A Quebec-based company has been charged with disposing of harmful substances in Canadian rivers. In early February Fibrek S.E.N.C. pleaded guilty to two charges, and it was fined $125,000 for violating the Pulp and Paper Effluent Regulations thereby committing offences under the Fisheries Act. The investigation conducted by Environment and Climate Change Canada revealed that the company in question had committed several offences contrary to the Regulations and to the Act.
2) US: CALIFORNIA
The California Department of Water Resources has released a new report from NASA showing that areas of the San Joaquin Valley continue to experience significant subsidence, resulting in damage to state and federal water infrastructure. Data showed that areas of subsidence in Corcoran and near Chowchilla, which were previously identified by NASA in August 2015, have grown.
3) SAUDI ARABIA
Singapore engineering firm Hyflux will design and build three small scale desalination plants along the Red Sea coast in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia for state-owned Saline Water Conversion Corporation (SWCC) following a public tender. The desalination plants, valued at a combined estimate of SAR 687 million (USD$180 million), will each have a designed capacity of 16,000 m3/day.
A tender for the 16,000 m3/day desalination plant in Khasab, Oman has generated sufficient international interest with a total of 13 Statement of Qualifications received. Companies included Veolia Middle-East and Utico. The call for qualifications was closed in December. Oman is aiming to increase its overall desalinated water capacity under contract to OPWP to 1.3 million m3/day by 2020.
5) SRI LANKA
Veolia has been appointed project manager for the construction of five new water treatment plants in the Greater Matale agricultural region of Sri Lanka.Through its subsidiary OTV, the French company will deliver the €156 million project, which also include five pumping stations and more 430 km of transmission and distribution pipes. This system will ensure supply for more than 350,000 people.
Singapore technology company De.mem hopes to expand sales of its membrane technology across Asia after an initial public offering (IPO). The company intends to raise AUS$3.75-4.50 million (US$2.9-3.5 million) from an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange, expected by the end of March. De.mem has been working to scale up a low-pressure hollow fibre membrane for decentralised industrial use.
As part of China’s Sponge City programme to increase resilience to the risk of floods, SUEZ has been awarded a €4 million contract to optimise stormwater systems in the new eco-district of Yuelai, in Chongqing. As part of the project, SUEZ will deploy its urban drainage digital solution allowing local authorities to monitor their sewer and stormwater networks in real time to mitigate the risk of flooding.
Spanish environment services group FCC has reported that revenues in its Aqualia water division have declined 2.3%. In its 2016 financial report, the company attributed the revenue dip to a “decline in the technology and networks business in the domestic market as public administrations cut back investment in water infrastructure”. Despite the drop in water-related revenues, EBITDA (Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortization) increased by 1.7% to €231.4 million, compared to 2015. In terms of new business, the company citeda €148 million deal to construct and operate two wastewater treatment plants in Colombia.
9) THE NETHERLANDS
Utility Waterschapsbedrijf Limburg has installed two wastewater treatment plants in Simpelveld and Roermond, at an investment of €10.7 million. The site is being used as a working ‘lab’ to test out new materials, including a self-healing concrete being used in collaboration with TU Delft. The concrete has been mixed with calcite-precipitating bacteria, which start limestone production to fill cracks.
The UK’s first large-scale ceramic membrane drinking water treatment plant is on track with 300 days of construction complete. The £60 million Mayflower Water Treatment Works is being designed by Dutch technology company PWNT for utility South West Water. The project is South West Water’s biggest single capital investment in its 2015-20 business plan.
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