EBJ News for March 27, 2017

News for March 27, 2017

Wood Group to acquire Amec Foster Wheeler
John Wood Group PLC (Aberdeen, Scotland) will acquire Amec Foster Wheeler (London, UK) in a deal that values Amec at about £2,225 million. Amec shareholders will own approximately 44% of the share capital of the combined group. Chairman of Wood Group Ian Marchant said the transaction was “transformational” and would “create an asset-light, largely reimbursable business of greater scale and enhanced capability, diversified across the oil & gas, chemicals, renewables, environment & infrastructure and mining segments.” Companies serving the energy industry have been under pressure due to declining oil prices. The Combined Group will have pro-forma net debt of $1.6 billion. Wood Group directors believe that the Combined Group will be able to achieve sustainable cost synergies of at least $134 million. Amec Foster Wheeler operates in four key markets: Oil, Gas & Chemicals, Mining, Power, and Environment & Infrastructure (E&I). In an unaudited trading update for full year 2016, Amec reported that revenue was £5,440 million, down 8%, as a strong performance in solar and E&I was offset by continuing weakness in the oil and gas market. Wood Group reported total revenue of £4,934 million for the full year 2016, down 16% from the prior year.

Stantec to sell Innovyze smart water company
Global design firm Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) is to sell its software business Innovyze (Broomfield, Colo.) for $270 million to the EQT Mid Market US fund. Innovyze joined Stantec through the MWH acquisition which closed in 2016. Bob Gomes, Stantec’s president and CEO, said: “Innovyze is an impressive, growing business and we see this as an opportunity to continue working with them in servicing our clients while allowing both our companies to prosper with the best available resources.” Founded in May 1996, Innovyze provides wet infrastructure business analytics software to meet the technological needs of water/wastewater utilities, government agencies, and engineering organizations. Clients include many of the largest UK, Australasian, East Asian and North American cities, large utilities worldwide, and top design firms. The larger integration of the MWH business into Stantec’s operations continues, with North American divisions expected to be complete in Q2 2017 and successive parts within the next 18 months.

EnSafe acquires Environmental Services Practice of E2 Managetech
EnSafe (Memphis, Tenn.), a global provider of environmental, engineering, health and safety and technology services has acquired the Environmental Services Practice of E2 Managetech Inc. (Long Beach, Calif.). EnSafe’s President and CEO Don Bradford emphasized the strategic nature of the acquisition, stating: “E2 Managetech’s Environmental Services professionals have established a strong niche in the Southern California and South Texas markets, enabling us to provide local, responsive support to our flagship clients and strongest industry segments.” EnSafe Co-founder and Chairman Phil Coop added: “This acquisition is another element in our strategic plan to serve our national customers with local expertise in all areas of the nation.” In addition to Environmental Services offices in Long Beach and San Diego, Calif., E2 Managetech also has an office in Houston to support its growing Ports and Goods Movement clientele. Founded in 1980, EnSafe now has over 375 employees in 28 offices throughout the United States.

Multiconsult expands Swedish business with Iterio
Multiconsult (Oslo, Norway) has acquired the Swedish consulting company Iterio AB for SEK 50 million. Iterio AB will be integrated into Multiconsult. The acquisition is a first step towards Multiconsult’s strategic objective of developing a multidisciplinary business in Sweden. Iterio AB is an engineering consultancy focused on planning and construction. The company’s core expertise is in geotechnics, environment and traffic. Iterio was established in 2011 and employs more than 70 engineers.

Analysis describes economic benefits of investing in water infrastructure
According to an economic impact analysis commissioned by the Value of Water Campaign (VOW), closing the water infrastructure gap in the United States would create 1.3 million jobs and spur total economic activity to $220 billion annually. “The Economic Benefits of Investing in Water Infrastructure” was debuted at World Water Day at a briefing on Capitol Hill. According to the report, a one-day disruption in water service would cost $43.5 billion in sales and $22.5 billion in GDP; an eight-day disruption would shrink the annual GDP by 1%. The report also noted that the federal government’s contribution to water infrastructure capital spending has fallen from 63% of total capital spending in 1977 to 9% of total capital spending in 2014. The analysis showed capital requirements distributed throughout the nation, with 23% needed in the Midwest, 20% in the Northeast, 23% in the West and 34% in the South. The American Society of Civil Engineers recently estimated that over the next decade, the United States need to invest an additional $82 billion per year in water infrastructure.

