WaterBriefs: Kelda exits U.S. water market with $860M sale of Aquarion

Also in this report: AquaShield obtains second NJDEP certification; GE appoints six officers; Watts Water Technologies at Citigroup industrial conference; M-I SWACO to buy Epcon Offshore AS; FMC Technologies wins Statoil Tyrihans Project; Citect joins SAP partner program; Power plants need mercury reduction strategy; Itron appoints users' advisory board members; ABB micro-drives unveiled; Mich. railroad to cleanup groundwater; NRWA stresses water, wastewater utilities as first responders...

In other news below:
-- AquaShield obtains second New Jersey DEP certification
-- GE appoints six company officers
-- Delta announces start of revenue from Indramayu facility
-- LADWP holds workshop to reaffirm commitment to solar incentive program
-- Watts Water Technologies announces webcast of Citigroup industrial conference
-- M-I SWACO announces acquisition of Epcon Offshore AS
-- FMC Technologies awarded subsea contract for Statoil Tyrihans Project
-- Citect enters 'Powered By SAP NetWeaver' Partner Program
-- Power plants must have a mercury reduction strategy now
-- Itron appoints new Users' Advisory Board members
-- New micro-drives pack simple, fast setup and host of OEM-friendly features
-- Mich. railroad agrees to cleanup groundwater in Battle Creek, pay over $750K in damages
-- NRWA briefing stresses water, wastewater utilities as first responders when disasters strike
-- Canadian mining company gets water management plan for Ruby Creek project
-- California Water Service Group names new VP, CFO and treasurer

Macquarie Bank to acquire Aquarion Water Co.
BRIDGEPORT, CT, Feb. 24, 2006 -- Macquarie Bank Ltd. of Australia and the U.K.-based Kelda Group plc today announced that Macquarie and an affiliate entity will acquire Aquarion Company for $860 million.

Macquarie is one of the largest and most experienced global investors and managers of infrastructure assets. Macquarie also is a long-term investor and manager of important community assets. In recent years Macquarie and its affiliated entities have invested in and continue to manage projects such as utilities, ports, tunnels, airports, and toll roads, and have a strong and growing presence in the U.S.

Commenting on the transaction, Aquarion Company President and Chief Executive Officer Charles V. Firlotte said, "I'm delighted to announce this agreement, as it is great news for Aquarion's customers and employees. Macquarie is a well-respected organization and an international leader in infrastructure investment," he added. "Of particular interest for Aquarion employees and customers is Macquarie's depth of experience in the regulated utility arena. Macquarie and Aquarion's shared commitment to deliver high-quality water, customer service excellence, and operating efficiency constitute an exciting and winning development for us all," Firlotte said.

The acquisition is subject to regulatory approval, including from the Public Utility Commissions in Connecticut, New York and New Hampshire. Closing of the transaction is expected to occur during the fourth quarter of 2006.

Aquarion Company's principal business is public water supply. Through its Aquarion Water Company subsidiaries, it is one of the 10 largest investor-owned water utilities in the U.S., serving 219,400 homes and businesses, or approximately 677,000 people, in 53 Connecticut, New York, Massachusetts, and New Hampshire communities. Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut provides high-quality water to 176,000 customers, or more than 587,000 people, in 36 cities and towns.

The Macquarie Bank Group (www.macquarie.com.au) provides specialist investment, advisory and financial services in select markets around the world, with more than 7,600 people in 23 countries. The Group consists of Macquarie Bank Ltd., the leading Australian investment bank, and its worldwide affiliates. Macquarie Bank has a market capitalization of US$10.8 billion as of Jan. 23, 2006. It's one of the largest global investors and managers of infrastructure assets, managing total assets of approximately US$85 billion around the world through a range of investments. Infrastructure investments managed by Macquarie include assets in water, energy distribution and generation, transportation, airports, social infrastructure, and telecommunications sectors in 11 countries including the United States.
Also see:
-- "Kelda Group sells U.S. water business Aquarion to Macquarie for US$858.6M"
-- "Announcement of conditional sale of Aquarian Company Inc."

