EBJ News July 5, 2018

TRC acquires construction management firm Vali Cooper & Associates
TRC (Lowell, Mass.) has acquired Vali Cooper & Associates Inc. (Concord, Calif.), an infrastructure firm that manages transportation, water and wastewater, utility, and facilities projects. “This key acquisition aligns with our strategic growth strategy and will help diversify our robust portfolio of infrastructure services in one of the strongest markets in the country,” said TRC CEO Chris Vincze. With the deal, TRC now has nearly 600 employees in California providing engineering and management services in the infrastructure, oil and gas, environmental, and power markets. Vali Cooper has 200 employees and is ranked number 45 on ENR’s list of Top 100 construction management firms in the U.S. This is the first major acquisition for TRC since it went private last June following its sale to New Mountain Capital.



GE announces restructuring with focus on power, aviation and renewables
General Electric has announced a restructuring initiative to focus the company on power, aviation and renewable energy. Power represented $35 billion in revenues in 2017, aviation $27 billion, and renewable energy $9 billion, primarily from wind and hydro and with a backlog of $15 billion. Of total 2017 revenue in GE’s renewables business, $7.7 billion came from onshore wind and $300 million from offshore wind. The goal of the restructuring is to create a “simpler, stronger, leading high-tech industrial company,” pare down GE’s corporate structure, and substantially reduce debt. In addition to the pending combination of its Transportation business with Wabtec, GE also plans to separate GE Healthcare into a standalone company and to sell its multibillion-dollar stake in Baker Hughes, a major producer of oil field equipment. The restructuring follows GE’s announcement that it would sell its distributed power business to global investment firm Advent International in a $3.25 billion deal. In June GE was dropped from the Dow index.



Study finds 1 million Florida homes at risk from tidal flooding
Accelerating sea level rise, primarily driven by climate change, is projected to worsen tidal flooding in the U.S., putting as many as 311,000 coastal homes at risk of chronic flooding within the next 30 years, according to a new report by the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS). Florida’s coastal real estate is among the most exposed, with about 64,000 of today’s residential Florida properties at risk of chronic inundation by 2045. Once market risk perceptions catch up with reality, the potential drop in Florida’s coastal property values could have reverberations throughout the economy, UCS noted. However, the group predicted that if nations adhere to the primary goal of the Paris Agreement—capping warming to below 2 degrees Celsius—about 93% of Florida’s at-risk homes would avoid chronic flooding by the end of the century. The report projects an average of 1.8 feet of sea level rise for Florida in 2045 and 6.4 feet in 2100.



Dewberry awarded two annual contracts for Prince William County, Virginia
Dewberry (Fairfax, Va.) has been awarded two on-call contracts by Prince William County, Va. with the Department of Public Works and the Department of Parks and Recreation. Both contracts will entail a variety of task orders with an annual value of up to $2 million per year per contract for a period of five years. The Public Works contract includes environmental engineering, testing, and inspection services; site assessments; and remediation planning. Dewberry will evaluate natural and cultural resources, prepare impact assessments, evaluate habitats, and investigate the presence of endangered and threatened species, in addition to performing floodplain management and dam services. Under the Parks and Recreation contract, Dewberry will conduct feasibility studies, field surveys, FEMA flood studies, wetland delineation, park master planning, forest management plans, and NEPA documentation.



CEA acquires StoneHill Environmental in New England
Corporate Environmental Advisors (CEA, West Boylston, Mass.) announced the acquisition of StoneHill Environmental Inc. (Portsmouth, N.H.), a multidisciplinary environmental consulting firm. Founded in 1989, StoneHill Environmental serves the New England region, working with industrial, commercial, residential, and government clients. CEA is a full-service environmental consulting firm headquartered in central Massachusetts with branch offices in New Hampshire and Connecticut and serving clients throughout the northeastern United States.



Hazen and Sawyer designs wastewater upgrade for Portland Water District
A $12 million upgrade to Portland Water District’s (PWD) East End Wastewater Treatment Facility has been completed. Hazen and Sawyer (New York, N.Y.) designed the aeration system upgrade, replacing mechanical surface aerators with a process that diffuses air more efficiently from the bottom of the tanks. The aeration process now uses 10,000, 9-inch diffusers and holds 4.2 million gallons of wastewater. By replacing the 36-year old system, the plant was able to increase performance and efficiencies, particularly during wet weather events, continue compliance with permit conditions, and reduce odors. Plant modernization has also allowed PWD to set a goal to reduce total nitrogen by 20-40% in the effluent entering Casco Bay.



Atkins partners with SpinChem on innovative nuclear waste technology
Atkins, a member of the SNC-Lavalin Group (Montreal, Canada), working in partnership with the Swedish technology company SpinChem, have completed tests on an innovative nuclear waste treatment ion exchange technology supported by Fortis Remote Technology in the UK. The collaboration will adapt and scale up SpinChem’s Rotating Bed Reactor for use in the nuclear clean-up market, where ion exchange is used to remove radionuclides from wastewater. The approach deploys a spinning chamber holding the ion exchange media directly into the tank of water being treated. According to Atkins, the result is a highly adaptable, efficient, in-situ approach to processing wastes that avoids the need for investment in a complex and costly processing plant.