Pond acquires Landmark Engineering in Florida
Pond (Peachtree Corners, Ga.), an international engineering, architecture, planning, and construction firm, has acquired Landmark Engineering (Jacksonville, Fla.). Landmark will strengthen Pond’s services in transportation design, bridge design, transportation planning, civil engineering, hydrology and coastal restoration, landscape architecture, and environmental permitting services. The acquisition gives Pond a second Jacksonville, Fla. location. Pond’s Florida operations will be led by Nina Sickler, PE, founder and president of Landmark Engineering. Founded in 1965, Pond has locations in Louisiana, Alabama, Virginia, South Carolina, Texas, Arizona, Missouri, Colorado, Hawaii, Washington, D.C., and internationally in Japan, Canada and Spain.

SCS Engineers’ sees increase in LUST Remediation Projects
SCS Engineers (Phoenix, Ariz.) announced it has recently been awarded several new contracts from state and federal agencies, as well as from private clients, to provide site investigation and remediation services to minimize impacts from leaking underground storage tanks (LUSTs). According to the U.S. EPA, approximately 561,000 underground storage tanks nationwide store petroleum or hazardous substances. “We have seen a significant increase in the number of storage tank failures, primarily from single-walled fiberglass tanks installed in the 1990s,” said Randy Bauer, project director with SCS Engineers. “Some fuel additives, such as ethanol, are known to eventually dissolve the epoxy used in the fiberglass tanks, leading to cracks and failures.” In February 2017, SCS Engineers started two new soil vapor extraction and air sparge remediation systems in Tucson and Bullhead City, Ariz. SCS currently has seven soil and groundwater remediation systems in operation in Arizona, where the state’s Department of Environmental Quality has a proactive LUST program.

Energy Trust of Oregon selects ICF for energy efficiency contract
Energy Trust of Oregon has selected ICF (Fairfax, Va.), a global consulting and technology services provider, to manage its existing buildings commercial energy efficiency program. The contract has a term of up to five years; funding for the first year is $14.3 million. ICF will provide continuing and expanded energy efficiency services to Energy Trust, and the customers of the five investor-owned utilities it serves, to support its growing commercial retrofit program. “In 2016, Energy Trust’s Existing Buildings customers received more than $29 million in cash incentives for nearly 5,000 energy upgrades and retrofits, resulting in savings of 110 million kilowatt hours and 1.4 million annual therms of natural gas,” noted Michael Colgrove, executive director for Energy Trust.

Parsons awarded regional water reclamation facility project
Parsons (Pasadena, Calif.) has been selected to provide design, environmental, permitting, and construction management support services to upgrade and expand the Elsinore Valley Municipal Water District’s Regional Water Reclamation Facility (RWRF) in Southern California. The reclamation facility’s treatment capacity will be expanded from 8 million gallons per day (mgd) of water to 12 mgd. Using a four stage biological nitrogen and phosphorous removal process (modified Bardenpho), membrane bioreactors, and ultraviolet disinfection technologies, the project will produce high-quality recycled water for recharge to Lake Elsinore and for landscape irrigation. Parsons’ scope of work also includes converting the existing distributed control system to a supervisory control and data acquisition system, conducting a plant-wide condition assessment, supporting permitting and funding, and developing environmental documentation.

Ramboll engaged by Brazilian government to oversee remediation of Rio Doce Basin
Ramboll (Copenhagen, Denmark) has entered into a long-term agreement with the Federal Public Ministry of Brazil to evaluate and monitor the work of the Renova Foundation to remediate damage caused by the dam rupture at the Samarco iron ore mine in Mariana, Minas Gerais in 2015. The environmental disaster, considered the worst in Brazil’s history, killed 18 people and resulted in environmental, social and economic damage to the Rio Doce Basin. The Ministry has engaged Ramboll to ensure that the 41 approved remediation programs (18 socio-environmental and 23 socio-economic) are implemented as proposed by Renova. The Ministry will also rely on Ramboll to evaluate approved programs and propose any additional remediation, restoration or reconstruction necessary to restore the Rio Doce Basin. Ramboll has dedicated more than 30 professionals to the project. According to the United Nations, 50 million tons of iron ore and toxic waste were dumped into the river when the dam failed.

