Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona on May 5, 1982 · Page 30
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Arizona Republic from Phoenix, Arizona · Page 30

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Phoenix, Arizona
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Wednesday, May 5, 1982
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, REPUBLIC MAIL' , The Arizona Repubuc Wednesday, May 5, 1982 Copper f irm to use solar units to dry concentrate yi Today CunarJmnArl niirttaa nlaiinAff President Reagan agreed Tuesday to impose quotas on sugar imports as a means to avoid stockpiling domestic sugar under the price-support program that he accepted last year in return for the votes of farm-state, Democrats on his budget and tax bills. The effect of the new quotas will be to force consumers to bear the burden of propping up domestic sugar prices rather than having taxpayers finance federal buying and storing of sugar. Price-support delay expected The Reagan administration, trying to cope with a skyrocketing dairy surplus, will seek legislation to cancel a scheduled fall increase in milk-price supports, according to informed sources. The plan, to be announced formally today by Agriculture Secretary John Block, also will give the agriculture secretary discretion to set price supports beginning next year and expanded authority, to dispose of the current dairy stockpile, which totals nearly 2 billion pounds. Auto sales decline U.S. automakers in the final 10 days of April sold 206,204 cars, down 6.4 percent from the 220,257 sold during the April 21-30 period last year, with Chrysler reporting the largest percentage drop. General Motors Corp. was the only . automaker to show an increase, with sales up 1.7 percent from the same period of 1981. Sales for the month dropped 6.6 percent, from 533,724 in April 1981 to 498,630 this year. UAW rejects AMC pact - A United Auto Workers union contract designed to raise $115 million for American Motors Corp. has been shelved, but union officials said there still is a chance the pact can be salvaged. The damaging blow was dealt late Monday night when the membership of UAW Local 12 in Toledo, Ohio, rejected the proposed O 1 i i 1 COA A 1 o An J v2-year uumraci i,oov w i,ovv, aaiu Ray Okdie, the local chief. Union locals in Kenosha, Wis., and Milwaukee already had approved the contract, but approval of all three locals was necessary for ratification. . Mortgage rate dips The average interest rate charged to Americans for - new mortgages fell slightly in April to 17.41 percent, the second time this year that those rates have dropped a bit. The number of lenders making loans rose last month for the fifth straight month, the Federal Home Loan Bank Board said in a new report. The new average effective " commitment rate on long-term, fixed- ; rate mortgages declined 0.1 percentage point from March's 17.51 percent, the report said. The rate reached a record 18.17 percent in October. The rate was 15.53 percent in April 1981. RCA to fight takeover RCA Corp. Chairman Thornton F. Brad-shaw has rebutted recent speculation and said RCA would resist dismem berment "to the utmost." Bradshaw told RCA's annual shareholders' meeting that the firm will strengthen its core electronics and communications businesses, and sell its Hertz car-rental business and perhaps other non-electronic operations. Mexico to delay gas-export hike : Mexico will not raise its natural-gas , exports until next year, according to an executive for the state oil monop-, oly, dashing U.S. plans to boost purchases quickly. Gilberto Escobedo, subdirector of marketing for Petroleos Mexicanos, said plans to increase gas exports were delayed because sales are ' limited under the current administra-; tion's energy program. Casino strike A strike by maintenance workers spread to two more Atlantic City, N.J., casino hotels . as negotiators prepared to meet for ; the first time in the 4-day-old walkout. Workers at Caesars Boardwalk Regency and the Playboy Hotel and Casino walked off the job at daybreak Tuesday and set up picket lines. Pickets have been out at Bally's Park Place casino hotel since a contract' among three unions and six casino ' hotels expired at midnight Friday. Inside: Stock market Stocks, which got off to a booming start despite higher interest rates, settled for a broad gain .; Tuesday in a session marked by hope and concern about progress on cutting ', the' federal budget deficit Trading 'was heavy. Electronics and j.- computer issues were strong, along with defense, photogra- ". phy and certain transportation stocks. ; But energy issues were mixed in the wake of gloomy near-term earnings - prospects. The Dow Jones average gained 5.42 points, tto 854.45. D5. By Betty Beard Republic Staff Thousands of solar collectors soon will replace expensive oil to dry copper-molybdenum concentrate at the Cyprus Bagdad Copper Co. in Bagdad. Luz Engineering Corp. has signed a contract to build a privately financed industrial solar system covering more than three acres. Raleigh Myhren, director of marketing for Luz, said the system, which he claims is the largest of its type under construction in the state, proves that solar energy has matured to the point that it is feasible for large-scale commercial projects. It will cost $3.5 million. Cyprus will pay 90 percent of its present fuel costs for the solar power, according to terms of a long-term contract signed with Luz. The 46,614-square-foot collector system will include 3 A acres of moving parabolic mirrors that will follow the sun across the sky. The mirrors will focus the sun's rays onto pipes carrying heat-transfer fluids and will heat the fluid to 450 degrees Fahrenheit. The fluid will be used to dry the molybdenum in a commercial dryer during the final stage of processing. The system is expected to produce more than 8 million British thermal units of heat an hour. Cyprus is a subsidiary of Amoco Minerals Co., which is a subsidiary of Standard Oil of Indiana. Luz announced in August ' that it was beginning similar