ERM publishes new guidance for ESG reporting
ERM and the Principles for Responsible Investment (PRI) have published guidance on environmental, social, and governance (ESG) monitoring and reporting in private equity. Launched at the 9th annual Responsible Investment Forum in London, the guidance supports incorporating responsible investment considerations across the three stages of fund due diligence, commitment and monitoring. “It is our hope that this guidance will help drive the monitoring and reporting agenda forward and, in doing so, deliver not only improved ESG performance but also protection and enhancement of the value of underlying investments,” said Keryn James, group chief executive of ERM.



IHS Markit to launch global ESG data reporting platform
IHS Markit (London, UK), a global information provider, will launch a one-stop online platform for corporate environmental, social and governance (ESG) data and reports. The new reporting platform will provide a central source for data like sustainability and climate impact reports, carbon offset program data, etc. Investors, lenders and insurance companies will benefit from access to a central repository covering multiple industries, corporations and geographies. “Demand is growing for [ESG] information, yet accessing the data needed to incorporate ESG into the investing process can be a struggle,” said Lance Uggla, chairman and CEO of IHS Markit. “Our new platform will provide an efficient, single source for information and data relevant for ESG-focused investors and other stakeholders.”



Stantec appointed to Melbourne Water framework agreement
Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) together with joint venture partners RCR Tomlinson Ltd. (Sydney, Australia) and Abergeldie Complex Infrastructure (Auburn, Australia) has been appointed to a three-year framework agreement with Melbourne Water. The joint venture will deliver a range of design and construction projects for Melbourne Water’s Water and Sewerage Capital Works Program, which is worth approximately $500 million over the initial three-year period of the framework, with a possible seven-year extension. The joint venture will share the capital delivery program with one other preferred service provider.



Navigant forecasts market for HVAC technologies and lighting controls
The global forecast for energy efficient commercial HVAC systems revenue is expected to increase from $29.4 billion in 2018 to $61.2 billion in 2027, according to according to Navigant Research (London, UK). Asia Pacific will be the geographic leader with an anticipated revenue growth of $39.3 billion by 2027. Western Europe is expected to reach over $12.1 billion. The report also examines the competitive landscape and main technologies related to energy efficient HVAC systems. In another recently published report, Navigant forecasts global annual revenue for residential energy efficient lighting and lighting controls will reach $1.5 billion in 2027.



CLEAResult energy efficiency acquired by investor funds
TPG Growth and The Rise Fund will acquire CLEAResult (Austin, Texas) from General Atlantic. CLEAResult is a provider of energy efficiency solutions for utility companies and local governments, partnering with clients on services and programs that provide energy optimization and efficiency to residential, institutional, commercial, and industrial organizations. The company has 2,500 employees in more than 70 cities. “CLEAResult has experienced tremendous growth over the past few years, positioning us as the leading provider of energy efficiency services and allowing us to deliver over 4,500 GWh and 54 million therms of energy savings in 2017,” said CLEAResult CEO Aziz Virani. The Rise Fund is managed by TPG.



NRC Group sold to Hennessy Capital
An investment affiliate of J.F. Lehman & Company will sell NRC Group Holdings LLC (Great River, N.Y.), a global provider of environmental, compliance and waste management to Hennessy Capital Acquisition Corp. III. NRC Group Holdings, which serves marine and rail transportation, general industrial, and energy markets, was formed earlier this year through the combination of the JFLCO portfolio companies National Response Corporation and Sprint Energy Services. NRC Group will become a wholly owned direct subsidiary of Hennessy Capital. The proposed transaction will introduce NRC Group as a publicly traded company with an anticipated initial enterprise value of approximately $748 million. Investment affiliates of JFLCO will continue to own a significant equity position in the public company as part of the transaction.



Brown and Caldwell completes wastewater system upgrade in Hawaii
Hawaii’s largest ever wastewater system upgrade has been completed. Brown and Caldwell (Walnut Creek, Calif.) worked with the City and County of Honolulu and its construction partners to deliver the $375 million Kaneohe-Kailua Wastewater Conveyance and Treatment Facilities Project on an accelerated schedule and within budget. The solution involved connecting the Kaneohe Wastewater Pre-Treatment Facility to the Kailua Regional Wastewater Treatment Plant via a three-mile long gravity sewer tunnel, increasing the region’s wastewater conveyance and storage capacity while reducing overflows. To lift the wastewater to the surface for treatment, a 45-million gallons per day (MGD) tunnel influent pump station was designed by Brown and Caldwell at the regional plant. The project also includes a new 15 MGD replacement for the existing Kailua Influent Pump Station, generator and headworks buildings, and odor control facilities.



Joint venture awarded $20 million option to service Navy and Marine Corps facilities
The CH2M Hill/Clark Nexsen Energy Partners Joint Venture (Englewood, Colo.) has been awarded a $20 million option under a previously awarded indefinite-delivery/indefinite-quantity, firm-fixed-price Department of Defense contract. The joint venture will provide design and engineering services in energy management, architectural, mechanical, electrical, civil, structural, and environmental disciplines. Work will be performed at various Navy and Marine Corps facilities and other government installations within the Naval Facilities Engineering Command Southwest area. The total contract amount after exercise of this option will be around $40 million.