WaterBriefs: Northwest Pipe wins $13 million Wisconsin order

Also in this report: Weir Group sells desalination, water treatment business to Veolia; American Pacific to acquire Aerojet Fine Chemicals; Bay Area Council cites 10 points in opposing removal of Hetch Hetchy Water System; Duke Energy staff honored with environment, health and safety awards; QI Systems sees uptrend in fluid management projects...

In other news below, see:
-- Weir Group sells desalination, water treatment business to Veolia
-- American Pacific signs agreement to acquire Aerojet Fine Chemicals
-- Bay Area Council cites 10 points in opposing removal of Hetch Hetchy Water System
-- Duke Energy staff honored with environment, health and safety awards
-- QI Systems sees uptrend in fluid management projects

Northwest Pipe wins $13 million Wisconsin order
PORTLAND, OR, July 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- Northwest Pipe Company reported today that it was named to supply approximately $13 million of welded steel pipe for the Central Brown County Water Authority. The Authority is a six-community consortium of Wisconsin communities whose mission is to provide long-term drinking water needs for its members.

Northwest Pipe will supply approximately 118,000 feet of 48-inch diameter steel pipe. The pipe is expected to be manufactured in the Company's Parkersburg, West Virginia division with delivery scheduled to begin in the third quarter of 2005. The pipe will become part of a water main and distribution system that will link these Green Bay-area communities to a new Lake Michigan water source. The system is expected to be delivering water by December 2006.

Northwest Pipe Co. (www.nwpipe.com) manufactures welded steel pipe in two business segments. Its Water Transmission Group is a leading supplier of large diameter, high-pressure, steel pipe products used primarily for water transmission in the United States and Canada. Its Tubular Products Group manufactures smaller diameter steel pipe for a wide range of construction, agricultural, industrial and mechanical applications. The Based in Portland, Ore., it operates 11 manufacturing facilities in the United States and Mexico.

Weir Group sells desalination, water treatment unit to Veolia
GLASGOW, Scotland, July 13, 2005 -- UK pumps and fluid systems specialist reports July 8 that it entered into agreements to dispose of the desalination and water treatment businesses of its Techna Division to Veolia Water Systems, part of Veolia Water which is the water division of Veolia Environnement. The full value of the deal equates to US$48.76 million...
Click here for more.

American Pacific signs agreement to acquire Aerojet Fine Chemicals
LAS VEGAS, July 13, 2005 (PRNewswire-FirstCall) -- American Pacific Corporation has agreed to acquire the assets of Aerojet Fine Chemicals (AFC), a subsidiary of GenCorp Inc., for cash and other consideration in the amount of about $119 million and the assumption of certain liabilities. The transaction will be financed primarily with commercial bank loans and the issuance of a seller note. The agreement is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals and is expected to close in the early fall of 2005.

AFC is a leading manufacturer of active pharmaceutical ingredients and registered intermediates for commercial customers in the pharmaceutical industry. In fiscal 2004, AFC reported sales of approximately $66 million.

AFC offers specialized engineering capabilities which include energetic chemistry, high-containment facilities and the first commercial-scale simulated moving bed in the U.S. used for chiral separation of pharmaceutical ingredients. AFC employs FDA Good Manufacturing Practices and its core products are FDA approved.

"AFC is a perfect fit for our company," said John R. Gibson, CEO of American Pacific. "It is an attractive, profitable business that complements our existing specialty chemical and energetic product portfolio. This acquisition provides us with a strong presence in fast growing pharmaceutical markets where we can provide customers with value added products and services."

American Pacific (www.apfc.com) is a specialty chemical company that produces (i) energetic products used primarily in space flight and defense systems, automotive airbag safety systems and explosives, (ii) Halotron, a clean fire extinguishing agent and (iii) water treatment equipment. In 2004 it acquired the former Atlantic Research Corporation liquid in-space propulsion business. Ampac-ISP, as it is now known, is a leading supplier of commercial and military propulsion products and the world's largest producer of bipropellant thrusters.

Bay Area Council opposes removal of Hetch Hetchy Water System
SAN FRANCISCO, July 13, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The Bay Area Council today released a 10-point letter it sent July 5 to Department of Water Resources Secretary, Mike Crissman, which spells out the organization's opposition to removal of the Hetch Hetchy water system.

The Hetch Hetchy water system serves 2.4 million Bay Area residents, or more than a third of the region, and about 75,000 Bay Area employers, including some of Silicon Valley's most prominent silicon chip manufacturers. The system is world renowned for its purity and derives 85% of its water from the Hetch Hetchy reservoir.

