Emission control joint venture

CH2M Hill and ADA Technologies have signed a five-year agreement to combine ADA’s research and development capabilities with CH2M Hill’s engineering expertise and large client base. The new alliance will focus on developing and marketing new pollution control technologies.

The partnership’s first venture will be the commercial development of a low-cost system for removing mercury from coal fired power plant emissions. The technology is being developed to meet recent regulations set by the US Environmental Protection Agency, which has demanded that all mercury emissions be removed from power plants by 2007.

It is projected that this technology will save the utility industry up to $500m per year over currently available technologies for mercury control in this application.

Energy companies re-examine structure

Several US energy companies scrambled in December to reassure investors and save their credit ratings in the wake of the Enron collapse. El Paso, Mirant, Dynegy and Williams were among those that took steps to restructure debt as credit ratings agencies scrutinized business operations.

Houston-based Dynegy announced a $1.25bn capital restructuring programme following a ratings downgrade by Moody’s Investors Service. Mirant announced a 40 per cent reduction in its 2002 capital budget, an offering of common equity and said that asset sales would produce $1.6bn in cash.

While Dynegy and Mirant retained their investment grade credit quality, Calpine’s credit rating was downgraded to junk. El Paso announced a plan to sell $2bn of assets and simplify its books by moving off-books debt onto its balance sheets.

Solar power ventures

Shell Renewables is to acquire all the shares held by Siemens and E.ON in their solar photovoltaic (PV) joint venture company, Siemens und Shell Solar GmbH. The corporate integration will take place over the next six months. Once complete, the combined business, to be 100 per cent owned by Shell, will be known as Shell Solar.

Royal Dutch/Shell Group says that the deal reaffirms its commitment to developing new energies. Last year, the company pledged to invest $0.5bn to $1bn over the next five years to continue developing these businesses, focusing on solar and wind energy.

  • Electrabel, TotalFinaElf, IMEC and Soltech have set up Photovoltech to produce PV cells and modules. A new production system, developed by IMEC and granted in licence to Photovoltech, will enable PV cells to be produced from polycrystalline silicon, at a lower cost and with higher efficiency than conventional technology.

Alstom power sector sales rise

Alstom has announced a nine per cent rise in power sector sales to €9.8bn ($8.6bn) in the first nine months of fiscal 2002, while its transmission and distribution sector turnover increased to €2.3bn, an increase of 12 per cent.

Sales improved in all regions except for Europe and North America, with its Asian, African and Middle Eastern business increasing by 25 per cent and central and south America by 19 per cent.

SPL starts alliance with Logica SPL WorldGroup has announced a strategic alliance with Logica that will allow SPL’s customer management product, CorDaptix, to be integrated into Logica’s energy and utilities portfolio to target markets in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA).

The companies will work together to provide strategic solutions capable of adapting to fluctuating market demands. CorDaptix is a key element in this scheme. It represents the next generation of customer information systems by providing an adaptable customer core. Companies can use plug-ins to adapt this core product to meet their business requirements.

Robert Fillmore, vice president and managing director of SPL’s EMEA operations commented on the venture: “This alliance of products, skills and expertise will help provide our mutual customers with reliable customer management solutions that provide the flexibility, breadth and depth of functionality to truly support operations in deregulated markets.”

GE Power Systems acquires Honeywell assets

GE Power Systems has bought Honeywell Tensor Operations, Honeywell Advanced Composites Inc. (HACI), and the intellectual property and some of the equipment used in Honeywell’s fuel cell and microturbine operations.

HACI is a research and development organization with expertise in advanced high temperature composite material systems and processes applicable to turbine hot gas path components. The businesses will become part of Power Generation Technology within the Energy Products business of GE Power Systems.

John Rice, GE Power Systems’ president and CEO, said: “The synergies that exist between GE and these operations will provide a broader range of customer-driven solutions to the entire energy industry.”

News digest

Areva dips: Areva, the nuclear technology group which includes Cogema and Framatome, has reported a 15.5 per cent fall in turnover in the third quarter of 2001 to €1.78bn ($1.56bn) and a dip of 3.9 per cent in sales in the first nine months of 2001 to €6.2bn.

Bowman distribution agreement: Bowman power systems has signed a major new distribution agreement with Nedalo. Under the terms of the agreement, Nedalo will distribute Bowman’s small scale combined heat and power systems in Europe and the USA.

Cummins turbines: Cummins Power Generation has introduced 30 kW and 60 kW microturbines as the first products in a new turbine generator line. The new line will complement Cummins’ diesel and natural gas reciprocating engine powered generators and meet a broader spectrum of customer needs.

Duke profit report: Duke Energy has reported a sharp fall in fourth quarter net income from $284m in the corresponding period last year to $225m on turnover down from $15.4bn to $10.7bn. However, full-year net profits increased seven per cent to $1.9bn on revenue up from $49.3bn to $59.5bn.

Dynamotive GHG solutions: DynaMotive Energy Systems Corporation is moving into the greenhouse gas emission mitigation market. The company, with EcoSecurities Ltd., is to offer its clients a series of specific services to quantify, manage, finance and transact the environmental benefits from the use of DynaMotive technology.

E.ON investment: Germany energy giant E.ON AG is to invest €23.6bn ($20.7bn) in the energy sector by 2004. Half of the investment is allocated to the acquisition of Ruhrgas and Powergen, while the other half will be spent establishing E.ON as a leading market provider of energy services.

Nuclear ventures: Westinghouse Electric Company has acquired a controlling interest in Logitest SA, a nuclear non-destructive testing company in France. Concurrently, the company has sold the non-nuclear portions of its Barras Provence operations to Cybernetix Industrie SA. The moves are consistent with Westinghouse’s strategy of expanding its nuclear interests.

Rolls-Royce sale: Rolls Wood Group (RWG) has acquired the industrial engine programme from Rolls-Royce Engine Services Oakland (RRESO). The sale will give RWG all RRESO resources and assets relating to the Allison 501K and 570/571k product lines.

Sargent & Lundy PBMR: Sargent & Lundy will provide primary consulting services for engineering, project control, procurement and project management for the development of advanced Pebble Bed Modular Reactor technology.