News — Americas

General Electric’s decision to acquire Zenon Environmental Inc. for approximately US$ 656 million will expand GE Water & Process Technologies’ growing product and services platform with advanced membranes for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse to municipalities and industries worldwide.

GE acquires Zenon Environmental

General Electric’s decision to acquire Zenon Environmental Inc. for approximately US$ 656 million will expand GE Water & Process Technologies’ growing product and services platform with advanced membranes for water purification, wastewater treatment and water reuse to municipalities and industries worldwide.

Over its 26-year history, Zenon pioneered the use of ultrafiltration technology for water and wastewater treatment. The technology has become the technology of choice for water and wastewater plants, and its adaptation is spreading rapidly throughout the world. “Zenon is a great strategic fit with GE,” said David Calhoun, GE vice chairman, president and chief executive officer of GE Infrastructure. “With the synergies we create, we will have the potential to grow revenue in the municipal water segment at more than 30 percent for the next several years. Its best-in-class membrane technologies will allow GE to serve the fast-growing ultrafiltration segment of water and wastewater treatment, significantly expand our capabilities to help customers address pressing water scarcity issues and play a key role in the high-growth areas of the municipal water segment. We anticipate our water platform growing to nearly US $2.5 billion in revenue next year.” Zenon’s advanced membranes include membrane bioreactor (MBR) and hollow fiber technologies that offer low-cost filtration and disinfection in one step with low energy consumption. Its extensive patent portfolio will enhance GE’s current water scarcity platform by providing pre-treatment technology for reverse osmosis desalination and reuse.

Recognized as one of the Fast 50 companies of 2006, GE Water & Process Technologies was awarded for its potential to change history over the next 10 years. The 5th annual Fast 50 event (www.fastcompany.com) called attention to GE long-term water scarcity solutions, part of its “ecoimagination” initiative that is bringing new technologies to market in order to help meet major environmental challenges, such as water scarcity. Visit www.gewater.com for more information.


Rapid growth drives Nevada expansion project

The Clark County Water Reclamation District in the US state of Nevada awarded a program management services contract worth US$ 11 million to MWH Global for a number of capital improvement projects (CIP) scheduled to be designed and constructed over the next three years.

These projects will provide additional wastewater conveyance and treatment capacity for the rapidly growing population in the district and will help meet Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) water quality standards. The district will invest $961 million in the CIP program over the next five years.

“This program consists of capital improvement projects that will address the CCWRD’s need to renovate aging infrastructure, and to provide expanded facilities that will meet federal and state water quality standards well into the future,” said CCWRD’s Sam Scire, manager of Engineering and Construction for the program.

Clark County, home to the world-famous Las Vegas strip, is among the fastest growing places in the nation with a population of approximately 1.8 million. The district population is increasing by some 5,000 new residents every month.

The CCWRD is responsible for wastewater collection, treatment and reclamation in all of the unincorporated areas of Clark County, including outlying communities. MWH is based in Broomfield, Colorado, USA. (Web: www.mwhglobal.com)


JBIC finances San Jose sewage treatment

The Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC) approved a US$ 127-million loan with the Republic of Costa Rica to finance the Metro-politan San Jose Environment Improvement Project.

The JBIC reports that the loan will be used to construct a sewage treatment plant, install sewage pipes, and provide consulting services. The plant will treat sewage for 65 percent of the population in the San Jose metropolitan area in order to improve public health and local living conditions. Currently, household access to the San Jose sewage system is 47 percent.

The sewage treatment system in Costa Rica is underdeveloped in comparison with the water supply system. Although 89 percent of the country's total population is serviced with piped water, only 21 percent of households are connected to a sewage system, and as little as 4 percent of wastewater is treated. In San Jose, sewage has spilled into rivers and waterways that run through the urban districts and is discharged into rivers without treatment causing serious pollution and health hazards.

Since Costa Rica is endowed with abundant natural resources, the promotion of an ecotourism campaign has been drawing an increasing number of tourists from the USA and Europe in recent years.


Field Notes

Aruba: The power and water company Water en Energiebedrijf (WEB) in the Caribbean island nation of Aruba is using the GE antiscalant program GE Betz HT15/PDC9323 instead of acid dosing in its Aquachem 5 (AC-5) multi-stage flash (MSF) plant. The facility has 40 stages, 36 recovery and four reject, enclosed in seven vessels and a capacity of 600m3 per day. The antiscalant program is a scale inhibitor for use in MSF plant evaporators using steam to drive the desalination process to obtain potable water.

Prior to using the GE Betz program, sulfuric acid was injected into the makeup line prior to the dearator. WEB added the antiscalant technology in two places: downstream of the brine recirculation pumps and at the entrance to the warmest stages.

Monitored for a six-month period, the program met all of WEB’s Aruba goals. GE reported that the antiscalant program controlled scale at a TBT of 110 degrees Celsius, without acid addition at a concentration factor of 1.5 cycles. In addition, the plant’s Gained Output Ratio was maintained, and the new technology had little or no adverse effect on plant corrosion.

Canada: The British Columbian district of Sooke and EPCOR Utilities completed a wastewater treatment and collection system for the core area of the Vancouver Island community of almost 10,000, located 34 km west of Victoria. The district’s US$ 22.9-million project involved the construction of a secondary waste treatment system that includes more than 27 km of pipe and a 3,000 m3/day secondary wastewater treatment facility. This level of treatment is expected to support the growing community, protect Sooke Harbor and Basin from contamination, and protect groundwater quality. EPCOR led the project team that included Chew Excavating Limited, Lockerbie Stanley Inc., and Stantec Consulting Services Inc (Web: www.epcor.ca)

USA: YSI Incorporated sold its Precision Temperature business to Measurement Specialties, Inc. of Hampton, Virginia. Chief Executive Officer and President Rick Omlor explained: “We recognize that what we do best is instrumentation, systems, and services. As such YSI’s strongest growth opportunities are in the environmental business, where we have chosen to dedicate the necessary investments in new technology and acquisitions.” YSI plans to invest more in its core environmental monitoring product lines (www.ysi.com).

USA: Membrana installed its Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor technology for gas control in a functional water system in a major Japanese electronics facility.

The Liqui-Cel Membrane Contactor system will treat 520 m3/hr of water. Vacuum and hydrogen sweep will be used in combination mode to precisely control the gas outlet in the water. Membrane Contactors are selected for this application because of their ability to dissolve hydrogen into the water on a molecular level without creating bubbles that could be difficult to control. The system will start up in first quarter of 2006. (www.membrana.com).

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