the authorities of the Turkish Republic for the second string of the TurkStream gas pipeline’s offshore section stretching to the Turkish coast.

“The TurkStream project is well underway. In accordance with the plan, it is carried out simultaneously at three sections: onshore in Russia and Turkey and offshore in the Black Sea. Over 760 kilometers of the two strings are already built at the offshore section. Construction of the landfall in Russia is nearly completed. In Turkey, work started at the construction site of the receiving terminal. Today, we received a permit to lay the second string in the exclusive economic zone and territorial waters of Turkey. We now have all of the required permits from the Turkish Government to lay the TurkStream gas pipeline in the offshore area. It is therefore a certainty that both strings of the gas pipeline will be put into operation right on time, before the end of 2019,” said Alexey Miller, Chairman of the Gazprom Management Committee.


TurkStream is the project for a gas pipeline stretching across the Black Sea from Russia to Turkey and further to Turkey's border with neighboring countries. The first string of the gas pipeline is intended for Turkish consumers, while the second string will deliver gas to southern and southeastern Europe. Each string will have the throughput capacity of 15.75 billion cubic meters of gas per year. Construction of TurkStream’s offshore section commenced on May 7, 2017.


Not switched energy suppliers in the last 6 years? You’ve overpaid by £1500

Failing to switch energy suppliers may have cost millions of UK households more than £1,500 each over the past six years. Ofgem figures show that more than a third (35%) of UK households - or nine million - did not change gas or electricity provider between 2012 and 2017.

UK Households save on average £300 a year by switching energy supplier - equivalent to more than a month's worth of food shopping. Despite the possibility of a considerable saving, one third of people (33%) say they do not see the point of switching because they believe all suppliers are the same, a YouGov poll for the Big Energy Saving Week campaign found.

The YouGov survey also found that 65% of people would read reviews when planning to spend £1,000 on a purchase, but just 16% read any reviews about their new energy supplier or tariff when they last switched.

The research is part of the Big Energy Saving Week, led by campaigners to help customers to cut energy bills and raise awareness of the financial support UK households are entitled to.

Led by the Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) aims to help households lower their spending on energy.

Citizens Advice is hosting local events across the country to help people compare energy prices and will be promoting its own impartial online comparison tool that compare the whole market to find the cheapest deal.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy said: "Checking your energy tariff and switching to a cheaper deal is one of the quickest and easiest ways to cut your bills.

"We know people who stay with the same energy supplier often pay hundreds of pounds more a year for the same gas and electricity. It is too often the most vulnerable and those with the lowest incomes who pay the highest prices for their energy."

Philip Sellwood, the Energy Saving Trust's chief executive, said:

"The difference between the average standard variable tariff and the cheapest deal on the market is significant, but millions of households still aren't accessing these savings.

"To put that into context, switching this year could save you up to £300 - equivalent to more than a month's worth of food shopping.

"In other words, if you haven't switched for six years, you've missed out on more than six months of food shopping."

Energylinx offers a free and impartial energy comparison and switching service. You can decide whether to compare the whole market or just suppliers that we can switch you to. It's easy to arrange a transfer online but if you would rather speak to one of our advisors, you can do this by calling 01259 220000.

Press release: Industrial Strategy boost for UK medicines with £70 million of funding to help develop new treatments

  • Funding through Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will support projects including new manufacturing centres to speed up the production of medicine and new virtual reality projects to help patient recovery
  • Landmark speech also confirms plans to map UK’s research infrastructure to ensure UK remains at the cutting edge

New Science Minister Sam Gyimah will announce £70 million of funding to create new manufacturing centres to help speed up the development of new medicines during a visit to Imperial College London today (Monday 22 January).

The money forms part of the government’s commitment to build a country fit for the future through a stronger economy and fairer society. It will create innovative new medical solutions, including using virtual reality to aid rehabilitation and investing in digital speech therapy solutions for stroke and brain injuries. The government’s investment in high tech medical research will in turn boost jobs, enhance the NHS and ensure better care for people when they are unwell.

During his visit to Imperial College London, the minister is expected to see how new, innovative technology is being developed to help patients.

