WaterBriefs: U.S. activated carbon industry charges China with unfair trade practices

Also in this report: Palm Springs MIEX system wins engineering award; Foster Wheeler grabs another Chinese refinery boiler contract; Aqua Pennsylvania to reinvest $136M in 2006; Caldwell wins Minn. award for municipal water tank; CDM's Elwell, Brown join Water For People board; Anvil Int'l restructures sales organization; Mueller Water Products buys Hunt Industries; Williams auctioning coal-bed methane water disposal patent; Water takeover bill squeezes Detroit Water & Sewerage...

In other news below:
-- MIEX system in Palm Springs wins Fla. engineering award
-- Water, energy drive market growth for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment
-- Foster Wheeler to supply boilers to SINOPEC's Qingdao Refinery
-- Aqua Pennsylvania to invest $136 million in 2006 on infrastructure
-- Caldwell wins Minn. award for municipal water tank
-- CDM's Elwell, Brown appointed to Water For People board
-- Anvil International restructures sales organization
-- Mueller Water Products acquires Tenn.-based Hunt Industries
-- JMAR to showcase BioSentry water monitoring device at cruise show
-- Williams auctioning coal-bed methane water disposal patent
-- CitectSCADA to be deployed for ACCESS Pipeline in Canada
-- Water takeover bill squeezes Detroit Water & Sewerage
-- Baker awarded CGIA contract to conduct outreach workshops

U.S. activated carbon industry charges China with unfair trade practices
WASHINGTON, DC, March 9, 2006 (PRNewswire) -- Two U.S. producers of steam activated carbon filed an antidumping duty petition yesterday that charges dumped imports from the People's Republic of China (PRC) are causing material injury to the domestic industry and alleges antidumping margins of 132% to 731%. Antidumping duties are intended to offset the amount by which a product is sold at less than fair value in the United States.

According to the petition, dumped imports of steam activated carbon from China constitute a large and increased share of the U.S. market. "The growing volume of low-priced imports of activated carbon from the PRC, entering at prices that are the lowest in the market and that consistently and substantially undersell domestic producers, are causing material injury to the domestic industry," the petition states.

It notes that imports of all activated carbon from China surged 22%, from 68.6 million pounds in 2003 to 84 million pounds in 2004. Exports of activated carbon from China are dominated by steam activated carbon, and the vast majority of imports into the United States are steam activated carbon that are subject to the petition. Exports of activated carbon from China represented between 53 and 59% of all imports between 2002 and 2004, making it by far the largest source of imported activated carbon. The import volume from China was nearly four times the volume of the next largest import source in 2005.

"The domestic industry needs relief from the dumped imports of steam activated carbon from China to remove unfairly priced material from the marketplace and prevent further erosion of profitability," said David A. Hartquist, lead counsel to the petitioners.

The filing of the petition starts the process by which the United States Department of Commerce will determine whether dumping exists and the United States International Trade Commission (USITC) will determine if the U.S. activated carbon industry has been materially injured or threatened with material injury as a result. The USITC must reach its preliminary determination of material injury or threat of material injury within 45 days; the Commerce Department is required to announce preliminary antidumping duties in 160 days. Once the Commerce Department makes its preliminary determination, U.S. Customs and Border Protection will begin to require importers to pay a cash deposit or post a bond equal to the estimated dumping margin. The entire investigative process takes approximately one year. Final determinations of injury and dumping will occur in early 2007.

In January, the industry filed an unfair trade petition that covered all activated carbon products from China, but withdrew the petition in February.

The steam activated carbon subject to the petition is defined as a black carbon material obtained by "activating" various materials containing high levels of carbon (including but not limited to coal and coconut shells), by subjecting them to steam and heat to create a vast internal pore structure in the carbon material. The resulting pores trap contaminants in liquids or gases, a process called adsorption. Typical uses of steam activated carbon include removing objectionable tastes and odors from drinking water; reducing organic compounds in waste water; removing color and impurities from foods and chemicals; and removing mercury and dioxins from flue gas emissions.

David A. Hartquist is chairman of the International Trade and Customs section of the Washington, D.C., law firm, Collier Shannon Scott PLLC, where he practices international trade law. The petitioners are Norit Americas Inc., Marshall, TX, and Calgon Carbon Corp., Pittsburgh, PA.

NORIT Americas Inc. (www.norit-americas.com) is a wholly owned subsidiary of NORIT N.V. of the Netherlands, a world leader in purification technologies established in 1918. NORIT Americas has provided purification solutions since the early 1920s from its headquarters and activated carbon manufacturing facility in Marshall, TX, and manufacturing and reactivation facilities in Pryor, OK.

Calgon Carbon Corp. (www.calgoncarbon.com), with headquarters in Pittsburgh, Pa., is a global leader in services and solutions for making air and water cleaner and safer. The company employs approximately 1,250 people at 18 operating facilities and 22 sales and service centers worldwide.