Global market for smart city solutions forecast at nearly $98 billion in 2026
According to a new report from Navigant Research (Boulder, Colo.), there are more than 250 smart city projects in 178 cities around the world; the majority focus on government and energy initiatives, followed by transportation, buildings, and water. “Leading cities are looking at how they can build on their initial investment in open data and the data feeds being provided by Internet of Things applications,” said Christina Jung, research analyst with Navigant Research. “Cities are moving beyond the publication of government open data policies to the exploitation of a wide range of data sources and the establishment of city platforms for information sharing and use of analytics.” In addition, as sensor technology improves and costs decrease, smart city technologies are becoming more efficient, higher performing, and cheaper than ever before, according to the report. All told, the global market for smart city solutions and services is expected to grow from $40.1 billion in 2017 to $97.9 billion in 2026.

Chance find upends conventional thinking on water treatment
Bacteria accidentally discovered during research supported by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC, UK) could fundamentally re-shape efforts to cut the huge amount of electricity consumed during wastewater clean-up. The discovery was made by scientists working on the Healthy Drinking Water project led by the University of Glasgow. The microorganisms—complete ammonia oxidising (“Comammox”) bacteria—can turn ammonia into nitrates. Traditionally, this step in removing nitrogen from wastewater has involved two different microorganisms in a two-step approach whereby ammonia is oxidized into nitrites that are then oxidized into nitrates, which are turned into nitrogen gas and flared harmlessly. The discovery could lead to significant energy-savings in nitrogen removal. Wastewater treatment accounts for 2-3% of all power usage in western countries, and no less than 30% of its energy bill results from the need to remove nitrogen, EPSRC said. Comammox was found in a drinking water system in the United States.

ERM and PD Consulting complete oil recycling study for API
ERM (London, UK) has completed an extensive study for the American Petroleum Institute (API) on used automotive oil management in California. Assessing the potential environmental impacts of various management routes for used oil, the study is intended to inform policy worldwide. The The Life-Cycle Assessment (LCA) Study of Used Oil Management concluded that the impacts of the used oil management systems are greatly affected by the amount of uncollected and improperly disposed used oil, and increasing collection results in reduced impacts. For a given collection rate, the environmental impacts, and the benefits achieved, of alternative dispositions (beneficial uses) for used oil are highly sensitive to several key factors but particularly the mix of virgin products displaced by those from the used oil management system and the level of pollution control that is used, especially for combustion of recovered fuel oil. The LCA shows that improving collection yields important benefits; the choice of disposition is less important; and the impacts depend critically on ensuring effective control at each stage.

Sustainable investing grows 25% in two years
The Global Sustainable Investment Alliance (GSIA, Washington, DC) has released its biennial Global Sustainable Investment Review 2016 showing that global sustainable investment assets reached $22.89 trillion at the start of 2016, a 25% increase from 2014. The review brings together the results of regional market studies in Europe, the United States, Canada, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. Europe accounts for over half the global SRI assets (53%) and the United States for 38%. The fastest growing region is Japan—due in part to an expanded survey that provided information for the first time on the sustainable investing activities of numerous institutional asset owners—followed by Australia/New Zealand. The largest sustainable investment strategy globally is negative or exclusionary screening, followed by ESG (environmental, social and governance) integration and corporate engagement or shareholder action. The fastest growing strategy, although also the smallest in absolute dollar terms, was impact/community investing.

CH2M launches new industry group to protect worker rights
CH2M (Denver, Colo.) and five other engineering and construction companies have launched “Building Responsibly,” a new industry group to protect the rights and welfare of workers worldwide. “This launch is the product of a robust stakeholder engagement process that CH2M initiated two years ago with the Institute for Human Rights and Business,” said Tawny Chritton, CH2M’s director of social impact, who chairs the organization’s steering committee. Building Responsibly focuses on three key industry issues: company recruitment practices, working and living conditions, and subcontractor and supply chain management. The other founding member firms are Amec Foster Wheeler, Bechtel, Fluor, Multiplex and Vinci. Membership of Building Responsibly is open to engineering and construction companies committed to respecting the rights and welfare of workers.

Environmental Restoration awarded emergy response contract for EPA Region 3
Environmental Restoration LLC (St. Louis, Mo.) has been awarded a USEPA Emergency and Rapid Response Services (ERRS) Contract for USEPA Region 3. Environmental Restoration will provide emergency, time-critical removal and remedial response cleanup services for the CERCLA and OPA programs. The term of the contract is five years, with an estimated dollar value of up to $66 million over the term. ER will provide cleanup personnel, equipment, and materials to contain, recover, and dispose of hazardous substances, analyze samples, and restore properties. The contract covers Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Virginia, Delaware,

 

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