GE to provide potable water system for 110,000 people in Banda Aceh, Indonesia

Major donation to Assist International of 75-ton water purification system departs Dubai, U.A.E., evening of Jan. 9 on world's largest aircraft. System can deliver at least 432,000 gallons of potable water per day. In addition, new commitments from Pall Corp., Flowserve and Pure-O-Tech were reported Friday. Also you can read below about earlier contributions pledged from Zenon Environmental, ITT Industries, Siemens/USFilter, Trojan Technologies, WaterChef and Air Water Corp...

SCOTTS VALLEY, CA, Jan. 10, 2005 (Staff & Wire Reports) -- Assist International announced the donation Friday by General Electric of a water purification system that will produce at least 432,000 gallons of potable water per day in Banda Aceh, the northern Indonesian province that was the hardest hit by the tsunami. The equipment has the potential to provide drinkable water for 110,000 Indonesians per day. GE expects the system to be functional as soon as Jan. 24.

GE, whose divisions include GE Infrastructure and its Water & Process Technologies business unit, is also donating an 800 kVA power generator to power the system, as well as additional equipment including breakers, cables, membranes and filters. To ensure the system can begin working as quickly as possible, GE is dedicating the resources and expertise of more than 50 engineers, operational specialists and project managers.

The equipment, which weighs 75 tons, departed from Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for Banda Aceh on Sunday night, Jan. 9, on the world's largest aircraft -- the Antonov An-225. Originally built for the Soviet space program, it is now used to carry ultra heavy and/or oversize freight. The cargo arrived Jan. 10 in Singapore. It will be transferred to a ferry barge and depart for Banda Aceh shortly. It's scheduled to arrive in Lhokseumave jetty the week of Jan. 17, subject to weather and other conditions.

Upon arrival in Indonesia, the equipment will be turned over to PLN, the Indonesian state utility company.

"The water purification system which GE is donating is going to literally save thousands of lives," said Bob Pagett, president of Assist International. "It is Assist International's privilege to partner with GE whether in Africa, or Southeast Asia, in projects that really make a difference."

Assist International (www.assistinternational.org) is involved in relief efforts across the region as well as ongoing humanitarian projects. A non-profit humanitarian organization based in Scotts Valley, Calif., it networks resources from the business world, service clubs, doctor and hospital groups, corporations and individuals with human needs throughout the world. It's a nonsectarian, nonpolitical organization dedicated to relieving human suffering in developing nations by providing medical equipment and supplies, medical education and other relief supplies.

In addition to this commitment, GE has mobilized its staff to assist in the region where possible and made financial commitments as well. "The GE family has pledged more than $10 million in cash, products and services to the relief efforts following the earthquake and tsunami in South Asia," reads a statement at the corporate website. "This includes an overwhelming outpouring from employees, who as of Jan. 6 have donated nearly $2.4 million, every dollar of which will be matched by the GE Foundation." Previously, the foundation also pledged $1 million to the Red Cross and $100,000 to UNICEF toward disaster relief efforts.

Pall donates drinking water system for tsunami relief efforts
Pall Corp., with headquarters in East Hills, N.Y., donated a water filtration system capable of providing safe drinking water to 60,000 people a day for the tsunami relief efforts.

The Pall system will replace a water treatment system that was destroyed in the Aceh province of Sumatra, Indonesia. The reverse osmosis system, which utilizes the company's proprietary Disc TubeTM Modules, converts very poor quality water into potable water in a single step. Since it does not require any pretreatment, drinking water is immediately available.

In addition to the water purification system, Pall provided technical training to Technisches Hilfswerk, the German governmental disaster relief organization, which will operate the mobile system. The system, valued at US$750,000, was made available from Pall's operations in Hamburg, Germany.

Pall Corp. (www.pallcorp.com) is a global leader in the rapidly growing field of filtration, separations and purification. Its business is organized around two broad markets: life sciences and industrial. The company provides leading-edge products to meet the demanding needs of customers in biotechnology, pharmaceutical, transfusion medicine, semiconductor, water purification, aerospace and broad industrial markets. Total annual revenues are $1.8 billion.

Flowserve to donate up to $150,000 to tsunami relief effort
Flowserve Corp., of Dallas, on behalf of its 14,000 employees around the world, announced Jan. 6 that it would donate up to $150,000 to the Red Cross for earthquake and tsunami relief efforts in Southeast Asia. Flowserve chose this organization based on its global reach and disaster expertise.

"Southeast Asia has suffered a terrible tragedy," said C. Scott Greer, Flowserve's chairman, president and CEO. "Thankfully, our current information indicates that none of our employees or their direct family members have been injured or lost. But, our employees from around the world realize other families and companies weren't as fortunate, so they immediately took action in the days following the disaster. Many quickly made cash donations while others became volunteers preparing survival kits for the affected areas. Southeast Asia is very important to Flowserve as our operations in the region support many of our largest customers."

Flowserve made an initial donation of $50,000 to the Red Cross and is currently conducting a fundraising drive that will match dollar-for-dollar the first $50,000 donated by its employees.

With headquarters in Irving, Texas, near Dallas, Flowserve Corp. (www.flowserve.com) is one of the world's leading providers of fluid motion and control products and services. Operating in 56 countries, the company produces engineered and industrial pumps, seals and valves as well as a range of related flow management services.

