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EBI News for November 17, 2021- Green Hydrogen Initiatives

EBI News for November 17, 2021- The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, green hydrogen initiatives, acquisitions, and more!


Helion raises $500 million Series E for fusion energy

Fusion energy startup Helion Energy (Everette, Wash.) has raised a $500 million Series E round to build Polaris, an electricity generator to demonstrate net electricity from fusion in 2024. Silicon Valley investor Sam Altman led the round with participation from existing investors Mithril Capital, Capricorn Investment Group and Dustin Moskovitz, co-founder of Facebook. Funding includes commitments of an additional $1.7 billion tied to key performance milestones. In June, Helion announced exceeding 100 million degrees Celsius in its sixth fusion generator prototype. Reaching this temperature is a critical engineering milestone as it is considered the ideal fuel temperature at which a commercial power plant would need to operate. Helion’s long-term goal is to produce electricity with no carbon emissions for 1 cent per kilowatt-hour.


WSP reports Q3 2021 results

WSP Global Inc. (Montreal, Canada) announced revenues and net revenues for the third quarter ended September 25, 2021 reached $2.7 billion and $2 billion, up 24% and 20%, respectively, compared to Q3 2020. The increase was driven by acquisition growth of 20% and overall organic growth of 4.3% with all segments showing positive organic growth. The company reported continued positive momentum at Golder in the third quarter. In April 2021, WSP completed its acquisition of Golder Associates, a global consulting firm with approximately 7,000 employees and 60 years’ experience in earth sciences and environmental consulting, for approximately US$1.14 billion in cash.


FFI announces green hydrogen initiatives

Fortescue Future Industries (FFI, East Perth, W. Australia), a company committed to producing zero-emission green hydrogen from 100% renewable sources, announced a partnership with Papua New Guinea (PNG) to develop multiple large-scale green energy and green hydrogen projects. FFI will undertake feasibility studies to develop up to seven hydropower projects and 11 geothermal energy projects. The projects would generate renewable electricity for the purpose of producing green hydrogen and green ammonia, creating a new domestic energy and export industry for PNG. This follows FFI’s announcement last month of a new Global Green Energy Manufacturing Centre (GEM) in Queensland, Australia for the production of multi-gigawatt-scale electrolyzers and renewable energy equipment.

Initial electrolyzer investment is expected to be up to AU$114 million, with the first electrolyzers scheduled for production in 2023. FFI also recently signed a multi-billion-pound deal with construction giant J C Bamford Excavators and Ryze Hydrogen to become the largest supplier of green hydrogen to the United Kingdom. FFI will lead green hydrogen production, and JCB and Ryze will manage distribution and customer development.


Jacobs wins nuclear contracts in Czech Republic

Jacobs (Dallas) has won two new contracts to support the Czech nuclear sector with radioactive waste management services. National utility ?EZ has selected Jacobs’ SIAL geopolymer encapsulation technology to solidify 250 metric tons of low and intermediate-level radioactive sludge at the Dukovany Nuclear Power Plant. Jacobs will treat the sludge, currently held in storage tanks, and encapsulate it in 200-liter drums ready for transport to long-term storage. The work, carried out at a specially assembled on-site unit, is expected to take five years.


Pace Analytical expands California footprint with Basic Laboratory

Pace Analytical Services (Minneapolis, Minn.), a provider of in-lab, mobile, and emergency onsite specialty-contaminant and regulatory testing and analysis services, has acquired Basic Laboratory Inc., a full-service environmental analytical testing company with locations in Redding and Chico, Calif. With this addition, Pace Analytical now operates eight locations in California and over 100 laboratories and service centers nationwide. Pace is a portfolio company of Aurora Capital Partners.


ERM acquires Canadian sustainability firm Stratos 

ERM (London, UK) has acquired Stratos Inc. (Ottawa, Ont.), a sustainability and ESG advisory firm, adding more than 30 Canada-based sustainability and ESG practitioners to ERM’s more than 5,500-strong firm. The company brings expertise in ESG performance and risk management, stakeholder engagement, science and innovation, conservation and regulatory excellence. The acquisition builds on ERM’s capabilities in sustainability and climate change advisory services following the acquisitions of Sustainalize in 2021, M. J. Bradley & Associates and Critical Resource in 2020, SustainAbility in 2019 and BrownFlynn in 2018.


SCS Engineers awarded smart business recycling contract 

In response to California legislation mandating significant state-wide waste reduction, Los Angeles County has awarded SCS Engineers (Long Beach, Calif.) a contract to help manage the County’s most comprehensive and aggressive recycling and waste diversion efforts yet. State legislation seeks to reduce organic waste going into landfills by 75% by 2025. SCS has consulted on LA County’s Smart Business Recycling (SBR) program since 2015. This most recent SBR contract steps up waste analysis, community outreach and education, and provisioning tools for recycling and waste diversion in LA County’s unincorporated communities, which cover a large area.