Key points made in the letter include the following "insurmountable challenges":
1. San Francisco has no water rights at New Don Pedro reservoir. These are held by the Modesto and Turlock Irrigation Districts (MID & TID). Federal rights for flood control through the Army Corps of Engineers controls any excess capacity.

2. Water presently stored in Cherry and Eleanor reservoirs are unavailable as they are held for use by MID and TID. Hetch Hetchy supplies 85% of the water used by 2.4 million Bay Area residents, two-thirds of whom live outside San Francisco.

3. The water delivered from Hetch Hetchy is outstanding in its quality, has a Federal exemption from filtration, and the consistency of that quality is relied on by families and institutional users, such as several prominent Silicon Valley chip manufacturers. No replacement scenario, even one which incorporates expensive filtration systems (the costs of which are missing from the proposal), will come close to matching this level of water purity.

4. Implementation of this proposal will put more pressure on the Delta, as even the proponents acknowledge. Increased Delta salinity, greater environmental stress on the smelt population, wetlands and marshes will all result. Those impacts will than affect conditions in San Francisco and San Pablo Bay.

5. A railroad had to be built to create the supply system when the Dam was constructed. Excluding consideration of the financial costs, what are the environmental consequences of tearing down a structure built to last centuries?

6. Less publicized, but well known to you, would be the loss of all or a portion of 400 MW of clean, renewable hydroelectric power. The equivalent of 39 million barrels of oil per annum, this power is used by farmers, cities and services like MUNI transit in San Francisco. Elimination of Hetch Hetchy would require new fossil burning plants, and could dictate the continued service of a dirty plant in the economically depressed Hunters Point neighborhood in San Francisco.

7. Federal legislation would be required to amend the Raker Act, as well as millions, perhaps hundreds of millions of Federal dollars to tear down the Dam. Certainly the viability of legislation is problematic, and I believe the likelihood for monetary support nil.

8. The legal challenges that would come with any formal governmental adoption of this drive are predictable and significant. What public policy benefit would be served by the ensuing years of litigation and court dispositions?

9. Scientists project that due to global warming we face a major reduction in our snow pack in the coming decades, making existing capture and storage operations like Hetch Hetchy all the more valuable.

10. The existing Hetch Hetchy system is dated, approaching its 100th birthday. The tunnels and pipelines that convey water to the Bay Area need renovation and rebuilding, a responsibility that the voters have approved with a $4.3 billion capital improvement program now underway. We cannot allow distraction and the risk of delay from this proposal to demolish a working, gravity driven water delivery network that crosses over four distinct earthquake faults.

"We know expensive new filtration plants will be necessary. We know the proponents did not factor in a single dollar for the actual demolition, and they estimate the total cost at $500 million to $1.5 billion. Other estimates are several times these figures, reaching more than $10 billion -- the reality is that the true costs, though in the billions, are unknown," said Jim Wunderman, president and CEO of the Bay Area Council.

Founded in 1945, the Bay Area Council (www.bayareacouncil.org) develops and drives regional public policy initiatives and critical infrastructure issues. Led by CEOs, the Bay Area Council presents a strong, united voice for more than 275 of the largest employers throughout the Bay Area region in promoting economic prosperity and quality of life.

Duke Energy staff honored with environment, health and safety awards
CHARLOTTE, NC, July 12, 2005 (PRNewswire) -- Four Duke Energy employees were honored today with the company's Environment, Health and Safety (EHS) Award. The award is given annually -- recognizing individual efforts in protecting and creating a safe working atmosphere throughout the company.

Honored were:
-- Jim Mozley, senior vice president, Crescent Resources, Bluffton, S.C.
-- Henry "Les" Shugart, supervising engineer, Duke Power, Charlotte, N.C.
-- Rodolfo Nardez Sirol, environmental coordinator, Duke Energy International, Sao Paulo, Brazil
-- Robert Wylie, engineer, Duke Power, Charlotte, N.C.

Jim Mozley led Crescent's effort to turn its Lake James developments in North Carolina into a model for public, private and governmental cooperation. He sought input and received inspired ideas from residents, environmental groups, land conservation groups, the Burke County Commission and staff, and other elected officials. In a remarkable display of leadership ability, he led passionate stakeholders in developing a consensus for a comprehensive land plan for development in the area.

The highlight of the overall plan was the designation and subsequent sale of approximately 3,000 acres to the state of North Carolina for the expansion of the Lake James State Park.

Henry "Les" Shugart was the driving force behind a creative safety solution at hydroelectric power stations throughout Duke Power's system. For years, surveyors at Duke Power's spillways have worked with a life jacket as their only safety device. However, inspired by Duke Energy's renewed commitment to safety, employees began asking for a way to secure them from falling.

In response, Shugart developed a relatively inexpensive, compact, easy-to- handle and environmentally friendly safety float, which allows employees to walk safely along hydroelectric plant spillways by providing a place for the employee to tie-off.

