Akzo Nobel wins Norwegian Sea contract for water treatment technology

Akzo Nobel's MPP Systems business to supply a water purification for one of the world's most challenging gas field development projects, the Ormen Lange project operated by Hydro. The contract involves providing the Norwegian Sea project with a macroporous polymer extraction (MPPE) unit to remove dissolved hydrocarbons from its process water...

ARNHEM, The Netherlands, March 2, 2005 -- Akzo Nobel's MPP Systems business has won the contract to supply a water purification unit for one of the world's most challenging gas field development projects, the Ormen Lange project operated by Hydro.

The contract involves providing the Ormen Lange project in the Norwegian Sea with a macroporous polymer extraction (MPPE) purification unit to remove dissolved hydrocarbons from its process water.

"In a very short space of time, our MPPE technology has proved itself to be the best available separation technology for treating this type of process water," said Dick Meijer, General Manager of MPP Systems. "Compared with traditional technologies we are highly competitive. Winning this prestigious contract is an important breakthrough because it represents MPP Systems' entry onto the Norwegian market, which is well known for its strict environmental legislation."

Ormen Lange is the deepest gas field development project on the Norwegian continental shelf. Discovered in 1997, it's located 100 kilometers off the northwest coast of Norway at water depths of 800 to 1,100 meters. When the field comes on stream in October 2007, it will not only be a major contributor to the European gas and energy market, but most likely make Norway the second biggest exporter of natural gas in the world.

Akzo Nobel's MPPE technology will now be used to help Hydro -- the operator for Ormen Lange during the development and construction phase -- achieve its ambitious environmental goal of zero discharge of environmentally harmful substances. As well as being used for offshore process water treatment, the technology can also be utilized for groundwater, industrial process and wastewater treatment.

The patented MPPE technology is a flexible method to separate hydrocarbons from process water, wastewater or groundwater. A guaranteed removal of 99.9999% (six logs) is feasible for aliphatics, aromatics, chlorinated hydrocarbons and polyaromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). MPPE technology is based on extraction. Porous polymer spheres act as carrier for nontoxic and biodegradable extraction medium that absorbs and extracts hydrocarbons from water. The miniscule plastic spheres are capable of reducing contaminant concentrations in water by a factor of more than 1 million, which means that concentrations of thousands ppm (parts per million) can be lowered to below 1 ppb. This is done in only one cycle. Aside from clean water for recycling or discharging, the water purification unit also yields almost 100% pure hydrocarbons suitable for reuse.

MPP Systems (www.akzonobelmppsystems.com) has extensive expertise in the development, marketing and servicing of separation systems for water streams. It's only one of the company's wide-ranging activities in the field of water treatment. It specializes in separation technologies for water treatment.

Akzo Nobel (www.akzonobel.com), based in The Netherlands, serves customers throughout the world with healthcare products, coatings and chemicals. Consolidated sales for 2004 totaled EUR 12.7 billion. The Company currently employs some 61,500 people in more than 80 countries. The financial results for the first quarter will be published on April 19.

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