EBJ News December 4, 2018

Kleinfelder to be acquired by Wind Point Partners
The Kleinfelder Group Inc. (San Diego, Calif.), an engineering, construction management, and environmental professional services firm, is being acquired by private equity firm Wind Point Partners in conjunction with management. Founded in 1961, Kleinfelder operates more than 60 office locations in the United States, Canada, and Australia. The company’s current management team will not be affected. George J. Pierson, who became CEO in late 2016, has focused on “strengthening the management team and implementing a culture of authority, responsibility and accountability across the business to achieve significant growth in profitability across its operations,” the company said in a statement. Pierson noted that the partnership with Wind Point “will help remove the final obstacle of an unsustainable capital structure and allow Kleinfelder, and the professional men and women of Kleinfelder, to achieve their full potential.” Between 2010 and 2014 Kleinfelder made several acquisitions, including Buys & Associates, LPG Environmental, InSite Environmental, Corrigan Consulting, Ecobiological Group and Alliance Environmental in Australia, Omni Environmental, Simon Wong Engineering, and Hood Group in Canada.



ACE selects Tetra Tech for $100 million contract
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Far East District has selected Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) for a $100-million, five-year, multiple-award contract for architect-engineer (AE) services throughout the Republic of Korea. The Far East District is one of four districts in the U.S. Army Corps Pacific Ocean Division. Tetra Tech will provide AE technical services in support of the U.S. Army, Air Force, and other federal agencies. Work will include site investigations, engineering studies, conceptual designs, and full design documents, in addition to planning and construction management services. Tetra Tech said it would advance sustainability and resilience in design and incorporate Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (LEED) features into the contract projects. “The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has been a valued client for more than 40 years,” said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech Chairman and CEO. “We look forward to supporting the Far East District in its mission to contribute significantly to the peace and security in the Pacific region.”



TRC wins $36 million contract to oversee Superfund clean up
Global consulting, engineering and construction management firm TRC (Lowell, Mass.) has been awarded a nine-year, $36-million contract from the Federal Aviation Administration to oversee remediation of an FAA-owned Superfund site in Atlantic County, N.J. The contract involves the 5,000-acre William J. Hughes Technical Center and Atlantic City International Airport. Under the Superfund Architect/Engineer Environmental Services contract, TRC will lead remedial investigation, risk assessment, and design work, including innovative in situ technologies and remediation of aviation fuels, pesticides, heavy metals, PCBs, mercury, and emerging contaminants such as per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS). More than 30 areas with potential or actual environmental impacts have been identified at the site.



AECOM reports record revenue and backlog in FY2018
AECOM (Los Angeles, Calif.) reported fourth quarter revenue of $5.3 billion for the period ended Sept 30, 2018. Organic revenue increased by 9% in the fourth quarter and by 8% in the full year, resulting in record full year revenue of $20.2 billion. Total backlog increased by 14% year-over-year to an all-time high of $54.1 billion. AECOM’s Design & Consulting Services segment, which includes transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government markets, saw revenue in the fourth quarter of $2.2 billion and full year revenue of $8.2 billion. In the Americas, 17% growth in the second half of the year was driven by transportation and water, including storm recovery work. In Construction Services (CS) full year revenue was $8.2 billion, led by double-digit growth in the Building Construction business. And in Management Services full year revenue was $3.7 billion, with organic revenue up by 11%. However, AECOM’s adjusted EBITDA for the full year was below expectations at $836.5 million, down from $880.7 million in FY2017. This was due to the timing of AECOM Capital asset sales and execution challenges on certain projects in the CS segment, according to Michael S. Burke, AECOM’s chairman and CEO. In an earnings conference call, Burke noted that the company is taking three strategic actions to improve profitability: reduce annual G&A by $225 million; change leadership in AECOM’s CS segment; and evaluate a plan to retrench from about 30 countries where AECOM had less than 1% of revenue but breakeven or slightly negative results, to focus on markets that present greater opportunity.



