Veolia, UNICEF join forces to tackle emergencies

After five years of cooperation on humanitarian crises in places such as the Congo, Korea, Pakistan and South Asia following the 2004 tsunami, Veolia Environnement, through the Veolia Environnement Foundation, agreed to become a “standby partner” of UNICEF.

After five years of cooperation on humanitarian crises in places such as the Congo, Korea, Pakistan and South Asia following the 2004 tsunami, Veolia Environnement, through the Veolia Environnement Foundation, agreed to become a “standby partner” of UNICEF. This commits it to quickly mobilize a team of employee volunteers.

Under foundation executive officer Thierry Vandevelde’s direction and in collaboration with onsite UNICEF teams and local partners, they identify and assess what’s needed, deploy appropriate technical equipment and manage water and power supplies for stricken communities.

“This network, the only one of its kind, is made up of 500 of our employees across the world, all extremely committed, experts in their field and all volunteers”, explains Veolia Water CEO Antoine Frérot.

“This type of partnership, bringing together environment-sector professionals with the lead players in the sphere of international solidarity, is a guarantee of more effective action for the benefit of populations at risk”.

In other news, Veolia’s first regional office opened in Abu Dhabi, UAE, as Veolia Water AMI (Africa, Middle East & India) to reinforce winning five key contracts since 2006 in the Persian Gulf.

These include water desalination plants in Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Oman, and wastewater services in Oman and Palm Jumeirah Island (Dubai). Veolia also is the preferred bidder on a contract to manage Riyadh’s water and wastewater network.

Lastly, Veolia and Grameen Bank will set up a new company, Grameen- Veolia Water Ltd, to supply drinking water to poor people in Bangladesh. And a Veolia Environmental Services joint venture in Asia won a €59 million O&M contract for the Yongkang municipal waste-to-energy plant in Taiwan.

Siemens to reorganize global water business

Siemens Water Technologies is reorganizing its worldwide business, transitioning its 28 business units to create four new segments aligned to specific markets and target groups. Since acquisition of USFilter in 2004, the worldwide water business of Siemens has grown to €2 billion. In addition, over a third of the company’s water business, originally US-based, is now outside of the USA – a portion that’s expected to continue to grow dramatically, particularly in Europe and Asia.

In other news, Siemens received an order from Albert Köhler GmbH & Co. KG in Gengenbach to install an MBR plant with downstream RO for wastewater treatment, making the German paperboard maker – which produces about 40,000 tonnes a year for folders, books and packaging – the first in the world to have such capability at its disposal. The system enables reuse of almost all process water, cuts wastewater volume by 90% and reduces the need for process steam and thus trims energy costs as well.

Siemens also will supply pretreatment to an MBR system for Mediterranea delle Acque’s new wastewater treatment plant in Santa Margherita Ligure and Portofino, Italy. Housed Partially underground, it will benefit the coastal villages’ fishing and tourism industries by producing quality effluent for reuse purposes. It will contain four MBR filtration cells, each with 224 hollow-fiber UF membrane modules for 34,000 m2 in total surface area. Once online in 2009, the €3 million system will be Siemens’ largest MBR installation in Europe. Lastly, Siemens won a €60 million deal for a potable water transmission system in Saudi Arabia, that includes eight pumping stations to transport water from the Shuqaiq desalination plant through 900 km of pipelines at a rate of 400,000 m3/d from the southwest part of the country to the north and east.

Cycling, mountain climbing for WaterAid

Two companies are participating in fundraisers for WaterAid, an international charity focused on global water and sanitation issues that operates in 17 countries.

Four teams of six from Hydro International, including COO Chris Williams and stormwater director Alex Stephenson heading their own teams, are seeking sponsorship support for Ride Up Britain on May 15. Hydro expects to raise £4,000 for the charity during the non-stop bike ride covering the country’s length in three to five days. Meanwhile, 14 employees from engineering consultancy Peter Brett Associates took up their effort in the Six Peaks Challenge. It takes them up six mountains in six regions of the British Isles in less than 72 hours. The team hopes to raise £5,000 to support WaterAid’s work of bringing clean water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people.

TORAY awarded elements for Namibian desal plant

Toray Membrane USA Inc. announced the award of a purchase order to supply seawater reverse osmosis (SWRO) elements to Keyplan, a leading desalination company in Southern Africa, for a uranium project in Trekkopje, Namibia, for its client, Uramin Namibia.

The 55,000 m3/day plant will utilize Toray TM820-400 elements to produce potable water. The potable water will be pumped approximately 60 kilometers inland to Uramin’s Trekkopje open cast uranium mine. On another note, Toray just expanded capacity at its Poway, California, facilities with arrival of its fourth automated rolling machine for production of spiral wound RO membrane/elements.

The winder, which can produce 4”, 8” and 16” diameter membranes, was to be fully operational by the end of April 2008. Toray also added two warehouse/ office buildings to its this new production campus for 30,000 more square feet of manufacturing capability.

Field Notes

DENMARK: Watts Water Technologies will acquire Blücher Metal A/S, of Vildbjerg, Denmark, for $183 million in cash. With $89 million in 2007 turnover, Blücher Metal is a provider of stainless steel drainage systems in Europe and a blobal provider of stainless steel drainage products to the marine industry. Its main products include push-fit stainless steel pipes and related fittings, light-duty drains for residential, commercial and marine applications, and drains for industrial applications.

AFRICA: JM Eagle has partnered with The H20 Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization promoting public awareness of the water crisis in Africa and support for solutions. The plastic pipe maker will become H20 Africa’s official supplier of infrastructure materials, providing highstrength PVC piping products at cost, and commit $150,000 to the foundation. Co-founded by Matt Damon, H20 Africa is the charitable component of Running the Sahara, an expedition and documentary film by Academy Award winning director James Moll.

SWITZERLAND: On March 28, the UN Human Rights Council adopted a resolution sponsored by Germany and Spain (and over 40 co-sponsors) establishing an Independent Expert on human rights obligations related to access to safe drinking water and sanitation. This means the UN human rights system now has a separate mechanism dedicated to these issues. It also confirms governments have obligations to ensure access to safe drinking water and sanitation under international human rights law.

ALGERIA: A Biwater Construction Ltd led consortium won a contract for a new seawater RO desalination plant to be built at Oued Sebt in the region of Tipaza, Algeria. The new 100,000 m³/d drinking water plant will consist of eight RO units at a capacity of 12,500 m³/d with two stages. The current design makes use of deep sea intakes with pretreatment consisting of circular DAF clarifiers and rapid gravity sand filters. This is one of a series of new SWRO plants built in partnership with the Algerian Energy Company and intended to supply Algeria with 2.3 million m3 of desalinated water by 2011.

GERMANY: KSB AG and Japanese company Nikkiso Co. Ltd. will establish a jointventure company based in Altenstadt near Frankfurt on July 1. The partners will each hold a 50% interest in the new company and have agreed to divide the management duties between them. The joint venture will focus on development and provision of canned motor pumps for customers in Europe and the Middle East.

TURKEY/SRI LANKA: In a contract worth €1.29 million, SWECO will examine the design and supervise construction of a new WWTP to be built in Nevsehir, Turkey, a tourist area 350 km south of Ankara. Another €2.8 million contract has the Swedish firm also setting up an effective wastewater system for the Sri Lankan capital of Colombo. Two new wastewater treatment plants, 12 pumping stations and 200 km of pipe will be built and installed.

More in Potable Water