systems at J.P. Stevens & Co. in Louisville, Ga.; Cone Mills Corp. in Cliffside, N.C.; and Bibb Co. in Percale, Ga. Myhren said other projects are under consideration in Arizona, Texas, California, Kansas and New Mexico. He said many other Arizona mines are interested. The Cyprus system will be built in three parts, with the first expected to be operating by fall. The entire system is scheduled to be finished in spring 1985. Myhren said tax credits, depreciation benefits, and other investment tax breaks are key factors in encouraging private investment in solar mm RepubliQ Three and one-half acres of moving parabolic mirrors, which follow the path of the sun, will be part of a 46,614-square-foot collector system. , projects. Solar investments can be tax shelters, the whole solar industry would be in trouble, themselves invest in an expensive solar system he said. The costs are too expensive." because it takes too long to recover the costs' and Without the tax credits, Myhren said, "I think He said private businesses would not by because they fear the risk of such new projects. Webb Corp. to sell Las Vegas hotel-casino for $50 million to slash debt By Linda Stowell Republic Staff Del E. Webb Corp. has reached an agreement to sell its Sahara Vegas hotel and casino for $50 million to Paul W. Lowden, president and owner of the Hacienda Resort Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, Nev. - Robert K. Swanson, head of Phoenix-based Webb, said completion of the sale, which is scheduled for Aug. 2, and other property sales and cost-cutting measures will enable Webb to slash its debt from $279 million, to $140 million. During the past year, Webb has reduced its debt by improving operating income before interest and by internal, corporate reorganizations. In addition, the sales of Mountain Shadows Resort in Scottsdale, the Newporter Inn in Newport Beach, Calif., the Sahara Reno in Nevada and Cottonwood Cove and Callville Bay marinas in Nevada have helped reduce debt. . - The latest sale is subject to approval by the Nevada Gaming Commission. Lowden also was granted an option to purchase a 22-acre parking lot on Paradise Road and an option and right of first refusal on the Sahara Country Club and 18-hole champi-. onship golf course, both in Las Vegas. Webb has reserved the right to offer the country club to other potential buyers during the option period, which will expire March 31. "Once we have completed the sale of Sahara Vegas, two other projects remain to finalize the restructuring of Del E. Webb Corporation which began a year ago," Swanson said. "These are obtaining the funds owed us from the sale of Rosenzweig Center (in Phoenix), which amounts to a little more than $16 million, and the sale of our Sahara Boardwalk in New Jersey for about $12 million. -' "Hopefully, both of these will be accomplished in the next few months, and then all corporate energies can be devoted to the long' term growth ot Del K. Webb Corporation. Lowden said he anticipates no immediate changes in the operation of the facility. The 932-room Sahara Vegas has a 26,000-square-foot casino area and 48,000 square feet of convention facilities with banquet seating for 4,500 people, in addition to five restaurants 't and six bars. . The Sahara Vegas opened in October 1952. It was built by Webb's contracting division, !; which also constructed all of the hotel-casino,; expansions. It was purchased by Webb in 1961 and since has been owned and operated by Webb's subsidiary, Sahara Nevada Corp. ?' Clean Air Act cleared as cause of utilities' financial ills United Press International WASHINGTON Requirements of the Clean Air Act are "indeed costly" for electric utilities but are not a major factor in impairing their financial health, a study by the Congressional Budget Office concluded Tuesday. The yearlong study also found that pollution-emission standards for new power plants required by the law have not been a factor in a westward shift of coal production over the last . decade. The report, requested by Sen. Robert Stafford, R-Vt., chairman of the Senate Environ ment Committee, analyzed the standards for new electric-power plants, their costs and their effects on emissions and coal production. For more than a year, the committee has tried to draft an extension of the Clean Air Act with no agreement to date. "Some of the most vocal critics of the Clean Air Act have been utility industries," Stafford said. "What this study shows is that even in this industry which bears some of the heaviest cleanup burdens the cost of pollution control does not determine their financial health." . Stafford said he requested the report after it "became apparent that critics of the Clean Air Act would attempt to depict the law as a villain which has cost the country jobs and wealth." "The issues we are dealing with here involve dirty air and clean air," he said. "They have an extremely small relationship, if any, to the plight of the country's basic industry." The report said the findings of the Congressional Budget Office "indicate that though controlling emissions is indeed costly, it has not played a major role in impairing the utilities' financial position and is not likely to do so in the future." A comparison of bond ratings showed that , utilities with commitments to pollution control "tend to fare no better and no worse than all electric utilities in general," the report said. ' . "Overall, most utilities, regardless of invesi-ment in emission controls, have experienced some financial decline, but this pattern may be more properly ascribed to other causes," it said The report also said the westward shift of coal production "cannot be directly linked" to the Clean Air Act " It said Western coal production increasing for several reasons low-cost mining, ability to ship long distances and more local demand. . United Parcel Service, Teamsters reach tentative pact, avert strike United Press International WASHINGTON - The United Parcel Service and the Teamsters union reached agreement Tuesday night on a tentative contract for 80,000 