Also see: "U.S. activated carbon industry files antidumping case against China" (Jan. 26, 2006)

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Among other recent headlines:

MIEX system in Palm Springs wins Fla. engineering award -- DENVER, March 9, 2006 -- The Florida Institute of Consulting Engineers (FICE) recently announced the winning projects in its 2006 Engineering Excellence Award Competition, which included two water treatment plants (WTP) employing Orica Watercare Inc.'s MIEX resins in Palm Springs, FL. Eckler Engineering Inc., consultant on the project, earned a Grand Award, the highest level award presented. This makes it eligible to participate in the National Engineering Excellence Award competition sponsored by the American Council of Engineering Companies (ACEC)...

Water, energy drive market growth for sedimentation and centrifugation equipment NORTHFIELD, IL, March 9, 2006 -- "Sedimentation & Centrifugation World Markets," from the McIlvaine Company, shows global growth to $6 billion by 2010 -- attributed largely to increased demand for equipment such as clarifers, dissolved air flotation, centrifuges, and hydrocyclones are used for preliminary treatment of drinking water, wastewater purification, and sludge dewatering. The booming market in Asia, where most of the citizens still lack clean water, will account for significant growth...

Foster Wheeler to supply boilers to SINOPEC's Qingdao Refinery -- HAMILTON, Bermuda, March 9, 2006 -- Foster Wheeler Ltd. announced today that subsidiaries of its Global Power Group have been awarded a contract by a unit of the China National Petrochemical Corp. (SINOPEC) to supply two 75 MW circulating fluidized-bed boilers. The boilers will be built at Qingdao Refinery & Chemical Co. Ltd. in Shandong Province, People's Republic of China. Foster Wheeler's contract is valued at about $22 million. The petroleum coke-fired boilers will be designed by Foster Wheeler International Engineering & Consulting (Shanghai) Co. Ltd. and manufactured by Foster Wheeler Power Machinery Co. Ltd. at its facility in Xinhui, China. The Qingdao project, located on the eastern coast of Shandong Province, is part of SINOPEC's continuing program of refinery expansion. The boilers will be similar in design to Foster Wheeler boilers currently under construction at SINOPEC's Yanshan Petrochemical Plant. Commissioning of the Qingdao boilers is anticipated in 2007...
Also see: "Foster Wheeler awarded front-end engineering design contract for Greek refinery upgrade"

Aqua Pennsylvania to invest $136 million in 2006 on infrastructure -- BRYN MAWR, PA, March 9, 2006 -- Aqua Pennsylvania's has announced county-specific projects in four counties that outline some of its most recent capital improvement efforts. In total, the company plans to spend over $136 million in 25 counties in 2006 to maintain and improve infrastructure statewide. Since the EPA has recommended that water utilities need to invest over $270 billion over the next 20 years, the investment is indicative of Aqua's long-term commitment to the future of quality water...
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-- "Delaware County, Pa., water systems in line for $26 million upgrade"
-- "Chester County, Pa., water systems in line for $13.8 million upgrade"
-- "Bucks County, Pa., water systems in line for $5.2 million upgrade"

Caldwell Civil Construction wins Minn. award for municipal water tank -- LOUISVILLE, Ky, March 8, 2006 -- Caldwell Civil Construction, a member of the Caldwell Group based in Louisville, KY, received an award from the Aggregate and Ready Mix Association of Minnesota for the municipal water tank in Worthington, MN, near the municipal swimming pool and Centennial Park. The 500,000 gallon water tank was completed in 2005...

CDM's Elwell, Brown appointed to Water For People board -- CAMBRIDGE, MA, March 8, 2006 -- Frederick H. Elwell, P.E., DEE, senior consultant, and Paul R. Brown, president of CDM's Public Services Group, have been elected to leadership positions at Water For People (WFP), an international nonprofit development organization committed to improving the quality of life by supporting sustainable drinking water, sanitation, and hygiene projects. In February, the WFP Board of Directors elected Elwell president. Also chair of its executive committee, he also serves on the AWWA board and executive committee. CDM board member Brown has been appointed to WFP's Endowment Committee of the John H. Ware Jr. International Water and Sanitation Fellowship Program...

Anvil International restructures sales organization -- PORTSMOUTH, NH, March 7, 2006 -- Anvil International, a unit of Mueller Water Products, is pleased to announce several changes to restructure its Mechanical/Industrial Division sales organization, involving Phil Schechinger, Harold Arrowsmith, Ernie Chuter, John McFerran and Bill Gilliam. These changes are in support of Anvil's overall sales growth initiatives...
Also see: "Walter Industries announces Mueller Water Products acquires Tenn.-based Hunt Industries"

Vactor launches RightStart customer experience program -- STREATOR, IL, March 8, 2006 -- Beginning this month, Vactor Manufacturing announces introduction of the RightStart customer experience program, which is designed to provide purchasers of its HXX HydroExcavator® with the information, contacts, training and resources required to get off to a productive start. Provides inspection, delivery, training and regular follow-up with new customers...