Inframark acquires water/wastewater controls specialist MR Systems

Inframark LLC (Horsham, Pa.), an infrastructure services company focused on the operation and maintenance of water and wastewater systems, has acquired MR Systems Inc. (Atlanta, Ga.), a specialist in automation, process controls, instrumentation, and supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) systems for the municipal water and wastewater market. MR Systems, along with Inframark’s existing SCADA division, will operate as an autonomous business unit. The acquisition will enable Inframark and MR Systems to create an embedded SCADA offering throughout the Inframark portfolio, primarily consisting of water and wastewater contract operations and municipal utility district operations and O&M clients, in addition to their commercial and industrial customer base. 


Jacobs establishes office of Global Climate Response and ESG

Jacobs (Dallas) has created an Office of Global Climate Response and ESG to deliver on the company’s commitments to climate change through innovative solutions. The move follows the launch of Jacobs’ PlanBeyond 2.0 business strategy earlier this year to integrate sustainability throughout its operations and client solutions. The company is also coupling climate response with environment, social and governance (ESG). Jacobs looked to its own talent force in appointing SVP of Global Climate Response and ESG Jan Walstrom to lead the new office.


HV Capital and Keen Venture invest $10 million in Plan A

Greentech start-up Plan A (Berlin, Germany), a data and science platform for carbon accounting, decarbonization and ESG management, closed its Series A funding round. European venture capital firm HV Capital led the $10 million round jointly with Netherlands-based Keen Venture Partners. Plan A will use the capital to develop its platform and expand internationally. After opening new offices in Paris and Munich in 2021, Plan A’s goal is to become a fully global company in the next three years. Plan A said its software is already used by BMW, Société Générale, JOKR, Apax, and the European Union for complex carbon accounting and ESG measurement and improvement.


ClimeCo strengthens ESG portfolio with Global Affairs

ClimeCo (Boyertown, Pa.), an advisor, transaction facilitator, trader, and developer of environmental commodity market products and services, has acquired Global Affairs Associates LLC (GAA, Houston), a women-owned ESG and sustainability-consulting firm. The acquisition will strengthen ClimeCo’s ESG capabilities and add essential staff to meet demand for sustainability reporting and performance. “This year, many of our clients recognized the need to accelerate their ESG efforts. Having the GAA team join forces with ClimeCo enables just that,” said Emily Damon, vice president of sustainability at ClimeCo..


E Source adds water loss reduction analytics to platform

Align Capital Partners announced its sixth strategic add-on for E Source (Boulder, Colo.), its utility market intelligence, data science and consulting platform. Water Systems Optimization (WSO, Nashville, Tenn.) offers water loss reduction analytics, leak simulation models, consulting and program management to utilities and municipalities throughout the United States and will become part of E Source’s Technology Planning and Implementation business. “There is a tremendous opportunity for innovation and cost savings for water utilities… we are now uniquely positioned to offer necessary and sophisticated analytics and services to this market,” said Reinhard Sturm, CEO of WSO. Align Capital acquired E Source in June 2019.


TPG completes investment in Keter Environmental

TPG Growth has completed a significant investment in Keter Environmental Services Inc. (Stamford, Conn.), a national full-service recycling and waste management company. According to a joint press release, Keter is the largest provider of recycling and waste services to the real estate investment trust (REIT) industry and has built a presence across several industrial end markets, including food processing, medical-device manufacturing, auto assembly, and engineered components. Using a proprietary platform and software the company provides real-time recycling and waste reporting. “Partnering with TPG will allow us to broaden our service offerings, solidify our ability to continuously improve recycling and waste programs, and maximize our potential and results in the world of sustainability and ESG,” said Keter’s CEO Steven Schlussel. 


A & M continues growth through acquisition

A & M Engineering and Environmental Services Inc. (Tulsa, Okla.), a full service environmental and heavy construction firm, acquired Environmental Technologies Group Inc. (ETG, Eugene, Ore.), an environmental consulting firm with offices in Eugene, Ore. and Stillwater, Okla. The acquisition will bolster A & M’s staff, capabilities, and service portfolio and expand its geographic presence in the western United States. Founded in 1984, A & M has approximately 80 employees; ETG is employee-owned.


RSK welcomes four new businesses

RSK Group Limited (Helsby, UK) announced the acquisition of four more UK businesses in the environmental services sector: Carbon Zero Consulting, Envireau Water, Enviroflow and Streetwise. Carbon Zero are advisors in renewable energy, ground source heat pump technology, boreholes and groundwater management. Envireau Water expands RSK’s hydrogeology and hydrology capabilities. Specialist waste management company Enviroflow provides investigation, maintenance, and repair of underground drainage assets. Streetwise specializes in traffic management services.

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