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EBI News for May 22, 2024 – Global growth in hydrogen production drives water management spending 

EBI News for May 22, 2024 – The following news section contains the latest stories for the environmental industry. Including, Global growth in hydrogen production drives water management spending , acquisitions, and more!

Global growth in hydrogen production drives water management spending 

Green hydrogen’s role in the global energy transition is driving opportunity for companies across the water industry, according to a new report from Bluefield Research. Highly treated ultrapure water is a key component for producing green hydrogen, making water resource availability a crucial issue. Through 2030, $26.3 billion will be spent on water management (i.e., capital and operational expenditures) for hydrogen applications, Bluefield forecasts. Estimated water volume demand for just the current green hydrogen project pipeline is expected to scale at a 72% compound annual growth rate from 2024 through 2030. “The success of hydrogen will hinge largely on the success of leading renewable and energy players like Iberdrola, NextEra, Air Liquide, Chevron, and Shell,” Bluefield concluded. “In their wake, leading water solutions providers, like Ecolab, Veolia, Xylem, and Acciona, among others, stand to benefit from the demand for more advanced water treatment, reuse, and desalination. Similarly, a host of engineering and construction companies… are already playing key roles.”


Verdantas recapitalizes with new financial sponsor

Sterling Investment Partners has acquired Verdantas (Tampa, Fla.) from Round Table Capital Partners (RTC). Verdantas management, employees, and RTC will retain significant equity interests in the company. Founded in 2020, Verdantas specializes in environmental consulting, sustainable engineering, modeling, and digital technology. “Since RTC’s initial investment in July 2020, Verdantas has completed 18 acquisitions and grown to a team of over 1,450 professionals, establishing itself as a premier player in the environmental consulting space,” according to Environmental Financial Consulting Group (EFCG), which provided advisory and valuation services to Verdantas. 


Veolia wins $320M contract for energy-efficient desalination plant 

Veolia (Paris), through its subsidiary SIDEM, will engineer and supply key technology for the Hassyan seawater desalination plant in Dubai, United Arab Emirates—expected to be the largest desalination plant powered by solar energy in the world. The plant will provide drinking water to two million people and will be the second largest desalination plant based on reverse osmosis (RO) technology. The project is expected to showcase “exceptional energy efficiency performance, with an incredibly low energy consumption rate of 2,9 kilowatt-hours per cubic meter (kWh/m3).” According to Veolia, SIDEM’s expertise in large-scale desalination, including the critical pre-treatment and post-treatment stages, has helped maximize the potential of RO technology, reducing the energy consumption of RO desalination plants by a further 35% over the past 10 years.


AECOM JV to provide environmental planning for U.S. Navy

AECOM (Dallas) announced that its joint venture with Stantec (Edmonton, Canada) has won a five-year environmental planning contract from the Naval Facilities Engineering Systems Command (NAVFAC) Pacific. The joint venture will deliver environmental planning services in support of Navy and Marine Corps compliance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA). Under this single-award, indefinite-delivery, indefinite quantity (IDIQ) contract with a $99 million ceiling, the Stantec GS-AECOM Pacific joint venture will research, prepare, update and review Navy and Marine Corps documents to support NEPA compliance. The contract scope also includes environmental, facilities and land use planning studies.


NOVA expands environmental services portfolio

NOVA Engineering & Environmental LLC (Kennesaw, Ga.) announced the acquisition of MAS Environmental, LLC (Tampa, Fla.), an environmental consulting engineering and remediation company.  The acquisition “marks a milestone” in NOVA’s strategy to enhance its environmental services capabilities. With the addition of MAS Environmental, NOVA’s expanded offerings now include environmental impact assessments, site remediation, permitting, tank closures and regulatory compliance, including new PFAS regulations. MAS Environmental has support offices in Fort Lauderdale, Jacksonville and DeBary, Fla. and professionals based in Charlotte, N.C. and Austin, Texas.


