Dow Chemical buys Rohm & Haas, expands U.S. membrane plant

An $18.8 billion merger of Dow Chemicals and Rohm & Haas Inc. will create the world’s leading specialty chemicals and advanced materials company.

An $18.8 billion merger of Dow Chemicals and Rohm & Haas Inc. will create the world’s leading specialty chemicals and advanced materials company. The acquisition combines Dow’s DOWEX ion exchange resin line with Rohm & Haas’ extensive expertise in this area. Financing includes an equity investment by Berkshire Hathaway and the Kuwait Investment Authority of $3 billion and $1 billion respectively.

Dow Water Solutions also announced an $88 million expansion of its Edina, Minnesota, USA, membrane manufacturing operation – the third in eight years. At 630,000 square feet, the facility will be over 11 times the size of Dow’s original plant and will feature advanced automation technology, more membrane lines and new fabrication cells, increasing total output by an initial 25%.

Meanwhile, Israel’s Nirosoft Industries chose Dow UF and RO membranes for a 20,000 m3/day desalination plant for Limassol, Cyprus, the island’s largest seaside resort. One of the first desalination projects designed for mobility, the facility may be dismantled and moved to another spot after three years of operation. It’s also one of the first worldwide based entirely on membrane separation technologies.

Lastly, in a deal signed with OTV/(Blue Water) Veolia Water Solutions & Technologies of France, 36,000 Dow RO membranes will be used in a wind-powered, 250,000 m3/day seawater desalination plant in Sydney, Australia, with potential for expansion to 500,000 m3/day.

JM Eagle pipes aid to Senegalese

Livingston, New Jersey, USA-based plastic piping specialist JM Eagle launched a major initiative with Columbia University’s Earth Institute to provide safer water to more than 11,000 of the poorest people in Senegal.

It donated and delivered over $800,000 worth of high-strength PVC water pipe which is being installed in several Millennium Villages-projects designed to end extreme poverty in rural communities throughout Africa. When completed this fall, the new water supply network will consist of over 110 km of PVC pipe that connects to 53 villages.

Driven by pressure and gravity, the new pipelines will increase drinking water coverage to nearly 80% of the region and be the basis for a sustainable infrastructure that drives future health and prosperity.

The distribution infrastructure JM Eagle is providing also will transport non-potable water that can be used to irrigate crops for both food and income.

GE Water partnerships busy around the globe

Dubai’s Septech bought a fleet of GE Mobile Water Treatment Systems to be serviced by GE Water & Process Technologies in a 20-year Septech-GE collaboration to provide regional industrial, municipal and infrastructure customers in the UAE and Oman with a portfolio of solutions for water, wastewater and process water needs.

Septech is involved with a number of landmark regional projects: Atlantis, The Palm, Festival Marina-Dubai Festival City and now Race Track Marina, Yas Island and The Els Club-Victory Heights.

“With the Middle East North Africa (MENA) water market expected to grow to $183 billion in the next five years, we hope to capture a significant percentage of the total water and wastewater market in the region,” said Septech CEO David Heffernan.

In other news, Wuxi, one of China’s fastest growing industrial cities, picked GE Water to help restore water quality in Taihu Lake, the main water source for over 30 million people in the region. The new 30,000 m3/day Meicun WWTP will be China’s first large-scale application of GE’s MBR technology.

Pakistan entrusted Ideal Hydrotech Systems, GE Water’s local partner, with building and operating drinking water plants at nearly 1,200 sites in the North West Frontier Province that will be equipped with GE’s HomeSpring UF systems.

GE Water and STW Resources Inc. are collaborating to reduce freshwater lost due to hydraulic fracturing, a commonly used oil & gas process.

The effort will initially address wastewater challenges of Barnett, Fayetteville and Appalachian Shale natural gas drilling. With GE patented evaporator and brine concentrator technologies, it will help the regions reclaim about 70% of hydraulic fracturing wastewater for reuse or safe discharge.

The Great Divide Oil Sands Partnership, an affiliate of Connacher Oil & Gas Ltd., chose GE’s produced water evaporator and ZLD technologies to cut water use at its Algar Oil Sands Project in Alberta, Canada, and protect regional water resources.

The system recycles up to 98% of water recovered from steam assisted gravity drainage (SAGD) extraction and eliminates wastewater discharges, savings up to 73 million gallons
a year.

An 80-20% joint venture of Pentair and GE Water will combine both companies’ global water softener and residential water filtration businesses, whose combined net sales were about $450 million in 2007.

Lastly, on May 30, GE Water and Pennant Hills Golf Club officially opened Australia’s first commercial sewer mining water reuse plant using MBR technology to produce 172,000 gpd of water to irrigate 55 acres of greens, tees and fairways.

PRASA awards meter contract

Strengthening a 20-year relationship, the Puerto Rico Aqueduct & Sewer Authority (PRASA) awarded Elster’s AMCO Water Division a $9.6 million contract to supply 375,000 residential water meter.

In other news, as part of $547 million in U.S. Department of Agriculture funding for 232 rural water projects authorized by the 2008 Farm Bill, PRASA will receive a total of $1,501,520 in loans and $1,199,520 in grants.

Field Notes

USA: On July 11, Ashland Inc. announced it agreed to acquire all outstanding shares of Hercules Inc. in a merger deal worth $4.4 billion that will create a major, global specialty chemicals company. The paper and water businesses of each company will be combined to create one global business unit with annual revenue of $2 billion.

CANADA: CH2M Hill signed two contracts worth $500 million with Fort Hills Energy L.P. in a joint venture with Lockerbie & Hole Construction Management Inc. to provide engineering, procurement and construction services for the Infrastructure Utilities Work for the Fort Hills Oil Sands Project near Fort McMurray, Alberta.

USA: EBARA Fluid Handling breaks ground for 36,000 square foot, $3.5 million expansion at Rock Hill, South Carolina, facility. Water and wastewater pumps will be built, tested and shipped from this location to distributors throughout North and South America.

CHILE: ITT Corp. won a contract to provide filtered seawater to Esperanza, a large new copper-gold mining project in Chile’s Atacama Desert, the driest desert in the world. It will help move treated seawater from the ocean to an elevation of 7,550 feet above sea level over a distance of 91 miles, employing 16 pumps to service four pumping stations, each with four horizontal multi-stage pumps driven by 2400hp and 1800hp motors.

USA: A new technical market research report, “Membrane Bioreactors: Global Markets” from BCC Research, notes the world market for MBR technology in wastewater is expected to grow at 10.5% a year, increasing from $296 million in 2008 to $488 million by 2013. It’s grown steadily since 1990, when it was worth only $1 million. Municipal/domestic wastewater treatment was the earliest application and is still the largest, accounting for 44% of all systems.

CAYMAN ISLANDS: Consolidated Water Co. Ltd. was the successful bidder for the privatization of the water utility on Grand Turk, Salt Cay, South Caicos, North Caicos and Middle Caicos. The Turks and Caicos Islands, a British Overseas Territory just below the Bahamas, has water sales on these three islands estimated at less than 500,000 gpd, but demand is expected to pass that within a few years.

USA: The Affordable Desalination Collaboration (ADC) completed test profiling for spiral wound reverse osmosis technology, establishing a comparative affordability and benchmark database. Run over two years, the testing compared six sets of standard 8” diameter membranes in seven-element pressure vessels. ADC study participants included Dow Filmtec, Energy Recovery Inc., GE Water & Process Technologies, Hydranautics, Koch Membrane Systems, Pentair Water and Toray. Testing was conducted at the U.S. Navy’s Seawater Desalination Test Facility in Port Hueneme, California.

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