He will be shown a cartoon-like robot which can improve learning and emotional understanding in children with autism. Because of their programming, robots are precise in displaying the same facial expressions and gestures in every interaction. Researchers believe this consistency may be the key to helping young children with autism to learn the different facial expressions and gestures people use to display their emotions.

The minister is also likely to see some AI facial-recognition research which could be used to help elderly people by detecting the onset of depression, or in security systems to recognise visitors to dementia sufferers’ homes as doctors, nurses or relatives.

As part of a day of Industrial Strategy activity, Sam Gyimah will also speak at the Royal Society where he will announce the start of the UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Research and Innovation Infrastructure Roadmap Programme, which will comprehensively map UK research and innovation infrastructure, showcasing our abilities whilst identifying any gaps in infrastructure that we can address to boost the sector.

The Infrastructure Roadmap will be the first major piece of work that UKRI will undertake, and is expected to be finished in 2019 and will feature:

  • Large scientific facilities and major equipment
  • Collections, archives and scientific data
  • E-infrastructures such as data and computing systems
  • Communications networks

Universities and Science Minister Sam Gyimah said:

Through our ambitious, modern Industrial Strategy we want to unlock the innovations that will help people live better, longer lives by developing the medicines of the future. This investment will not only support high-value, highly-skilled jobs but will develop lifesaving treatments that could change lives across the UK.

We want to improve the way we make medicines and we are determined to capitalise on our research and innovation infrastructure, which is why today I am launching the start of the UKRI Research and Innovation Infrastructure Roadmap Programme.

From RRS Discovery to the UK Biobank and the Diamond Light Source to the UK Data Archive, this country is world renowned for its research and innovation infrastructure. Now, for the first time, we will map this to enable us to showcase our capabilities around the world and identify future opportunities.

Chief Executive designate of UK Research and Innovation, Sir Mark Walport said:

One of UK Research and Innovation’s key tasks is to make sure that the UK’s businesses and researchers are ready and able to seize the opportunity presented by the Industrial Strategy. So I’m very pleased that alongside today’s substantial investment in leading edge healthcare manufacturing technology, we are also starting the process to map out the UK’s nationally and internationally important research and innovation infrastructure. This will enable us to make sure we are getting the absolute best out the infrastructure we already have, and identify what else we will need to stay competitive in the next 10-15 years.

Healthcare Challenge

Through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), the government is investing £181 million through the Leading Edge Healthcare and the Digital Health Technology Catalyst over 4 years in the areas of advanced therapies, medicines and vaccines development and manufacturing, alongside an estimated £250 million of private funding from industry.

The fund should return a value of £1 billion to the UK economy, support high-value, highly-skilled manufacturing, and increase productivity.

Nearly £50 million of this funding has been allocated to further the manufacture of medicines, ensuring that the right drugs and treatments reach patients.

The funding for the ISCF Leading Edge Healthcare Challenge allocation is made up of:

  • £21 million for Advanced Therapies Treatment Centres
  • £15 million for Medicines Manufacturing collaborative research and development round 1 competition
  • £8 million for Digital Health Catalyst round 1
  • £5.6 million for Viral vector production for Cell and Gene Therapy
  • £8 million for Digital Health Technology Catalyst round 2 - funding competition opens 15 February 2018
  • £10 million for the Medicines Manufacturing challenge round 2 - funding opens 12 March 2018

Commenting on the funding, Health and Social Care Minister Lord O’Shaughnessy said:

NHS patients want to know that they can get the most innovative and effective treatments as quickly as possible, and that’s what our investments will make happen.

Whether it is new cancer treatments, digital health technologies, or tools to help diagnose illness earlier, the Government is partnering with industry to deliver the life-changing and life-saving treatments as quickly as anywhere in the world.

The projects announced as part of the ISCF Leading Edge Healthcare Challenge will not only improve accessibility and production of medicines, it will further reaffirm the UK’s position as being world-leading in research and development, which is a central to the Industrial Strategy.