Shugart's safety device is a testament to the innovation and creativity of Duke Energy employees and offers a creative solution to an industrywide safety concern.

Rodolfo Nardez Sirol and his team developed innovative ways to improve fish stocking efforts at Duke Energy's Salto Grande Hydroelectric Station in Brazil. Sirol's program also improved the diversity and survivability of the young fish and significantly reduced costs.

The approach allowed his team to breed six different species of fish -- four more than before. His team also added products to the water that practically eliminated deaths during transportation and fatigue to the reservoirs, which make the young fish healthier and less susceptible to predators.

The process that Sirol's team adopted with the State University of Londrina and the State University of Sao Paulo decreased annual spending on fish-stocking projects by 45 percent.

Robert Wylie went into action to help partner with others on a water treatment process to treat wastewater that will be generated when scrubbers are installed at several of Duke Power's coal-fired plants. His action was needed when several wastewater treatment companies could not ensure that their process would reduce the pollutants in the water sufficiently.

He knew of a wastewater treatment system -- used by the Department of Energy -- that used constructed wetlands to remove pollutants from the water. Working with Clemson University and ENTRIX Inc., a 15-acre wetland treatment system was designed and is currently under construction at the Marshall Steam Station in North Carolina. The system is scheduled for completion by September 2005.

By using constructed wetlands instead of a chemical treatment plant, Duke Power expects to save several million dollars and will consider using a similar wetland treatment system at other scrubber sites.

Duke Energy (www.duke-energy.com) is a diversified energy company with a portfolio of natural gas and electric businesses, both regulated and unregulated, and an affiliated real estate company. Duke Energy supplies, delivers and processes energy for customers in the Americas. Based in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a Fortune 500 company traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

QI Systems sees uptrend in fluid management projects
DALLAS, TX, & RICHMOND, BC, Canada, July 12, 2005 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- QI Systems Inc., announced that one of its municipal customers has recently issued a purchase order for additional equipment, adding capacity to its QI-installed, automated bulk-water control system. With water becoming an ever-more-precious commodity, both public and private water utilities face growing pressure to find better ways to monitor customer utilization.

QI delivered its first automated bulk-water control system in mid-2002. Among its first customers were northern Canadian cities needing installations serving industrial users, as well as residential consumers. Consistently reliable service has been provided, even with winter temperatures ranging as low as -40F. These systems now include TCP-IP communications to allow control and data-collection from a remote computer.

Some QI installations have displaced coin-operated bulk-water dispensing stations, providing greater reliability, reduced operational cost, reduced vandalism, more convenience and better management control and reporting. The Colorado cities of Ft. Collins and Loveland use QI control systems for their Ranch-Water sales, an automated system used by agricultural, industrial and private customers. In other installations, retail stores use QI control systems for water vending machines, allowing 24/7 access for customers to refill one or five gallon containers.

All QI water control systems are vertically integrated, using stored-value, "smart"-card technology. The smart cards are supplied by, and the payment and control terminals are designed and manufactured by, QI Systems. QI also designed and manufactures the accompanying card sales and reload machines.

At the other end of the water spectrum, QI equipment controls wastewater disposal at sanitary dumping stations. This highlights the versatility of QI's control systems. If a fluid must be controlled, QI can supply systems to monitor, manage and generate revenue from that control function.

Fluid management systems integrators and equipment distributors are invited to contact QI Systems Inc. for more information.

QI Systems Inc. (www.qisystems.ca) designs, develops and markets chip-based card payment and tracking solutions to a number of industries. Products and core competencies include "smart"-card and stored-value systems, security protocols, data communication software design and hardware manufacture.

***

In earlier newsbriefs, see:
-- "WaterBriefs: Siemens builds up strength in industrial drives with acquisition of Robicon" -- Also in this report (July 12, 2005): Watertech, Chemtec and Envirotec China join as PSC 2005; ABS repositions itself in dewatering; Organoclay media aids groundwater treatment of crude oil; ECC wins 'Project of the Year' award; Greinke joins DL Engineering & Controls; Research and Markets: Remaining hydro potential found in developing countries; Safety Scan Technology assists NASA outreach program with Aquacorder; Metals & Arsenic Removal Technology adds McNeely as vice president; Pennvest approves $33M for statewide water projects; National society recognizes civil engineers for management leadership; U.S. Army selects GE digital pressure calibrators; Aqua Dyne to form UAE partnership; Wataire signs $5.2M deal in Pakistan; Koch units earn environmental, health and safety awards in 11 states, 5 countries; R.W. Beck names president; CVF Technologies' Biorem buys Biocube...

###

More in Energy Management