Weekly News Bulletin: Jul. 8-14, 2009


Covanta Moves to Consolidate Market; Purchases Waste-to-Energy Assets from Veolia

Covanta Holding Corp. said it had reached an agreement with Veolia Environmental Services (ES) North America whereby Covanta will acquire assets amounting to most of Veolia ES's waste-to-energy business in North America. Under the terms of the agreement, Covanta will pay $450 million in cash for the Veolia assets, less net debt and minority interests. The assets, which collectively process about 3 million tons of waste per year, include waste-to-energy plants in Long Beach, CA (1,380 tpd); Dade County, FL (3,000 tpd); Duchess County, NY (450 tpd); Islip, NY (486 tpd); Montgomery, PA (1,200 tpd); York, PA (1,344 tpd), and Vancouver, BC (800 tpd). According to Waste Business Journal estimates, Covanta already has a 44% market share in waste-to-energy. It operates 38 waste-to-energy plants that process 17 million tons of waste annually. This transaction will likely put its market share closer to 55%. Wheelabrator, a division of Waste Management, has market share of about 23%. Veolia will continueto operate four municipally owned plants in Bay County, FL; Savannah, GA; Jackson, MI; and Charleston, SC.

Each of the seven facilities being acquired includes long-term operating contracts with their respective municipal clients. In addition, Covanta will acquire a majority ownership stake in the Montgomery facility and a related transfer station operating contract. Covanta said that force reductions are not anticipated at the operating facilities, which employ approximately 500 people. The acquisition is expected to add approximately $60 million of operating cash flow during 2010 and to close by the end of the year.

Separately, Covanta bought a 30% interest in Detroit's waste-to-energy facility and agreed to continue operating the plant which it has done so since 1991 under its wholly owned subsidiary Michigan Waste Energy. The plant processes about 800,000 tons of municipal solid waste annually.

Covanta is also bidding on two waste-to-energy facilities owned by the Southeastern Public Service Authority (SPSA) in Chesapeake, VA. Both Covanta and rival Wheelabrator are expected to submit definitive proposals by the middle of this month...Read More »



Energy-Intensive Sectors Want More Protection in Senate Climate Bill

As debate over the Waxman-Markey Climate Change bill moves into the Senate, energy-intensive industries are pushing for a major debate over the need for more compensation in the event that China, India, and other major developing economies do not adopt greenhouse gas (GHG) controls comparable to U.S. legislation. Representatives with the American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) and other trade groups argue that the only effective approach to reducing GHGs is to ensure that China, now the world's largest emitter, and other major developing economies participate in emissions mitigation requirements. They would like to see the Senate version of the bill go beyond House-passed legislation to give 100 percent parity in tariff protection from goods from non-carbon controlled economies, and to increase free allowances to heavy energy users to keep the cost of goods down. Otherwise, U.S. manufacturers would be obligated to incur costs not born by competitor nations, giving them a competitive advantageand drawing jobs overseas...Read More »



SAIC to Buy R.W. Beck

San Diego-based Science Applications International Corp. (SAIC) is acquiring Seattle-based R. W. Beck Group, Inc., including Beck Disaster Recovery, Inc. (BDR), of which R. W. Beck is the majority owner. R. W. Beck employs 550 people and specializes in the provision of business and technical consulting services to public and private clients in the areas of energy, water, wastewater, and solid waste. SAIC said that it will incorporate R. W. Beck into its Infrastructure, Logistics, and Product Solutions Group, which is led by Group President Joe Craver.

"With the development and rehabilitation of many aspects of our nation's infrastructure becoming increasingly critical, and the ongoing threat of natural and man-made disasters, both SAIC and R. W. Beck leadership believe that combining the capabilities of the two companies will produce results of significant benefit to our clients and overall business," said Russ Stepp, president and CEO of R.W. Beck. SAIC and R. W. Beck expect to close the deal next month...Read More »



Waste Management Opens Advanced Recycling Facilities in Oregon, California

Waste Management, Inc. announced that it has opened two new state-of-the-art recycling facilities for construction and demolition (C&D) waste, one in Hillsboro, OR, and another in El Cajon, CA. The company described its Hillsboro facility as "ultra-green," with features intended to meet the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards of the U.S, Green Building Council. The $10 million facility includes a massive translucent roof that maximizes natural lighting, reduces energy consumption, and includes a system for harvesting rainwater. The $7 million El Cajon facility incorporates TiTech optical sorting technology for handling dry recyclables such as aluminum cans, glass, and newspapers. The Hillsboro facility employs 20 people, and the El Cajon facility employs 30 people...Read More »



