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Improved wastewater treatment plant operations in the Lithuania's capital city Vilnius and the municipality of Alytus persuaded the Helsinki Commission to officially remove these Hot Spots from its list of the most significant pollution sources of the Baltic Sea on 15 June.

Helcom removes Lithuanian "Hot Spots"

Improved wastewater treatment plant operations in the Lithuania's capital city Vilnius and the municipality of Alytus persuaded the Helsinki Commission to officially remove these Hot Spots from its list of the most significant pollution sources of the Baltic Sea on 15 June.

Helcom Executive Secretary Ms. Anne Christine Brusendorff commented: Today, the wastewater treatment efficiency in a big city like Vilnius with a population of over half a million meets requirements of the relevant Helcom Recommendations, and is also in compliance with EU requirement."

Helcom experts also welcomed the reduction of pollution loads from the wastewater treatment plants in Lithuania's third largest city of Klaipeda, but could not yet support the deletion of this Hot Spot, since Helcom requirements for phosphorus has been exceeded in the wastewater. Good progress in pollution reduction has been achieved in the Lithuanian city of Marijampole, so the final decision to delete this Hot Spot could be made before autumn 2005.

Eighty-seven Hot Spots and sub-Hot Spots remain on the Helcom list following the deletion of 62 of the original 149 targeted areas. Investment and remediation projects carried out at pollution Hot Spots around the Baltic Sea have contributed substantially towards overall pollution load reductions in the Baltic Sea catchment area.

Grundfos opens factory in Russia

A booming economy, strong construction market, and rising demand for the replacement and renovation of pump plants explain the reasons for Grundfos' decision to open a 10,000 m2 of production facilities near Moscow. Grundfos plans to supply the Russian market directly from this new factory.

"Russia is one of the fastest growing markets in the world for Grundfos. Year after year, sales of Grundfos pumps rise by rates of 40% to 50%," according to Grundfos Group President Jens Jorgen Madsen.

"Initially, the factory will be used to assemble and test components from other Grundfos production facilities in Europe," he explained. However, the company plans to find local suppliers who can take part in the supply chain, he said.

Pipe factories in Saudi Arabia export GRP pipes

During April 2005, three Amiantit manufacturing facilities in Saudi Arabia -- Amiantit Fiberglass Industries Limited (AFIL) in Dammam, FPC in Dammam and Amitech in Jeddah, completed exports to 13 countries.

"While Saudi Arabia remains our biggest single market, export orders are becoming more and more substantial and their combined volume adds up to an increasingly important part of our business," Amiantit President and Chief Executive Officer Fareed Al-Khalawi, (Eng.) reported. The orders were for glass-fibre reinforced polyester (GRP) pipes of various diameters for water and waste water infrastructure projects and included 10km to Syria, 5km to Morganti, Jordan, 3km to Sabiyah, Kuwait, 3km to Sudan, 2km to Sohar, Oman, 2km to Yemen and 1.5km to Zawia, Libya.

In addition, AFIL Dammam supplied the Iran Marine Industrial Company (SADRA) with US$ 13 million worth of pipes and fittings. SADRA is one of Iran's biggest offshore contracting companies and is contracted to provide utility services to Assuluya-based petrochemical industries. The project will supply seawater for cooling which is transported through an open channel to a pumping station and then through a 12-km network of GRP pipes to the industrial complex.

Al Ansab sewage works to use Kubota systems

ACWa Services will supply Kubota Flat Sheet Membranes Systems for the world's largest submerged membrane bioreactor facility currently under construction at the Al Ansab sewage treatment works in Muscat, Oman. The UK-based company will also provide the overall process design and assistance with detailed design work, site engineering, installation and final commissioning.

The initial contract will use 304 Kubota EK400 double-deck membrane modules (a total of 121,600 panels) to treat a sewage inlet flow of 76,000 m3/day. Ultimately, the Al Ansab plant will treat 220,000 m3/day of raw sewage from a projected population of 900,000 people. The contract is scheduled for completion in 2006. The process design will be carried out in collaboration with the appointed consultant KAME, a joint venture of Khatib Alami and Metcalf & Eddy (US).

Kubota membranes have a life span of five to ten years, and as each set of four units are direct-coupled, reduce costs by eliminating the need for valves and pipework. The Al Ansab installation will incorporate a BNR design for nitrification and a fully automatic chemical cleaning system. In operation, Kubota membranes provide a cross-flow solids-liquid separation process that requires no primary or secondary settlement stages and no additional tertiary treatment or UV stages to achieve high quality water - typically better than 5:5:5 mg/L BOD: TSS: NH3.

Field Notes:

Bulgaria: The US company DST International Billing signed a distribution agreement with Soft Innovations Ltd that allows this Bulgarian-based company to sell and provide related professional consulting services and first-line support for DST's HiAffinity utility billing and customer information systems suite.

The distribution agreement offers DSTi the opportunity for introducing CIS and billing systems to utilities and concessions in Bulgaria and other countries in Eastern Europe. Soft Innovations specialises in e-business, e-trading, e-procurement and e-billing. Visit the website for more information.

Germany: The inge AG Chairman of the Board Michael Hank gave up his position to concentrate on business with small systems for drinking water purification in close cooperation with the company that he founded - inge AG. The former chairman plans to continue to assist the company in its growth. Hank founded inge AG in August 2000, which is located in Greifenberg, near Munich.

Hank explained: "inge AG is about to undergo rapid growth due to the partnerships that we have made with various large system manufacturers recently," he explained. "Concentration on the strategically important market segment of "Point of Entry" and "Point of Use" water purification brings a great deal of additional value here."

Switzerland: Roberto L. Lenton, a well-known water resources expert and co-coordinator of the UN Millennium Project Task Force on Water and Sanitation, was designated as the new Chair of the Water Supply and Sanitation Collaborative Council (WSSCC). He succeeds Sir Richard Jolly, who served as council chair for almost eight years. Dr. Lenton will assume the post of WSSCC Chair during the "World Water Week" in Stockholm, Sweden, in August 2005. Based in Geneva, WSSCC is an international organisation that was mandated by a 1990 UN resolution to accelerate progress towards safe water and sanitation for all.

UK: U Mole Ltd. celebrates its 20th year in the UK trenchless industry this year, while expecting further expansion to keep up with increasing demands for its wide spectrum of equipment. The company outgrew its original base in Eaton Socon, England in 2003 and moved to a new larger, purpose-built site in Great Gransden.

Managing Director Russell Fairhurst reported: "The increased demand within the gas industry and with Amp 4 expecting to increase mains rehabilitation works in the UK water industry, the next five years can be expected to provide expansion in both equipment sales and rental." Further growth is expected from the expansion of both Vac-Tron and Earth Tool ranges of equipment.

UK: The WRc Group won a second contract with the World Bank to further develop and improve the International Benchmarking Network known as IBNET. The contract value is US$ 300,000 and will be undertaken over the next nine months.

"Benchmarking at a local, national and international level can help all water and sanitation utilities, whatever their developmental status, to measure their performance and identify their shortcomings, find comparators for identifying and sharing best practice and new knowledge as well as driving performance improvement," Simon Gordon-Walker of The WRc Group said.

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