Press release: Government launches new Office for Product Safety and Standards

The government has today (21 January 2018) announced the creation of a new national oversight body tasked with identifying consumer risks and managing responses to large-scale product recalls and repairs.

The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will enable the UK to meet the evolving challenges of product safety by responding to expanding international trade, the growth in online shopping and the increasing rate of product innovation.

Today’s announcement comes as part of the government’s response to the Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety. Established in October 2016 by former Consumer Minister Margot James, the group of product and fire safety experts was brought together to build on the recommendations made by Lynn Faulds Wood in her independent review into consumer product recalls.

In addition to providing support and advice for local authority Trading Standards teams, the office will co-ordinate work across local authorities where action is needed on a national scale and will ensure the UK continues to carry out appropriate border checks on imported products once the UK leaves the European Union.

Business Minister Andrew Griffiths said:

The new Office for Product Safety and Standards will strengthen the UK’s already tough product safety regime and will allow consumers to continue to buy secure in the knowledge there is an effective system in place if products need to be repaired or replaced.

I thank the working group for their efforts to help improve product safety and I look forward to working with them in this new phase.

Neil Gibbins, Chair of the working group, said:

It has been my mission to make the public safe since I joined the fire service nearly 40 years ago. That’s why I’m pleased to see the government respond to our recommendations with concrete steps to ensure the safety of consumers, now and in the future.

The government will continue to work with stakeholders such as consumer groups, manufacturers and retailers to ensure the office coordinates the UK’s product safety regime as effectively as possible.

This will not lessen any of the legal responsibilities that sit with manufacturers, importers and retailers to present safe products to the market, and to take rapid effective action when safety issues arise with their products.

Other actions as part of the government’s response to the working group include:

  • working with the British Standards Institute to provide guidance on product recalls and corrective action
  • conducting research to help manufacturers and retailers develop technological solutions to product marking and identification
  • increasing the reach of Primary Authority to further share business, local authority and Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) expertise to help protect consumers
  • researching consumer behaviour to identify the best way to drive up the number of consumers registering appliances with manufacturers
  • creating an expert panel to bring together trade associations, consumer and enforcement representatives to advise on product safety issues as they arise

Notes for editors

  1. The office will be based in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and will start work immediately.
  2. It will work closely with the BEIS Chief Scientific Advisor, Professor John Loughhead, to ensure it has access to cutting-edge scientific and technical expertise.
  3. The Working Group on Product Recalls and Safety was set up by former Consumer Minister Margot James to provide recommendations to improve the recalls process and the safety of consumer products. The group published its report in July 2017.
  4. The Office for Product Safety and Standards will cover general (non-food) consumer product safety. It will not cover vehicles, medicines and medical devices, or workplace equipment, which are already covered by other agencies. This remit is in line with the current responsibilities of BEIS on product safety.
  5. The remit of the office does not cover construction products, which are currently subject to a separate review being led by Dame Judith Hackitt. The government will carefully consider the recommendations of that review when it concludes.
  6. The Office for Product Safety and Standards will have a budget of around £12 million per year when fully operational.
  7. There are no changes to the roles and responsibilities of local authorities or other market surveillance authorities. The office will provide a number of specialist services centrally to support consistent national enforcement, including aspects of product testing and technical expertise.
  8. Primary Authority enables businesses to form a legal partnership with one local authority, which then provides assured and tailored advice on complying with environmental health, trading standards or fire safety regulations that other local regulators must respect.

Policy paper: Nuclear Safeguards Bill: draft regulations

The draft regulations above are:

  • The Nuclear Safeguards Regulations 20–, which set out the nuclear safeguards regime for the UK
  • The Nuclear Safeguards (Civil Activities, Fissionable Material and Relevant International Agreements) Regulations 20–, which will complete the powers of the Secretary of State to make regulations under the Nuclear Safeguards Bill by providing definitions

The publication of the pre-consultation drafts is timed to accompany the report stage of the Nuclear Safeguards Bill 2017 to 2019, which takes place on 23 January 2018.

The explanatory note provides context to the publication of the draft regulations and the next stages of their development as well as an overview of the regulations as they are currently constituted.