Coal Ash Spilled at TVA Plant in Tenn. Will be Rail-Hauled to Alabama

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced that it has approved a plan to transfer more than half of the coal ash that spilled from the Tennessee Valley Authority's Kingston, TN, power plant last December, to the Arrowhead Landfill in Perry County, AL. The plan covers 3 million of the 5.4 million cubic yards or 1 billion gallons of coal ash sludge said to have spilled. The landfill, which was only permitted in July 2006, is permitted to accept 7,500 tons per day and is served by rail, allowing for the relatively efficient transport of large volumes of waste from far afield. It complies with all federal and state technical requirements and is permitted to accept coal ash, according to the EPA. The coal ash from the Kingston site contains low levels of arsenic, cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, mercury, nickel selenium and zinc...Read More »



Ameresco Opens New Landfill Gas to Energy Project in Half Moon Bay, CA

Republic Services' Ox Mountain Landfill in Half Moon Bay, CA has begun operating an 11.4 megawatt landfill gas to energy project constructed by Ameresco, Inc. which will own and operate the facility. In operation since 1976, Ox Mountain is slated to continue receiving garbage for another 35 years, creating more landfill methane gas. Ameresco, which touts itself as the largest independent comprehensive energy solutions provider in North America, uses the landfill gas to produce electricity with on-site generating equipment. Plant electrical output will be sold to the municipal utilities in the cities of Palo Alto and Alameda, according to Ameresco, which originally inked contracts with the cities five years ago for power from another landfill power project in Santa Cruz County. Palo Alto's city-run utility has set aggressive renewable energy targets (30% in 2012 and 33% in 2015) for which the Ox Mountain supplies are expected to greatly help as they will equate to 4% of the city's electricity supplies. For Alameda Municipal Power, its share of the Ox Mountain power output will amount to about 11% of its overall electricity needs...Read More »



Tetra Tech Acquires Bryan A. Stirrat & Associates

Tetra Tech, Inc. has acquired Bryan A. Stirrat & Associates (BAS) , a consulting and engineering firm specializing in landfill design, leachate and hazardous waste management, energy recovery, and groundwater protection services for municipal and commercial clients. BAS employs about 150 people at six offices in California and Arizona and generates annual revenue of about $40 million. Tetra Tech said that it has worked with BAS on several high-profile landfill remediation programs, including a 168-acre brownfield redevelopment project near Los Angeles. "The BAS acquisition strengthens Tetra Tech's technical capabilities in watershed protection and adds new customers throughout the southwestern United States," said Dan Batrack, Tetra Tech's chairman and CEO...Read More »



Casella Sells $180 Million in Five-Year Notes

Casella Waste Systems Inc sold $180 million of five-year senior secured notes in the 144A private placement market. The size of the deal was decreased from an originally planned $205 million. Bank of America, JP Morgan and Calyon cooperated in managing the sale...Read More »



Tomra Pacific to Open New Recycling Center In San Francisco

Tomra of North America plans to open a beverage container recycling center in San Francisco, CA capable of handling 5 million containers per month. It will feature Tomra's reverse vending machines and allow consumers to return containers using a drive-through weighing service. San Francisco has 15 locations for consumers to recycle beverage containers, down from 35 sites three years ago, said Frank Canelo, Bay Area operations manager for Tomra Pacific. It has lost recycling centers due to grocery stores moving out of the city, forcing drop-off centers on their properties to close...Read More »



Startech Rejects $15 Million Tender Offer from Swiss Company

Startech Environmental Corp., a Wilton, CT-based developer of a plasma-based technology for treating and recycling hazardous wastes, has rejected a tender offer from Geneva-based Friendly LRL Holdings LLC of $0.65 per share in cash. The Startech board said that it rejected the offer "principally because of its belief that the company can achieve greater long-term value for its shareholders by pursuing other strategic alternatives that are currently under consideration." The board also said that it had "taken note of the unprecedented disarray now being experienced in the financial markets, and believes that the currently depressed price of the Company's stock is far below its intrinsic value." Startech President Joseph Longo pointed out that the company's average share price over the past five years has been $2.11, with a high of $4.65 per share during that period. The offer price represents a premium of 103% over Startech's closing price on June 29, 2009, a premium of 4% over the average nine-month closing price, and a premium of 71% over Startech's highest closing price at any time over the past six months...Read More »



Waste Connections to Report Second Quarter Results on July 21

Waste Connections, Inc. said it will report second quarter financial results after the close of the stock market on July 21 and host an investor conference call related to the release the following day at 8:30 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »



Covanta Holding Corp. to Report Second Quarter Results on July 22

Covanta Holding Corp. said it will announce second quarter financial results at the close of the market on Wednesday, July 22. The company will host an investor conference call at 8:30 a.m. the following day to discuss those results...Read More »



Waste Services to Release Second Quarter Earnings on July 21

Waste Services, Inc. said it will release second quarter financial results after the close of markets on Tuesday, July 21 and hold a conference call the following day at 9:30 a.m. (Eastern) to discuss those results...Read More »


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