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Among other recent headlines:

AquaShield obtains second New Jersey DEP certification -- CHATTANOOGA, TN, Feb. 24, 2006 -- AquaShield Inc.'s Aqua-Filter™ stormwater filtration chamber has been conditionally certified by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP). The Aqua-Filter chamber is a key component of the Aqua-Filter stormwater filtration system, an in-line system capable of gross contaminant removal and the removal of fine sediments, waterborne hydrocarbons, heavy metals, and nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen. Its Aqua-Swirl™ Concentrator, a hydrodynamic separator which provides a highly effective means for the removal of TSS (course/fine sediment), floating debris, and free oil, was approved last fall. The New Jersey Corporation for Advanced Technology (NJCAT) certified both systems based on performance data supplied...
Also see:
-- "NJDEP announces hazardous waste settlement; Cycle Chem Inc. to spend over $500K in upgrades"
-- "Merck, Motiva/Shell each pay state over $2M for groundwater claims"
-- "NJDEP settles groundwater claims with Valero Refinery"

GE appoints six company officers -- FAIRFIELD, CT, Feb. 24, 2006 -- GE today announces the appointment of six new company officers, among them Steven Fludder. Fludder, 45, is vice president of sales for GE Water & Process Technologies. A 22-year GE veteran, Fludder has had a variety of global roles in sales and operations in his career. Most recently, Fludder was CEO of China for GE Energy. From 2002 to 2003, he was the General Manager of Asia for GE's Wind Energy business. Before that, he was General Manager of the Northeast U.S. region for GE's Energy Services business, a role he had from October 1999 to July 2002. Fludder received his Masters' in Mechanical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1988. He received his Bachelors' degree in Mechanical Engineering from Columbia University in New York in 1983 and his Bachelors' degree from Providence College in Rhode Island in 1983...

Delta announces start of revenue from Indramayu facility -- SELLERSVILLE, PA, Feb. 24, 2006 -- Delta Mutual, Inc., specializing in energy recovery and construction services through environmentally-friendly technologies and products, yesterday announced the start of revenue from operations at the company's first permanent oil sludge processing facility in Indonesia through its Delta-Envirotech subsidiary's local joint venture, PT. Tryhuda-Envirotech. Delta employs technologies that efficiently recover energy sources from soil, water and other waste streams while simultaneously improving existing environmental conditions...

LADWP holds workshop to reaffirm commitment to solar incentive program -- Public invited to submit comments through April 14 -- LOS ANGELES, Feb. 24, 2006 -- The Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) in a special workshop, outlined a strategy and revisions for its Solar Photovoltaic Incentive Program, reaffirming the LADWP's commitment to the environment, renewable energy and the Los Angeles economy. The revised guidelines are designed to meet escalating requests by customers eager to participate in one of the largest solar electric system installation programs in the nation. The guidelines represent a continued commitment to solar power for the City of Los Angeles. The Solar Program also assists the LADWP in achieving its goal of providing 20% of its energy from renewable energy sources by 2010...

Watts Water Technologies announces webcast of Citigroup's 19th Annual Global Industrial Manufacturing Conference -- NORTH ANDOVER, MA, Feb. 23, 2006 -- Watts Water Technologies Inc. today announced that William C. McCartney, its chief financial officer, will present at Citigroup's 19th Annual Global Industrial Manufacturing Conference being held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in New York on March 7 at 3 p.m. EST. The presentation will be broadcast via a webcast. The address of the webcast is www.veracast.com/webcasts/citigroup/im2006/85109202.cfm with replays available for 30 days after the event. Watts Water Technologies Inc. designs, manufactures and sells an extensive line of valves and other products to the water quality and water regulation and control markets...

