Weekly News Bulletin: Aug. 25-31, 2009


Covanta Completes First Stage of $450 Million Veolia Acquisition

Covanta Holding Corp. has completed the first phase of its $450 million acquisition of most of Veolia Environmental Services North America Corp.'s energy-from-waste facilities. The deal, which was announced in July, includes facilities are located in California, New York, Pennsylvania and Canada that collectively process about 3 million tons of waste into electricity each year. Covanta expects to complete the acquisition by year's end with the purchase of an operating contract related to an energy-to-waste facility in Miami-Dade, FL.

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 continue to 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...Read More »



California Drafting Revised Landfill Financial Assurance Rules

The California Integrated Waste Management Board (CIWMB) has nearly finalized draft rules for how landfill operators must fund post-closure maintenance. The latest draft proposal would require operators to initially provide a financial assurance demonstration that matches the state water board's "corrective action" cost estimate. Like many states, current law does not require landfill operators to demonstrate financial assurance beyond the first 30 years after closure. Industry has been generally supportive of the latest draft rules but is concerned about flexibility in the event that the legislature adopts a so-called "pooled fund" which acts as a kind of insurance policy to cover potential corrective actions.

The revisions to the state's financial assurance rules are seen as significant because half of California's landfills are expected to require post-closure maintenance by the end of this year, according to some estimates. Environmental groups including Californians Against Waste and others worry that the draft financial assurance requirements do not go far enough in covering non-water quality corrective action. They also worry that the CIWMB is rushing the rules through before the end of the year when the board is eliminated and the agency is transformed into a branch of Cal EPA under a bill signed by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger earlier this year...Read More »



Renewable Energy Accounts for 12.6% of US Net Power Generation

The use of clean energy, including conventional hydroelectric sources, made up 12.6% of US net power generation in May according to the latest statistics gathered by the Energy Information Administration. Renewable energy sources excluding hydro represented 3.6% of the net output. Net generation from all energy sources dipped by 4.1% year over year to 311,411,000 MWh, where 29,142,000 came from conventional hydro; 5,755,000 from wind; 2,822,000 from wood; 1,381,000 from other biomass; 1,197,000 from geothermal and 98,000 from solar...Read More »



European Waste-to-Energy Market Largest in World at $4.44 billion; Faces Challenges

Europe is the largest waste to energy market in the world with 429 installed plants that earned revenues of euro 3.10 billion (US $4.44 billion) in 2008. According to a recent study from Frost & Sullivan, "The most important driver for the waste to energy plants there has been the Landfill Directive [as promulgated by the European Union] and its waste diversion targets." Further fueling their growth has been steadily growing demand for the power they generate amid volatile oil prices. However, the increasing difficulty of obtaining environmental permits is raising development costs and slowing growth. Moreover, the economic downturn has curtailed capital available for project development...Read More »



Cobb County GA Turns Waste Business Over to Advanced Disposal Services

Cobb County, GA hopes to save $5 million per year by turning over the operation of its transfer station and composting facility to Advanced Disposal Services (Jacksonville, FL). ADS will build a new $1.7 million trash transfer station to replace the county's existing 1970s-era building which the county will own at the end of the contract. The company will haul waste from there to its Eagle Point Landfill in Forsyth County...Read More »



McNeilus Launches 'Ngen' Initiative For Clean Refuse and Concrete Mixer Trucks

McNeilus Truck and Manufacturing, a division of $7 billion Oshkosh (Dodge Center, MN), launched a program it calls "Ngen," for Next Generation Initiatives to promote industry changing technologies for the refuse and ready mix industries. Among them is the increased use of natural gas fuel. The company has already sold hundreds of CNG refuse trucks and recently introduced a new line of CNG concrete mixers. Through its Ngen initiative, McNeilus is also incorporating more lightweight composite components to its vehicles to help pare fuel use. Leading the charge is Executive VP and Commercial Group president Mike Wuest who said "These innovations save thousands of pounds compared to other products. With the heavier 2010 emission-compliant engines looming, these Ngen innovations equate to a much lighter, more fuel-efficient vehicle."...Read More »



Heritage-Crystal Clean May Enter Oil Re-refining Business

Heritage-Crystal Clean, Inc. (Elgin, IL) said that it is considering entering the used lubricating oil re-refining business. Currently, the Company sells the used oil collected by its branches as fuel to electric utilities and asphalt plants, but believes it would enjoy higher profit margins by re-refining the oil instead for sale as a higher value-added product. The company has hired Glenn Casbourne as Vice President of Engineering, and plans to spend $5 million over the next year on the initiative...Read More »



WCA Waste Corp. Completes Acquisition of Houston Hauling Operation

WCA Waste Corp. has completed a tuck-in acquisition of a hauling operating including 7 roll-off trucks in Houston, TX. The company will internalize the waste collected into one or more of its four WCA-owned Houston area landfills. Tom Fatjo, Chairman of WCA, stated, "We are excited about the acquisition opportunities that exist in our current footprint and new market areas. With the availability under our credit facility, we are actively pursuing these opportunities and look forward to announcing progress as it occurs."...Read More »



Pennsylvania DEP Sues Former Landfill Owners for $3 Million Cleanup

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is suing the owners of a former landfill in western Pennsylvania to recover more than $3 million in hazardous waste cleanup costs. The Boldan Landfill operated in an abandoned strip mine in Westmoreland County from 1962 to 1970. The DEP conducted a massive cleanup of the site between 2003 and 2004 to remove hundreds of barrels of industrial waste including solvents, acids, PCBs and other chemicals. They are suing the owner of the property Boldan Inc. as well as companies who had hazardous materials disposed of there including Carnegie Mellon University, CBS Corp. and Exxon Mobil...Read More »



Casella to Release Fiscal First Quarter Results on September 2nd

Casella Waste Systems will release first quarter (fiscal 2010) results after the close of the market on Wednesday, Sep. 2 and host a conference call the following day at 10 a.m. (Eastern)...Read More »



Waste Management, Inc. Announces 29 Cent Quarterly Cash Dividend

Waste Management Inc. declared a regular quarterly dividend of 29 cents payable on Sept. 25 to shareholders of record Sept. 8...Read More »


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