EBJ News for September 16, 2019

Ecology and Environment to be acquired by WSP Global

Pure play environmental firm Ecology and Environment Inc. (Lancaster, N.Y.) is being acquired by WSP Global Inc. (Montreal, Canada) for approximately $65.1 million. Around 80% of E&E’s $73.5 million in net revenues in 2018 were generated by U.S. operations; it also has a presence in Brazil, Peru and Chile. The acquisition increases WSP’s profile in the United States, particularly in the U.S. governmental sector. Fiscal year 2018 was challenging for E&E, with gross revenue down 11%. U.S. operations were affected by depressed activity in core markets, particularly energy and federal government sectors. The company is restructuring and in early fiscal year 2019 organized its U.S. business around three business lines: Energy, Site Assessment and Remediation, and Enterprise Programs. E&E has approximately 775 employees.


Cardno splits testing and consulting businesses

Cardno Limited (Brisbane, Australia) is “demerging” its quality, testing and measurement (QTM) businesses from its consulting business, consolidating QTM into a separate publicly traded subsidiary called Intega Group. The demerger recognizes the differences between a field services oriented operating model and culture versus consulting. Intega will provide construction materials testing, subsurface utility engineering services, and quality assurance for energy companies; environmental monitoring will also fall under Intega. Cardno Consulting will become an environmental, infrastructure and development consulting business with fiscal year 2019 pro-forma gross revenues of A$956 million, according to a September presentation on the demerger. In the Americas, Cardno Consulting will have 1,223 staff in 86 offices, predominantly in the United States, and contribute pro-forma revenues of A$354 million. In August, Cardno Group reported gross revenues of $1.32 billion for FY2019, up 18.1% over the prior year.


UNEP reports on new renewable energy

Global investment in new renewable energy capacity from 2010-2019 is on course to hit $2.6 trillion, with more gigawatts of solar power capacity installed than any other generation technology, according to a new UN Environment Programme report. Global Trends in Renewable Energy Investment 2019 finds investment is set to roughly quadruple renewable energy capacity (excluding large hydro) from 414 GW at the end of 2009 to 1,650 GW by year’s end. Solar power will draw half or $1.3 trillion of the $2.6 trillion in renewable energy investments over the decade. China has been by far the biggest investor in renewables capacity over this decade, having committed $758 billion between 2010 and the first half of 2019, with the U.S. second on $356 billion and Japan third on $202 billion. Global share of electricity generation accounted for by renewables reached 12.9 per cent in 2018, up from 11.6 per cent in 2017.


Golder to support major Australian wind farm

Golder (Toronto, Ontario) has been engaged by WestWind Energy to deliver geotechnical and environmental engineering and consulting services for the proposed 1GW Golden Plains Wind Farm near Rokewood, Victoria. The farm will consist of up to 228 wind turbines of 3-5 MW and generate enough electricity to power more than 500,000 homes. When completed, Golden Plains is expected to be the Southern Hemisphere’s largest wind farm.


Black & Veatch announces cleantech accelerator’s first intake

Seven sustainability startups have been selected to join Black & Veatch’s IgniteX Cleantech Accelerator to promote the adoption of sustainable infrastructure technologies. Startups include ecoSPEARS, which uses green technologies to extract and destroy PCBs, dioxins and other chlorinated contaminants; NovoNutrients, which uses energy from hydrogen to transform waste carbon into protein for the aquaculture and animal feed industries; and Extensible Energy, which specializes in cloud-based software that controls flexible loads to reduce demand and time-of-use energy charges in small-to-medium buildings. The startups will receive equity awards, a 75-day collaboration with B&V, and a startup showcase in November.


Colorado responds to PFAS contamination

Groundwater tests have detected high levels of PFAS (per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances) across the Denver metro area, both wider and more severe than previously thought, causing the state to ramp up its response, according to the Denver Post. Tests have measured PFAS contamination in groundwater at levels up to 2,928 times higher than a federal health advisory limit, officials at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment told The Denver Post. The discovery was made at Buckley Air Force Base, Sand Creek and the Suncor oil refinery, in addition to newly discovered sites. Colorado officials estimated more than 100,000 residents have relied on public drinking water linked to contaminated source wells. Colorado’s emerging action plan would include boosting state capacity for water testing, setting a state-level limit for PFAS, and more control over use of firefighting foam, the article said.


WSP acquires Orbicon in Denmark

WSP Global (Montreal, Canada) has acquired Orbicon (Soborg, Denmark), a multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm in the environment, supply and infrastructure, and building sectors. Orbicon has approximately 500 employees, mostly in Denmark, with additional offices in Sweden and the Arctic. It is involved in projects such as the Fehmarnbelt Tunnel connecting Denmark to Germany, and sustainable engineering design for the UN City in Copenhagen which houses 11 United Nations agencies. “This transaction will enable us to fulfill our strategic ambitions of enhancing our activities in the Nordics region, while solidifying our expertise in the environment sector,” noted Magnus Meyer, president and CEO of WSP in the Nordics.


CIP acquires onshore wind portfolio in Northern Spain

Copenhagen Infrastructure Partners (CIP) has acquired a 374 MW onshore wind portfolio in Northern Spain, investing more than €350 million. The Monegros portfolio consists of nine projects totaling 99 wind turbines from GE Renewable Energy. All projects are expected to commence commercial operation in the first half of 2020. Power generated from Monegros will be sold to the Spanish wholesale market and is expected to supply the electricity consumption of more than 300,000 average Spanish households a year.


SLR boosts mining services with RPA acquisition

International environmental and advisory services firm SLR (Buckinghamshire, UK) has acquired RPA Inc. (Toronto, Ontario), a 60-person mining advisory business with teams in Toronto, Denver and London. The RPA team includes geological, mining and metallurgical consultants and will “bring world-class mining advisory services to SLR’s existing Mining & Minerals practice, not only in North America and Europe but across the globe,” SLR said. The two companies have collaborated on client projects for several years. This is SLR’s fourth acquisition in just over six months backed by investment partner Charterhouse Capital Partners.

ERM acquires Contek Solutions

ERM (London, UK) has acquired Contek Solutions LLC (Plano, Texas), a safety and environmental engineering company. Contek serves a broad client base in the energy and chemical sectors and will provide ERM with additional EHS capabilities. “Contek’s core services will expand our capability in one of our fastest-growing service areas, providing significant opportunities for growth, particularly in the Permian Basin, which is a target growth-area for ERM,” said Keryn James, ERM Group chief executive.


NV5 awarded $12 million in NYC infrastructure contracts

NV5 Global Inc. (Hollywood, Fla.) has been awarded three contracts by the New York City Department of Design and Construction for engineering design and construction inspection services totaling approximately $12 million. The contracts include flood protection and resiliency work related to the Red Hook community which was devastated in 2012 by Superstorm Sandy.


Shimmick awarded contract for final phase of Groundwater Replenishment System

The Orange County Water District (OCWD) has awarded Shimmick Construction Company Inc. (Oakland, Calif.) the contract to construct a 30 million gallon per day (MGD) expansion of its Groundwater Replenishment System (GWRS). Overall project cost is $310 million with the construction portion being approximately $200 million. This final expansion will take the project to its ultimate capacity of 130 MGD. A joint project of OCWD and the Orange County Sanitation District, the GWRS is the world’s largest advanced water purification system for potable reuse. The system purifies treated wastewater to drinking water standards by using microfiltration, reverse osmosis and ultraviolet light with hydrogen peroxide. Shimmick Construction was acquired by AECOM in 2017.


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