America exceeds five million solar installations nationwide

The United States has officially exceeded five million solar installations, up from one million installations in 2016, according to data released by the Solar Energy Industries Assn. (SEIA) and Wood Mackenzie. Over half of all U.S. solar installations have come online since the start of 2020 and over 25% have come online since the Inflation Reduction Act became law 20 months ago. These systems are installed on homes, businesses, and in large ground-mounted arrays. “Today 7% of homes in America have solar, and this number will grow to over 15% of U.S. homes by 2030. Solar is quickly becoming the dominant source of electricity on the grid,” said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper. SEIA forecasts that solar installations in the United States will double to 10 million by 2030 and triple to 15 million by 2034. The residential sector accounts for 97% of all U.S. solar installations.


RESPEC acquires Enviromin

RESPEC (Rapid City, S.C.) announced the acquisition of Enviromin Inc. (Bozeman, Mt.), an environmental geochemistry and microbiology firm, strengthening its footprint in Montana and broadening its technical capabilities and service offerings in mining and water management.  Founded in 2004, Enviromin has carved out a niche in environmental geochemistry, supporting the mining industry from design to reclamation. The firm has a track record in biogeochemistry, fostering partnerships with academic circles, laboratories, and consultancies throughout Montana. Founded in 1969, employee-owned RESPEC combines engineering with applied sciences and technology and is focused on sustainable water management and clean energy. RESPEC reported revenues of $112 million for 2023. 


Leidos wins contract for new flood warning service in UK

Leidos (Reston, Va.) was recently awarded a prime contract by the UK’s Environment Agency (EA) to build a new flood warning system for England. The contract is for an initial period of six years with a value of approximately £24 million. Leidos will collaborate with design consultancy Cogworx and mobile data firm Intersec. “With an estimated 5.7 million properties in England at risk of flooding in 2024, an updated flood warning system will help protect households and our national infrastructure,” said Eric Freeman, chief executive at Leidos UK & Europe. 


AtkinsRéalis reports strong first quarter results

AtkinsRéalis (Montreal, Canada) reported a strong start to the year, delivering solid Q1 year-over-year increases in revenue. AtkinsRéalis Services segment revenue totaled C$2.2 billion, an increase of 18.5%, or 19.1% on an organic revenue growth basis compared to the prior year quarter. Engineering Services Regions revenue totaled C$1.7 billion, an increase of 16.9% or 17.9% on an organic basis, with strong organic revenue growth in Canada; United States & Latin America; and Asia, Middle East & Australia. Nuclear segment revenue totaled C$298.6 million in the quarter, an increase of 22.2%, or 20.9% on an organic revenue growth basis, above the company’s full year outlook range. Backlog continued to achieve record highs with strong increases in Engineering Services Regions and Nuclear.


Tetra Tech advances digital water and energy practices

Tetra Tech Inc. (Pasadena, Calif.) has expanded its digital water and energy practices with the acquisition of Convergence Controls & Engineering (Littleton, Colo.) in process automation and systems integration solutions. Convergence’s expertise includes customized digital controls and software solutions, advanced data analytics, cloud data integration, and cybersecurity applications. Convergence is joining Tetra Tech’s Government Services Group.


Beer yeast shows promise for removing lead from water

Researchers from MIT and Georgia Tech may have found a way to remove lead from water cost effectively using repurposed beer yeast, quickly absorbing even trace amounts, according to an article in MIT News. Researchers showed that they could package the yeast inside hydrogel capsules to create a filter that removes lead from water. Because the yeast cells are encapsulated, they can be easily removed from the water once it’s ready to drink. Researchers envision that this process could be used to filter drinking water at home or scaled up for water treatment plants; they calculated that the yeast-laden capsules should be able to withstand forces generated by flows serving several hundred residences. The bio-based biodegradable system minimizes waste and environmental impact and has the potential to target other trace contaminants of emerging concern such as PFAS or even microplastics. 

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