Jacobs selected for 10-year wastewater contract in Connecticut
Jacobs Engineering Group Inc. (Dallas) will operate and optimize wastewater systems under a 10-year contract with the City of Waterbury in Connecticut. Jacobs will assume responsibility for the City’s water pollution control plant, collection system and related utilities. The City estimates the contract value at $62 million and projects savings of up to $12.7 million compared to its previous operating model. The new approach is a response to sewer overflows in late 2017, which impacted the Naugatuck River and watershed. Waterbury retains ownership and decision-making authority for its 27-million-gallon-per-day facility, sewer collection system and pumping equipment. Jacobs’ project approach is structured to monitor treatment processes and equipment, apply proactive maintenance practices, and train and support operations staff. The operating plan includes upgrades, treatment process adjustments, and long-term facility planning. Jacobs plans “to help Waterbury manage its utilities effectively as equipment ages, regulations tighten and other challenges arise,” said Steve Meininger, Jacobs Vice President of Operations Management and Facilities Services.



Oil and gas industry spends 1.3% of CAPEX on low carbon power
European oil and gas majors including BP, Eni, Equinor, Total and Shell, are investing the most in low carbon capacity—up to 7% of total capital expenditure (CAPEX)—but the industry’s spend as a whole remains relatively low at only 1.3%, according to a report by CDP, formerly the Carbon Disclosure Project. “Beyond the Cycle” ranks 24 of the largest publicly listed oil and gas companies on business readiness for a low carbon transition. Analysis reveals a regional split, with European majors accounting for 70% of current renewable capacity and nearly all capacity under development. With less domestic pressure to diversify, U.S. companies have not embraced renewables in the same way, CDP found. Russian state-owned oil companies have less capital flexibility and may therefore be slower to respond to climate regulation; the same applies to national oil companies in China, where lack of disclosure on emissions data also remains a key issue. Despite the small total spend on low carbon assets by CAPEX since the start of 2016, 148 deals have been made in alternative energy and carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS), and $22 billion invested in alternative energies since 2010.



ERM acquires Kathy Jones and Associates in stakeholder engagement
ERM (London, UK) has completed the acquisition of Kathy Jones and Associates Pty Ltd (KJA), a leading stakeholder engagement and communication consultancy with offices in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Over the past 20 years, KJA has specialized in stakeholder engagement across all stages of multi-billion dollar infrastructure and urban regeneration projects, such as the new Sydney Metro, the Northern Beaches Hospital, and the Barangaroo Precinct on Sydney Harbour. “Both KJA and ERM’s clients are conscious of the need to engage effectively with communities and stakeholders as part of the successful implementation of business strategies and large capital projects,” said Keryn James, ERM’s CEO. “ERM is now well advanced in building the leading position in this area. KJA has established an impressive business in Australia, and we look forward to introducing their specialist expertise to our current and future clients around the globe.”



Black & Veatch publishes Natural Gas Report
According to Black & Veatch’s 2019 “Strategic Directions: Natural Gas Report,” the natural gas industry is trending up despite the headwinds of a U.S.-China trade dispute and a surge in renewables. However, as renewables gain an increasing share of power portfolios and the trade dispute persists, questions linger about long-term prospects. “Moves by nations to establish clear and aggressive clean energy goals is important, with many pursuing an ‘all of the above’ strategy that will maintain natural gas’s prominence for the foreseeable future,” said Hoe Wai Cheong, president of Black & Veatch’s oil and gas business. “Where renewables are in play, natural gas is necessary to accommodate fast and reliable ramping.” With heavy investments in planned LNG export facilities in the United States, more than 80% of respondents to Black & Veatch’s survey said the country’s emergence as a major LNG supplier will reshape the global market over the next half decade.



Wildlands gains approval for Black Mountain Conservation Bank
Wildlands (San Bernardino, Calif.) is accepting reservations for habitat mitigation at the Black Mountain Conservation Bank, a newly preserved site in the western Mojave Desert. Opportunities are available for developers to purchase credits that provide a complete mitigation solution at a fixed fee. Wildlands will conserve and manage the site for the benefit of native desert species, habitats, and California state waters. The Black Mountain bank serves portions of Kern, San Bernardino, Los Angeles and Inyo counties and is approved by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife. Wildlands is a provider of wetland mitigation, endangered species conservation banking, habitat management, and ecosystem restoration.


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