Utility draws on BOC expertise to keep Birmingham watered

A major contract for the supply of CO2 will see the British industrial and special gases company BOC Group PLC help Severn Trent Water sustain the supply of good quality drinking water to the city of Birmingham, England. In other news, Germany's Linde AG said March 6 that BOC directors have accepted a cash takeover offer worth 8.5 billion pounds [US$14.9 billion] in a deal that would create the world's biggest industrial-gases company...

Industrial gases company supports Severn Trent Water's continued drive for quality drinking water.

GUILDFORD, UK, March 15, 2006 -- A major contract for the supply of CO2 will see the industrial and special gases company BOC help Severn Trent Water sustain the supply of good quality drinking water to the city of Birmingham, England.

The five year contract awarded to BOC's water processes team after lengthy tendering, allows for an annual supply of 2300 tonnes of CO2 to the Severn Trent Water Frankley water treatment plant which supplies drinking water to homes and businesses around the city.

CO2 is crucial to Severn Trent's long term plans to manage the supply of good quality drinking water and improve and modernise the 46,000 kilometres of water pipes. Mixing lime, water and CO2 hardens the water and helps to prevent mineral contamination especially from lead water pipes.

The new contract strengthens the ties between the two companies with CO2 just one of a number of products BOC supplies Severn Trent Water for the treatment of drinking water and wastewater.

BOC's technical manager Cedric Hanson said: "BOC works closely with its water customers, providing expertise and technical solutions in water treatment to help water utilities meet environmental and consumer targets.

"All water utilities have stringent water quality targets so it is important to have a secure supply of CO2 to ensure water is kept free of contaminants and the life of an extensive network of pipelines is sustained."

BOC account manager Tim Wigfall added: "This is a major win for BOC and comes from the water processes team building a thorough understanding of Severn Trent Water over the past five years. Over the course of the contract we will be looking for further opportunities to strengthen our partnership with the water utility."

Matthew Griffiths from Severn Trent Water said: "We are investing GBP120 million [US$209.77 million] every year for the next five years on water management, including improvements to the network of water pipes, in order to sustain the supply of high quality drinking water to our customers.

"BOC's water processes team is contributing to that investment. Through a constant drive for efficiency and the expertise of BOC's technical, engineering and safety services Severn Trent Water is already seeing significant benefits."

The BOC Group (www.boc.com), a worldwide industrial gases, vacuum and abatement technologies and distribution services company, serves two million customers in more than 50 countries. It employs some 30,000 people and had annual sales of over GBP4.6 billion [US$8.04 billion] in 2005. In the UK BOC's water processes team designs systems that optimise the treatment of water and waste water for industrial companies, water utilities and local authorities. BOC implements technologies and operating practices to develop the best total water cycle solution for each customer and takes long-term responsibility for supporting and maintaining that solution. In 2004 BOC's water processes team won an IChemE (Institution of Chemical Engineers) award for its vitox oxygenation process which played a central part in restoring oxygen levels in Cardiff Bay.

Severn Trent Water (www.stwater.co.uk) is a member of the Severn Trent Group of companies and is one of the UK's leading water and sewerage companies. More than eight million people living and working in the heart of Britain, from mid-Wales to Rutland and from the Bristol Channel to the Humber, rely on Severn Trent Water for supplies of high quality drinking water and protection of the environment from their waste water. Nearly two billion litres a day of water are brought to homes and businesses through 46,000 kilometres of pipes and a further 54,000 km of sewers take waste water away to be cleaned and safely returned to rivers and streams through more than 1,000 sewage works.

Also see:
-- "Linde to acquire rival BOC: German firm raises bid for the British industrial gas firm and expects acceptance"
-- "Linde: BOC Group accepts takeover offer"
-- "Recommended cash offer by Linde for BOC"

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