Fortum sells boiler business to Aker Kvaerner

Norwegian-based industrial group Aker Kvaerner is to acquire the Finnish boiler business of engineering and contracting company Fortum for an undisclosed sum.

The pulp and paper industry has historically been Aker Kvaerner’s main market but this purchase will extend its power division into the power generation segment and broaden its biomass product portfolio.

Fortum Engineering’s boiler business includes its bubbling fluidized bed boiler technologies and the BioMAC trademark, patents and rights. A total of 36 Fortum Engineering employees in Helsinki, Finland will be transferred to Aker Kvaerner. The personnel will continue to provide services to three ongoing boiler projects – in Sweden, Finland and Germany.

The sale is part of a restructuring of Fortum’s power plant engineering unit which has also seen the shares and most of the business in its engineering division moved into a new joint venture company with Pohjolan Voima and other partners.

More cost cutting and restructuring at ABB

A decline in orders and earnings in engineering group ABB’s third quarter results has prompted newly appointed CEO Jürgen Doormann to announce a further business restructuring in an attempt to trim the cost base. The business has also been hit by a five per cent increase in asbestos claims arising from its US subsidiary Combustion Engineering.

Core businesses will be combined into two divisions, Power Technologies and Automation Technologies and measures to cut costs by $800m on top of the $500m already announced are to be introduced.

ABB is in the process of selling assets to meet debts of $3.7bn including the sale of its structured finance arm to General Electric. The company said it was in talks to extend the deadline for the repayment of $1bn to creditor banks.

Mitsui buys into CO2e

Japan’s Mitsui & Co. has paid $1.2m for board representation and a minority stake in greenhouse gas emissions broker CO2e.

Mitsui & Co. and CO2e have a team of brokers in Japan to broker trades. The companies will offer solutions to customers seeking to mitigate and manage risks and opportunities in the field of climate change. The firms also plan to explore a possible new joint venture serving the wider Asian region.

CO2e, a Cantor Fitzgerald company, has an international team of transaction specialists and marketplace technology experts providing brokerage services for emissions trading and renewable energy and environmental products.

New branches for Wood

John Wood Group’s gas turbine division has added to its international maintenance, repair and overhaul services to the energy industry through three recent acquisitions.

The firm has bought UK electrical generator services company, Rotary Electrical Company Ltd. for £735 000 ($1.15m) plus potential further payments of up to £700 000 by 2006, which has generator and coil related revenues of approximately £2.5m. This follows Wood’s recent acquisition of US-based Industrial Repair Service, Inc., a provider of electrical generator maintenance services to power plant operators throughout the Americas.

The Gas Turbine Services division has also paid $46m for the business and assets of Thomason Mechanical Corp and sister company Bender Machine. Thomason Mechanical provides rotating and reciprocating equipment field services in North America while Bender supplies precision machining and coatings services.

Insight Energy secures $100m backing

Chicago-based Insight Energy Inc, a power generation project acquisition and development company, has announced backing of $100m from affiliates of private equity investment firm Warburg Pincus. The company is actively pursuing power projects in the US, Canada, UK and Ireland.

The management of Insight Energy is also to invest in the acquisition programme, which is focused on power and cogeneration assets primarily under 150 MW. Insight has already acquired or developed over 50 power facilities.

Ruhrgas Industries adds ABB metering

In a recent deal, ABB Electricity Metering is to become part of Ruhrgas Industries’ global metering service. ABB’s electricity and water metering business, employing 3800 across 30 countries, will team up with Ruhrgas Industries’ gas metering businesses.

Subject to regulatory approval, the new metering operation will be created by the end of this year and will have combined revenues of over $1bn. The new company will focus on the increased demand for metering equipment and integrated system solutions triggered by deregulation.

News digest

Dynegy changes: President and CEO Steve Bergstrom has resigned from the board of Dynegy. It was also announced that its worldwide trading activities will cease. Bruce Williamson, previously with Duke Energy, is to replace Bergstrom.

Metallic milestone: Metallic Power has achieved a milestone with the first commercial shipment of its proprietary zinc fuel cells package for backup power in the 1-5 kW range. The regenerative fuel cells offer a cost-effective, clean alternative to lead-acid batteries.

Mitsubishi expands: Mitsubishi Heavy Industries is to support its business expansion in the US by channelling its business through Mitsubishi Heavy Industry America, Inc., based in New York. The subsidiary is to operate a new marketing planning division and be the hub for three manufacturing subsidiaries

Nexans steady: Cable specialists Nexans reported marginally lower nine-month figures, despite a sharp deterioration in the telecoms market.

PB in Spain: Tyneside-based engineering, construction and consultancy PB Power has opened an office in Barcelona, Spain in support of its increasing activity and anticipated power market growth in the country.

Schlumberger portal: SchlumbergerSema has launched its MyEnergyInfo web portal with which energy providers can offer customers a real-time web-based energy management tool as a way of controlling energy use. Easy-to-read graphs display data on electric, gas and water consumption.

Superconductor funds: American Superconductor Corp. has been awarded a $2m, two-year cost-sharing grant by the US Department of Commerce’s Advanced Technology Programme to speed up steps towards the high volume manufacture of its high temperature superconductor wires.

Teco sells: Florida utility Teco Energy is to sell assets totalling $400m and cut spending next year. It will sell its coal-bed methane gas assets in Alabama and repatriate cash and non-recourse financings on power plants in Guatemala. Third quarter earnings per share were up 6 per cent.

Tomen shifts: Japan’s general trading house Tomen Corp. has sold all its stakes in eight power utilities in New York and other states and instead will focus on wind power generation mainly in developed countries where it expects demand for renewable energy to rise.

Volvo increases: Genset manufacturer Volvo Penta reported sales up eight per cent for the first nine months of 2002 against an overall declining market. Industrial sales, which account for a quarter of Volvo Penta sales, were up six per cent.