M-I SWACO announces acquisition of Epcon Offshore AS -- HOUSTON, Feb. 23, 2006 -- M-I SWACO today announced the acquisition of Epcon Offshore AS, providing access to industry-leading produced water treatment technology. The acquired operations, based in Porsgrunn, Norway, generated annual sales of approximately $26.5 million for the fiscal year ended Dec. 31. Its proprietary treatment technology is designed to optimize the removal of hydrocarbons from produced water. Today, produced water represents about three-times the volume of worldwide oil production which makes produced water the largest waste stream for oil and gas operators. Epcon's Compact Flotation Unit (CFU) is currently being used by a number of major operators in the North Sea, Latin America and the Middle East market to optimize the separation of produced water. Compared to conventional separation units, the patented CFU has a smaller footprint and weight, making it ideal for upgrading existing water treatment facilities facing challenges meeting increased waste volumes and more-stringent discharge regulations. M-I SWACO is owned by Smith International Inc. and Schlumberger Ltd...
Also see: "M-I Production Chemicals acquires ENERCHEM International Inc."

FMC Technologies awarded subsea contract for Statoil Tyrihans Project -- HOUSTON, Feb. 23, 2006 -- FMC Technologies announced today that it has signed a contract with Statoil to provide subsea systems for the Tyrihans project in the North Sea. The value of this contract is approximately $216 million in revenue. This contract covers the supply of 13 subsea trees, 5 template structures with manifolds, a topside control system and work-over systems. First deliveries are scheduled for April 2007, with final deliveries scheduled for November 2008. The Tyrihans oil and gas field is located about 25 miles south of Asgard in roughly 935 feet of water. The field will be tied back to the Kristin platform where the gas and oil will be processed...

Citect enters 'Powered By SAP NetWeaver' Partner Program -- SYDNEY, Australia, Feb. 23, 2006 -- Citect, one of the world's largest, independent, real-time intelligence and industrial automation software companies, has entered the "Powered By SAP NetWeaver" Partner Program. This program is designed for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs) to create innovative, high-impact solutions and sales opportunities for the SAP customer ecosystem. Both Citect and SAP support the industry standard for interoperability, ISA-95 (a multi-part standard for Enterprise-Control System Integration, developed by the ISA), and are global leaders in the implementation of B2MML for plant to business interoperability. B2MML is an XML-based implementation of the ISA-95 standard developed by the World Batch Forum.
The SAP NetWeaver platform is the technical foundation of mySAP(TM) Business Suite solutions, SAP(R) xApps(TM) composite applications, partner solutions and customer custom-built applications. It provides the best method to integrate all systems running SAP and non-SAP software...

Power plants must have a mercury reduction strategy now -- NORTHFIELD, IL, Feb. 23, 2006 -- Despite regulatory uncertainties, it's essential power plant operators put in place both short-term and long-term plans to deal with mercury emissions and the accompanying wastewater treatment technologies that may be required. This is the advice provided by the McIlvaine Company in "Power Plant Air Quality Decisions," a subscription service offered by the provider of strategic market analysis...
Also see:
-- "PADEP Secretary testifies before House Committee on Pennsylvania's mercury reduction efforts"
-- "Pa. Gov. announces state-specific mercury reduction plan that strengthens economy, protects public health"

Itron appoints new Users' Advisory Board members
SPOKANE, WA, Feb. 23, 2006 -- Itron announces newest members of the 2006 Itron Users' Advisory Board. Eight new members join 11 veterans on the board, which is responsible for planning and setting the agenda for the yearly Itron Users' Conference, one of the most important industry events sponsored by Itron for its customers. The event will be held Oct. 15-17 in Palm Springs, CA...

New micro-drives pack simple, fast setup and host of OEM-friendly features -- NEW BERLIN, WI, Feb. 23, 2006 -- Innovative features such as FlashDrop technology, sequence programming, flexible user interface and cabinet-compatible hardware help builders optimize machines, repeat production quickly -- and minimize installation and start-up times for users of new micro-drives from ABB Automation. Ideal for precise motor control in water pumping applications, the drives are rated to 0.5-10 Hp...
Also see: "ABB posts $735 million net profit for 2005"

