Welsh steel, camel milk and Olympic medals made from e-waste – the supply chain in numbers

25 August 2016


Reported profit made by Tata’s Port Talbot steel plant in June. When the Indian conglomerate put the factory up for sale, it had been losing £1m a day. A weaker pound – and rising steel prices – have made the plant more competitive but staff have also helped to cut costs. The future of the facility remains uncertain.


The estimated drop in viewers of NBC’s coverage of the 2016 Olympics compared to 2012. The famous peacock network has paid $12bn to screen the Olympics until 2032. The good news for the broadcaster is that, despite a 25% drop in viewing among the crucial 18-49-year-old audience, ad revenue increased by 20%.


The year by which Apple’s Chinese supplier Lens Technology will run its entire manufacturing unit by renewable energy. The company, which makes the glass screens for iPhone, has pledged to switch to wind power by the end of that year. Apple powers its own operations in China with renewable energy and has committed to helping suppliers install 2 Gigawatts of clean power in the country.


The number of new roofs installed every year in the US. Tesla founder Elon Musk, which recently acquired Solar City in a $2.6bn deal, is keen for his group to sell ‘shingles’ to American homeowners, solar tiles that don't go on top of roves but would replace it. The timing of the launch of these ‘shingles' – and their retail price – has not been confirmed.


The number of Oscars won by the 1959 version of Ben Hur. This year’s remake, directed by Timur Bekmambetov, will be lucky to win one. More importantly, as far as its backers MGM and Paramount are concerned, it cost more than $100m to make, took in just $11.4m in its first weekend and prompted The Guardian to ask: “Was everyone on Ben Hur too busy sourcing camel milk to generate any new ideas?” After a summer where many big movies flopped, Paramount is expected to lose $350m this year.


The reduction in the average cost per megawatt hour the Chilean government will pay for electricity after its latest power auction, the largest in the country’s history. The new contracts, which start in 2021, rewarded many renewable energy companies which will help compensate for the country’s lack of oil and gas resources.

Six years

The ban from football imposed by FIFA on its former president Sepp Blatter over his suspect payment of $2m to UEFA president Michel Platini in 2011. Both men argue that the payment was part of a legitimate oral contract but Platini is now banned for four years after an appeal to the Court of Arbitration for Sport. Now 80, Blatter has also appealed to the same body.

650,000 tons

The amount of e-waste Japan generates a year. The country only collects 100,000 tons of it but even so, that haul would probably generate enough precious metal – 143kg of gold, 1,566kg of silver and 1,112 tons of copper – to provide the medals for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Central London and Cheltenham
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