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BioSentry is a contamination warning system for waterborne microorganisms. Whereas current water monitoring depends on batch sampling of water and time consuming lab analysis, BioSentry uses laser-based technology to provide continuous, online, real-time monitoring for harmful bacteria and protozoa. BioSentry is targeted towards a number of applications across multiple industries, including municipal drinking water utilities, the beverage industry, and homeland security...

Williams' CBM water disposal method for sale in Ocean Tomo patent auction -- Coal bed methane technology addresses strong concerns in oil & gas industry -- CHICAGO, March 8, 2006 -- Ocean Tomo, an independent merchant bank hosting the first-ever live patent auction at The Ritz-Carlton in San Francisco on April 6, announced the inclusion of a patent lot pertaining to an oil & gas technology. It addresses an alternative economical process of water disposal that reduces environmental concerns with natural gas production, which has been a concern for oil and gas production companies for decades. The Williams Exploration & Production patent, pending applications, and related equipment for sale in the auction address the specific area of coalbed methane (CBM) natural gas production water disposal in the San Juan Basin of New Mexico and Colorado. The patented process uses natural gas as a heat source to produce steam and utilizes a mineral collection system for onsite disposal or larger units can be used for other applications...

CitectSCADA to be deployed for ACCESS Pipeline in Canada -- Citect chosen for new Alberta pipeline serving heavy oil producers -- ALPHARETTA, GA, March 8, 2006 -- Citect and its partner, Industrial Solutions Inc., are pleased to announce CitectSCADA has been selected for monitoring and controlling the pipelines and facilities in the ACCESS Pipeline System. The pipelines are being built as a full service transportation system to serve the Alberta oil producers, with the Citect portion valued at nearly US$130,000...
Also see:
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Water takeover bill squeezes Detroit Water & Sewerage -- Rates reveal suburbs push up prices -- LANSING, MI, March 7, 2006 -- Three years after passing a bill that would have handed control of Detroit's huge, regional water and sewer system over to the city's surrounding suburbs had it not been vetoed, the state's Republican-led Legislature is pushing hard to pass a new version of the original proposal, according to this article posted to the Michigan Land Use Institute website. The new proposal, like its predecessor and numerous other, similar proposals made by state Republican legislators throughout the 1990s, is inflaming already strained city-suburb relations in southeast Michigan. And its political ramifications could be as large as the system itself, which serves 4.3 million residents in 125 communities located in eight southeast Michigan counties. Republican legislators, whose support of the new proposal is virtually unanimous, say the bill will rectify what they claim to be rampant mismanagement, inflated water and sewer rates, and other problems that prevent suburban users of the system from getting adequate service at fair prices. But the bill's opponents characterize the bill as yet another in a long line of perhaps unconstitutional attempts by those legislators to score political points by allowing Detroit's suburbs, many of which are heavily Republican, to take control of one of the heavily Democratic city's most valuable assets...

Baker awarded CGIA contract to conduct outreach workshops -- PITTSBURGH, March 7, 2006 -- Michael Baker Jr. Inc., an engineering unit of Michael Baker Corp., announced it has been awarded a contract from the California Geographic Information Association (CGIA) to conduct outreach workshops across California and author the California Geospatial Framework Data Draft Plan. In pursuing this initiative, CGIA is acting in its capacity as partner to and fiscal agent for the California GIS Council. The plan will enhance capacity to develop and share an integrated set of geospatial data resources critical to application development and infrastructure efforts within California....

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: " WaterBriefs: Microgy Inc. to develop waste-to-energy facility at Neb. beef plant" -- Also in this report (March 7, 2006): American Water's audit program goes goes 'hi-tech'; New energy facilities investment to top $6 trillion over 20 years; Erosion control industry revenue less than $2B; PACS courses set for San Jose, Pittsburgh; Jacobs to manage Calif. General Services Dept.'s central plant renovation; Met-Pro unit lands $600K thermal oxidizer order; ACS awarded SAP outsourcing deal for TIC Holdings; Telvent acquires remainder of Miner & Miner; SafeNet, Digimarc's execs on SecurityStockWatch.com; Nanopore materials research shows potential for industrial water purification; Sustainable water well infrastructure report to be released; Ofwat publishes interim report on Severn Trent Water allegations; PWN Exhibicon International announces Project Libya - 2006; R.W. Beck confirms growth in water's 'Alternative Project Delivery'; Pentair execs present at Citigroup Global Industrial Manufacturing Conference...

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