workers, averting a threatened nationwide strike against the delivery firm. Federal mediator Nicholas Fi-dandis announced the settlement shortly after 7 p.m. (4 p.m. Arizona time) at the end of nearly nine hours of continuous bargaining. "The Teamsters and United Parcel Service have reached a settlement on the National Master Agreement, subject to membership ratification," Fidandis said. , . A strike would have stalled pickup and delivery of more than 6 million parcels shipped throughout the nation daily by the firm based in Greenwich, Conn. Guarantees to aid ailing S&Ls urged by banking-panel head Associated Press WASHINGTON - Help to bolster weak savings and loan associations would be "extremely helpful," the chairman of the Senate Banking Committee said Tuesday. Sen. Jake Gam, R-Utah, said after a speech to the Independent Bankers Association of America that he is working with administration officials to come up with capital-infusion legislation that would prop up the net worth of some troubled institutions. Meanwhile, Rep. Fernand St Germain, chairman of the House Banking Committee, introduced a measure that would provide government guarantees to weak institutions. The plan would cost the government money only if an institution receiving help, failed and had to be liquidated. Gam, in talking to reporters, emphasized that the program he was working on also would require no federal tash. Moreover, he said that not all weak institutions would get help. "We're trying to structure it where you would save those that have been doing a good job ... and are solely hurt by the current situation," Gam said. The savings and,loan industry has been hit hard by high interest rates and inflation. Thrift institutions, the prime source of home loans, have large portfolios of old mortgages on their books. With high interest rates, they are forced to pay more for new money than they are taking in from home loans agreed on years ago when interest rates were much lower. Under the St Germain plan, guarantees would be granted for two years to an eligible institution if its net worth fell below 2 percent of its assets. The guarantees would count as assets and would be used to bring net worth back 'up to 2 percent of assets. Longer copper shutdown feared Phelps Dodge likely to miss deadline for reopening; 'situation unimproved' By Don Harris Republic Staff ' Jack Ladd, director of labor relations for the firm, said the chances for meeting the target date "look worse I don't think we will reopen on June 1." When Phelps Dodge shut down, idling 3,200 workers in Arizona and 600 in New Mexico, company officials said they no longer could make a profit selling copper at around 70 cents a pound. "I hate to be a pessimist," Ladd said in a telephone interview from his office in Douglas, "but things aren't getting much better. We've been trying to assure everybody that we're doing everything we can to get back in production, but the situation has not improved since the layoff. The price has not gone up. The cost of producing has not gone down, other than the cutting of salaries." Copper was listed Tuesday at 76 cents a pound, but industry officials estimate that it costs 90 cents a pound to produce. Ladd declined to estimate how long the shutdown will last "We can't predict what the price of copper will do," Ladd said. "We're just marking time. If the price of copper isn't going to get better, the only other thing we can do is cut operating expenses." He expressed hope that unions that represent copper workers will be willing to meet with Phelps Dodge officials to renegotiate their contracts. The company wants to eliminate automatic cost-of-living pay raises. "- ! Spokesmen for the United Steelworkere of America could not be reached for comment Union officials are scheduled to meet in Los Angeles next Tuesday to discuss . plans for dealing with the sagging copper industry. '. Immediate steps taken by Phelps Dodge included cutting the pay of every salaried employee, Ladd said. The reductions amounted to 4 percent of the first $40,000, and 8 percent of earnings in excess of that, Ladd said. . :; ; - In addition, directors' fees were slashed, and the salaries of the five top officiere, including George B. Munroe, : president and board chairman, were cut considerably more than 8 percent according to Ladd. Phelps Dodge also has halted all capital improvements. ' Ladd's gloomy forecast confirmed a message by Gov. Bruce Babbitt to residents of the Clifton-Morenci area last month. Babbitt cautioned miners not to expect a resumption of work June 1 and predicted that the Phelps Dodge shutdown most likely will last until fall : Munroe is scheduled to tour the company's Arizona and New Mexico facilities starting Saturday. Goldwater asks support for cable-TV bill Using the facilities of the Cable-Satellite Public Affairs Network, which normally broadcasts the proceedings of the House, Goldwater delivered his speech via satellite from' Washington. Earlier Tuesday, the more than 15,000 cable-system operators attending the convention neard an assistant Commerce Department secretary .and two members of the Federal Communications Commission discuss the Cable, D2 Republic Wire Services LAS VEGAS, Nev. Sen. Barry Goldwater, R-Ariz., in a speech delivered via satellite Tuesday, asked cable-television operators to support legislation defining the regulatory responsibilities of federal and local governments. Despite the cable industry's unhap-piness with sections of the bill, including a provision that would allow cities to purchase or build their own cablet systems, - Goldwater said he firmly believes it is time for Congress to establish a national cable policy. Without firm guidelines on what cities can and cannot do, he added, the industry never may realize its potential Goldwater had been expected to address the annual convention of the National Cable Television Association in person. He had to cancel his visit however, because of a closed-door Senate session on the Soviet arms buildup.

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