In addition to the normal flow of M&A, investment activity, projects, and technology introductions, the last two weeks have put water scarcity concerns in the limelight. Not only is water scarcity expected to be one of the main barriers to growth for India in the upcoming years, but Trillium Asset Management is calling out companies that don’t yet focus on factoring water risk into their bottom line. It’s a good thing we also saw a new report on water reuse and how it may even be healthier for us than drinking water – it’s a sustainable water source that we can’t (and shouldn’t!) run away from. Read below for details on these stories and more:
- Badger Meter signed a definitive agreement to acquire Racine Federated Inc. of Racine, Wis., and its subsidiary located in Thetford, England, for approximately $57 million in cash. The acquisition of Racine Federated reportedly gives Badger Meter several new flow measurement technologies, strong brands, a robust distribution channel and skilled employees.
- Northumbrian Water closed a £360 million ($550 million) 30-year bond, rated Baa1/BBB+ (Moody’s/S&P) and priced at 203bp over Gilts for a 5.125% coupon.
- Wessex Water also issued a £200 million 9-year bond at 4% interest.
- German investment firm SKion GmbH acquired a 20% stake in the Netherlands-based water technology company Paques through the acquisition of shares from the Pâques family and a capital increase. According to Paques’ CEO, “…the transaction helps to accelerate Paques’ continuous investment in innovation and it increases the pace of implementation and valorization of new technologies. Besides product development, Paques also intends to strengthen its market position, in particular in the important German market, but also in growth markets like Brazil, India and North America.”
- German OEM supplier MANN+HUMMEL has acquired Fluid Brasil, a filtration system supplier specializing in reverse osmosis and ultrafiltration solutions used in the treatment of water and wastewater. “Fluid Brasil enables us to expand our system expertise and gives us access to the local water market. The company complements our portfolio very well,” explains Alfred Weber, CEO MANN+HUMMEL.
- Tri-Tech Holding‘s affiliate, Beijing Satellite Science & Technology Co., secured a $1.5 million strategic collaboration agreement with Wuhan Natural Gas High-Pressure Pipeline Co. (“NGHP”) outlining a framework for an automated control system for natural gas plants, terminal stations and distribution pipelines in the city of Wuhan, Hubei Province.
- Utility Service Affiliates, a subsidiary of Middlesex Water Company, signed an agreement with Sunoco Logistics Partners to operate the Eagle Point Biological wastewater treatment facility in New Jersey, US.
- The Northern Indiana Public Service Company (NIPSCO) and Owner’s Engineers, Sargent & Lundy, selected Infilco Degremont to design and supply a FGD Wastewater Treatment System retrofit for the chloride purge stream from the wet Flue Gas Desulfurization (FGD) at R.M. Schahfer Generating Station in Wheatfield, IN.
Innovation/ New Products
- HyperSolar plans to optimize its technology to turn wastewater into renewable hydrogen and natural gas. The process would use free sunlight to photo-oxidize (detoxify) wastewater to simultaneously produce molecular hydrogen and clean water.
- Bernardin Lochmueller & Associates (BLA), a leader in sustainable infrastructure design, recently received a method patent for its Eco-Treatment™ constructed wetland system to treat wastewater from animal confinement operations (Patent No. US 8,021,551 B2).
- VRTX Technologies, a global player in applying controlled hydrodynamic cavitation for chemical-free water and wastewater treatment, is set to introduce the VRTX Mini, a chemical-free solution for evaporative cooling systems specifically designed for small commercial buildings and retail stores.
- The Obama administration announced that it is rejecting the permit application for a pipeline from Canada’s tar sands to the U.S. Gulf Coast, but has invited TransCanada, the company building the pipeline, to reapply after finding a new route through Nebraska.
- New analyses suggest that the possible health risks of exposure to chemical contaminants and disease-causing microbes from wastewater reuse do not exceed and, in some cases, may be significantly lower than, the risks from existing water supplies.
- After power shortage, water scarcity will be the next growth barrier in India. Inadequate availability of water is becoming an area of concern for industries, especially for thermal power, chemicals, textiles and cement plants, and would affect their businesses massively in coming years.
- Trillium Asset Management’s Jonas Kron fears the world’s dwindling supply of fresh water is hurting the companies he has invested in, and is betting that more companies will eventually realize they need to factor climate change and water risk into their bottom line.
- Black & Veatch appointed Cindy Wallis-Lage as President of its global water business, which addresses billions of dollars in water infrastructure needs around the world.
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