Pure-O-Tech takes advantage of proximity to help out in a pinch
Meanwhile, the North County Times reported that Escondido, Calif., based Pure-O-Tech Inc. -- which manufactures a portable water treatment system called the Enviro-Wash -- happened to have a unit in Chennai, India, the day the tsunami struck Dec. 26, according to company CEO Can Sirin.

The ozone disinfection unit, which can provide the daily potable water needs for about 5,000 people, was being used at Anna University in Chennai to demonstrate Pure-O-Tech's technology as a possible solution to India's shortage of reliable sources of safe drinking water in rural areas. The city, formerly known as Madras, was among those whose coastal fishing villages were devastated by the tsunami.

Now, company R&D vice president Ben St. Onge is being sent, thanks to the contribution of the California law firm of Luce Forward Hamilton & Scripps, to India to find additional areas where the systems can be set up. Employees at the firm raised $5,000, which was matched by the firm for the effort.

Pure-O-Tech Inc. (www.pureotech.com), a provider of environmentally safe solutions in water and food security applications utilizing ozone-based technologies -- was awarded the 2003 Annual Environmental Responsibility Award for its commitment to innovative solutions by the Industrial Environmental Association and California Manufacturers & Technology Association.

Other water industry commitments
On Thursday, Canada's Zenon Environmental reported it had teamed up with Eureka Forbes, a leading water company in India, and the Christian relief organization World Vision to send an initial shipment of 54 Homespring water filtration units for South Asia tsunami disaster recovery efforts. The systems, which are now en route to Chennai, India, and Sri Lanka, will provide safe drinking water for up to 350,000 tsunami victims. Incorporating Zenon's ZeeWeed ultrafiltration membranes, each unit can produce up to 7,000 gpd of potable water. The Oakville, Ontario, company's larger water purification systems, which the Canadian Army has used for years, will be deployed by Canada's Disaster Assistance Relief Team (DART).

Another Canadian company, Trojan Technologies, of London, Ontario, also committed to sending product to the region -- although because of the nature of its ultraviolet disinfection equipment, it may wait until later when more basic infrastructure is in place and it's more useful. On Jan. 5, Martha Nelsen, Trojan vice president of marketing and corporate communications, said, "We've been in touch with a number of nonprofit organizations and don't want to send equipment there just to have it sit there and not get used or just be in the way. But we've been very active working behind the scenes to provide some support." She noted Trojan's corporate parent, Danaher also has contributed to the Red Cross and is committing other of its companies such as water testing and analytical instrumentation maker Hach Company, of Loveland, Colo., to provide additional equipment toward the relief effort.

In addition, working through Oxfam and Red Cross/Red Crescent, ITT Industries -- with a variety of pump and water treatment equipment companies in its Fluid Technology unit -- said Jan. 5 that it was preparing 60 portable ST1 water treatment systems for delivery to the disaster area. Combined, they're capable of treating more than 100,000 gph. The units are diesel powered -- enabling them to operate in many areas without electricity -- and simple to operate and maintain, as well as providing the level of treatment necessary to combat waterborne diseases such as cholera and giardiasis. ITT also has mobilized staff at its companies in the region to provide their expertise and is donating $500,000 toward the general relief effort.

Also, Germany's Siemens, parent company of USFilter, said it would mobilize its companies in the region to assist as well as match employee contributions, for more than EUR1 million [US$1.35 million] as of Jan. 3. USFilter's Karole Colangelo said, working with Siemens in Thailand, the company will be providing seven membrane water treatment systems to affected areas in Asia.

Smaller firms WaterChef Inc. and Air Water Corp. were donating equipment as well -- respectively, two PureSafe water treatment stations that treat up to 15,000 gpd and 20 AirWater Machines that extract water from humidity in the air. The WaterChef units were purchased by an Indian family living in New York for relief efforts, the company reported Jan. 4. Air Water president Michael J. Zwebner also donated $25,000.

The American Water Works Association has been pointing other donors toward Water For People (WFP). Although it does have long term programs in Asia, Africa and Latin America, WFP, a Denver-based independent organization initially affiliated with the AWWA and supported by various organizations and companies in the water industry, pointed out that it's not an emergency relief organization. Instead, WFP agreed to serve as a liaison between the North American water industry and international relief organizations. In addition, it's currently accepting donations for long-term water and sanitation development projects in the 13 affected countries. For more information, call 800-926-7337 or visit its website: www.waterforpeople.org.

Emergency Relief Organizations
If you would care to assist in the humanitarian response to the disaster, also feel free to contact the following:
-- UNICEF: www.unicefusa.org or call 1-800-4UNICEF (86-4233).
-- American Red Cross: www.redcross.org or 1-800-HELP-NOW (435-7669)
-- Americares: www.americares.org or call AmeriCares directly at 1-800-486-HELP (4357)
-- CARE: www.care.org or 1-800-422-7385
-- Oxfam: www.oxfamamerica.org or 1-800-77-OXFAM (69326)
-- Save the Children: www.savethechildren.org or 1-800-728-3843
-- Doctors Without Borders: www.doctorswithoutborders.org
-- The Network for Good: www.networkforgood.org
-- Catholic Relief Services: www.catholicrelief.org
-- World Vision: www.worldvision.org

You can specify to direct your donations to South Asia Tsunami Relief Effort, but remember that a number of other areas of the world also may continue to need assistance as resources are redirected to this region.

For other reports on this topic, see: Tsunami Disaster Relief

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The above article was culled from items posted to PRNewswire, BusinessWire, MarketWire as well as personal interviews and various other sources.

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