Mich. railroad agrees to cleanup groundwater in Battle Creek, pay state over $750K in damages -- 25 other companies also contribute in the settlement -- LANSING, MI, Feb. 23, 2006 /PRNewswire/ -- Attorney General Mike Cox and the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) announced today that they have successfully negotiated a settlement with Grand Trunk Western Railroad and 25 other companies that will provide additional cleanup of groundwater contamination in Battle Creek and payment of more than $750,000 in costs and damages to the state. Cox filed a complaint in the Grand Rapids U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan on Jan. 17, alleging the defendants caused soil and groundwater pollution at and adjacent to the Verona Well Field, an area on the eastern edge of Battle Creek where the city draws most of its municipal water supply. Cox alleges that the pollution resulted from leaks of industrial chemicals and disposal of chemical wastes in the 1960s and 1970s at two locations formerly operated by the now bankrupt Thomas Solvent Co. and a railroad car maintenance facility operated by Grand Trunk...
Also see: "Midwest Veal LLC pleads guilty to discharging liquid manure into Macatawa River waterway"

NRWA hurricane briefing stresses recognizing water, wastewater utilities as first responders when disasters strike -- WASHINGTON, DC, Feb. 22, 2006 -- Officials from the Environmental Protection Agency, Rural Utilities Service, and the Association of State Drinking Water Administrators participated in National Rural Water Association Washington D.C. Briefing. The briefing highlighted the challenges in providing support to rural and small water and wastewater systems in the face of natural disasters, i.e., Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Rural water operators from Louisiana and Mississippi accompanied their state rural water association offices to report on the hurricane damages to their systems and how rural water helped them immediately following the storms. Additionally, the operators discussed the long-term support rural water is still providing, along with how rural water can better prepare to meet future disasters. One of the most notable outcomes discussed was the need for governmental agencies to recognize water and wastewater personnel as first responders since they are just as critical as police and fire...

Canadian mining company gets water management plan for Ruby Creek project -- Feasibility design of tailings, waste dumps and site water management facilities received from Klohn Crippen Berger -- VANCOUVER, Canada, Feb. 22, 2006 -- Larry W. Reaugh, President & CEO of Adanac Moly Corp. is pleased to report the company has received Klohn Crippen Berger's feasibility design for the tailings facility, waste dumps and site water management structures of the Ruby Creek Molybdenum Project located near Atlin, BC. The preliminary feasibility design for these facilities was reported in another news release on Aug. 4...

California Water Service Group names new VP, CFO and treasurer -- SAN JOSE, CA, Feb. 22, 2006 -- California Water Service Group today announced the selection of Martin A. Kropelnicki as its vice president, chief financial officer and treasurer, effective March 13. He'll succeed John S. Tootle, who'll resume responsibilities as in-house corporate counsel after filling the position on an interim basis since October 2005. Kropelnicki, 39, comes to California Water Service Group from Berkeley, CA-based PowerLight Corp., a leading global provider and installer of large-scale solar electric systems and energy efficiency services...

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In earlier newsbriefs, see: " WaterBriefs: Millipore recognized for social, environmental leadership" -- Also in this report (Feb. 22, 2006): Microfiltration market to top $1.2B by 2010; Agilent, Labtronics to partner to provide advanced integration solution for Cerity ECM; Godwin Pumps opens second New Jersey rental location; PureTech Systems forms advisory board; Membrana sends more membrane contactors to Malaysian semiconductor fab; Universal Food and Beverage acquires aseptic bottling plant for $9M; Autoliv Promontory facility receives Shingo Prize for Excellence in Manufacturing; MFC acquires Midwest Hydraline; ASCE announce outstanding achievement award nominees; Ozone technology firm receives favorable test results on dairy wastewater; New Zealand dairy farmers reject irrigation criticism; Ofwat consults on new sustainable development duty; International Aid hires Bodenner to head worldwide clean water program; Coalition urge California to list Teflon chemical as a carcinogen; ACWA voices concerns with water bond package; University of Idaho students analyze prototype phosphorus removal system; Witherspoon launches tender offer for Schuff International; Zenith International issues first bottled water report on Latin America; Electronic Sensor Technology unveils 'detection library' for chemical warfare agents; Guelph municipal, library workers on strike to protect public services...

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