EBJ News for March 3, 2017

News for March 3, 2017

ICF revenues grow 5% in 2016 led by commercial and government clients
ICF (Fairfax, Va.), a consulting and technology services provider, reported revenue of $1.19 billion for the year ended December 31, 2016, up 4.7% over 2015. Service revenue was $864.8 million, or 1.8% higher, and net income was $46.6 million compared to $39.4 million in the prior year. “2016 was a year of solid execution for ICF in which we achieved mid-single-digit organic revenue growth consistent with our expectations,” said Sudhakar Kesavan, ICF’s chairman and CEO. Commercial revenue increased 4.8%, and government business grew 4.6% (4.1% federal and double-digit for state and local). “Since the beginning of 2017, we have seen a return to our expected levels of activity in our federal government business and commercial energy advisory work,” said Kesavan. For full year 2016, contract awards were $1.5 billion, up 13% year-on-year and representing a book-to-bill ratio of 1.26. Key awards in the fourth quarter included a contract with a ceiling of $19.6 million with the U.S. EPA’s Office of Transportation and Air Quality, a $12 million contract with EPA’s Office of Water, and a $41 million contract for energy efficiency with a major utility.

Study identifies more than 6,000 fracking spills
A study published in the February 21, 2017 edition of Environmental Science & Technology identified 6,648 spills at unconventional oil and gas (UOG) wells across Colorado, New Mexico, North Dakota, and Pennsylvania between 2005 and 2014. Researchers assessed data from 31,481 UOG wells and found that during the 10-year period 2% to 16% reported a spill each year. Most spills (75% to 94%) occurred within the first three years of well life when wells were drilled, completed, and had their largest production volumes. Across all four states 50% of spills were related to storage and moving fluids via flow lines. “State spill data holds great promise for risk identification and mitigation,” said Lauren Patterson, policy associate at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions and the study’s lead author. “However, reporting requirements differ across states, requiring considerable effort to make the data usable for analysis.” North Dakota reported the highest spill rate.

Clean Harbors impacted by crude oil prices
Clean Harbors (Norwell, Mass.), a provider of environmental, energy and industrial services, reported annual revenues of $2.76 billion in 2016 compared with $3.28 billion in 2015. Revenues in 2015 included approximately $314 million of large-scale emergency response projects. “The Company was severely impacted in 2016 by the deterioration in crude oil pricing which resulted in reduced lube oil prices, lower industrial production, and further weakness in the North American energy marketplace,” said Alan S. McKim, chairman, president and CEO. Clean Harbors eliminated more than $100 million of costs over the year and completed seven acquisitions to support its OilPlus closed-loop direct sales model and environmental businesses. “Our OilPlus closed-loop offering should grow steadily throughout 2017,” McKim said. “Through the first two months of 2017, we have seen positive signs across a number of our markets,” he added.

Great Lakes reports year-end results
Great Lakes Dredge & Dock Corporation (Oak Brook, Ill.), one of the largest providers of dredging services in the United States and a provider of environmental and infrastructure services, reported revenue of $767.6 million, net loss of $8.2 million, and adjusted EBITDA of $72 million for the year ended December 31, 2016. In 2016 the Company executed well on domestic dredging contracts, but performance was offset by a major decline in international work and the absence of the Suez Canal project, which contributed robust revenue in 2015, according to interim CEO and CFO Mark Marinko. The firm’s Environmental & Infrastructure (E&I) segment’s operating loss was reduced by $21.7 million in 2016. “The sale of the assets associated with the service lines of Terra Contracting Services LLC business was finalized, which we believe is a key component for returning this segment to profitability,” said Marinko. “Excluding the Terra business, the E&I segment exhibited a positive performance during 2016.”

Calgon Carbon looks to more diversified platform in 2017
Calgon Carbon Corporation (Pittsburgh, Pa.) announced net sales for the year ended December 31, 2016 of $514.2 million compared to $535 million in 2015. Calgon Carbon’s Chairman, President, and CEO Randy Dearth said, “2016 was a difficult year. Our industrial sector activities were negatively impacted by soft global economic market conditions; unfavorable weather conditions and low natural gas prices weighed on the sales of our mercury removal products early in the year; and our ballast water equipment sales were below last year due to continued regulatory delays and uncertainty.” Looking ahead to 2017, Dearth said approximately $100 million in revenues was expected from its “New Business.” In 2016 Calgon acquired a European activated carbon and filter aid business from CECA, a subsidiary of Arkema Group, to be integrated into Calgon Carbon’s European operations. Calgon also sees opportunities for continued growth in its legacy business from an active North American drinking water market and early indications that the industrial sector economic environment is improving.

WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff launches blog
WSP | Parsons Brinckerhoff (New york, N.Y.), a global engineering and professional services organization, has launched Green Scene, a blog dedicated to water, sustainability, and the environment. “The blog presents a commentary on current trends and regulations which will comprise a useful resource for our clients and employees,” said Steve Paquette, president, U.S. Water and Environment Sector. The firm’s water and environment business line has 450 employees based in 25 offices across the United States. Blog posts will cover climate resiliency, GHG management, sustainability strategy, sustainable energy, product compliance, life cycle assessment, water and wastewater, site remediation and investigation, health and safety, acoustics, vibration, air quality, and environmental auditing and compliance.

Mott MacDonald acquires UAE consultancy firm
Mott MacDonald (Croydon, UK), a multidisciplinary consultancy, has acquired Wideurope Engineering (Fujairah, the UAE). Established in 2002, Wideurope Engineering employs over 50 people in offices in Dubai and Fujairah in the UAE and in Genoa, Italy. The company operates primarily in the energy sector, providing technical support and professional services in civil, structural and electro-mechanical design. Wideurope’s portfolio features power and desalination plants in the GCC and southwest Asia, combined cycle power plants in Italy and North Africa, and a range of projects in South America and southeast Asia. Mott MacDonald said the acquisition would help enhance its business in the energy sector and provide access to new markets.

Florida Governor announces transportation budget
Governor Rick Scott has announced that the Florida Department of Transportation (FDOT) will receive $10.8 billion in the recommended FY 2017-2018 “Fighting for Florida’s Future” Budget to make strategic transportation investments statewide. Governor Scott said: “As the third largest state in the nation with the fourth fastest growing population, we must make sure our state is prepared to safely welcome new families, visitors and job creators.” The Governor’s FY 2017/2018 transportation budget includes $4.1 billion for construction of highway projects, $178.2 million in seaport infrastructure improvements, $257.8 million for aviation improvements, and $300.8 million for repair of 61 bridges and replacement of 16 bridges.

Senate unveils Preserve California package
Senate leadership in California has unveiled the Preserve California legislative package to insulate the state from rollbacks in federal environmental regulations and public health protections. The bills establish baseline protections for the environment, public health, worker safety, and other areas of federal regulatory law that could be weakened by the Trump Administration. Measures would also protect federal lands in the State from sale to private developers for the purpose of resource extraction; ensure federal employees are not penalized under California law for whistleblowing; and shield public information and data resources from federal censorship or destruction. “SB 49 makes existing federal laws – like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts – enforceable under California law, so we can preserve the state we know and love, regardless of what happens in Washington,” said California Senate Leader Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles).

U.S. electric generating capacity increase in 2016 was largest since 2011
According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, more than 27 gigawatts (GW) of electricity generating capacity was added to the U.S. power grid in 2016, the largest amount of added capacity since 2012. These additions offset the retirement of roughly 12 GW of capacity, yielding a net capacity gain of nearly 15 GW. According to US EIA, in the past 15 years natural gas made up most of the capacity additions in each year, but more recently renewable technologies, primarily wind and solar, have made up a larger share of additions. Of the 2016 total utility-scale capacity additions, more than 60% were wind (8.7 GW) and solar (7.7 GW), compared with 33% (9 GW) from natural gas. About 20 GW of new coal capacity has been added in the past 15 years, and annual coal additions have been less than 1 GW in each of the previous four years. Watts Bar Unit 2, the first nuclear plant to come online since 1996, added 1 GW of nuclear capacity in 2016

WorleyParsons announces net loss
WorleyParsons Limited (Sydney, Australia) announced a statutory net loss after tax of A$2.4 million for the six months to December 31, 2016, its first ever interim net loss, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. Revenue fell to A$2.7 billion from A$4.2 billion for the same period last year, a result “in line with market conditions and comparable with our peers in our market sectors,” according to CEO Andrew Wood. The company’s performance was affected by challenging market conditions and late payments from four state government-owned companies. Australia’s mining industry is in the midst of a big downturn due to declining prices of iron ore and other commodities, which has restricted spending by resources firms. The firm has increased its overhead reduction target to A$450 million in annualized savings by the end of financial year 2017 compared to the original target of A$300 million.


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