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San Antonio Water Pipeline Proposed to Boost Supply

Now in their third year of a drought, San Antonio officials are considering the construction of a 142-mile water pipeline project that would pump roughly 16 billion gallons of groundwater annually to the region from Burleson County, TX. Local individual landowners in the county have signed over 3,400 leases to provide their water from the Carrizo and Simsboro Aquifers.

The Vista Ridge pipeline would cost $3.4 billion and boost the water supply to San Antonio residents by 20%. Critics say that the project is in direct conflict with water conservation techniques that would reduce demand.  

Sasol Building $8.1 Billion Petrochemical Complex in Louisiana

Sasol Ltd. recently announced the final approval of an $8.1 billion ethane cracker and derivatives complex at its existing site in Lake Charles, LA. An additional $800 million will be invested in infrastructure and utility improvements, as well as land acquisition, to establish the Lake Charles location.

At the heart of the project is an ethane cracker that will produce 1.5 million tons of ethylene annually, benefitting from significant economies of scale. The complex also includes six chemical manufacturing plants. Approximately 90% of the cracker’s ethylene output will be converted into a diverse slate of commodity and high-margin specialty chemicals.

Sasol has selected Fluor Technip Integrated as the primary engineering, procurement and construction management contractor for this project. 

The Case to Preserve, Improve Existing Nuclear Plants

“Observers watching the U.S. nuclear industry can tell you that the industry is struggling through a rough patch right now. Few new plants are being considered for construction. A number of those in the construction process – such as Southern Company’s Vogtle plant – have suffered delays and cost overruns,” Forbes reports.

That is why there are powerful advocates for preserving and improving the nation’s existing nuclear power plants. They argue that these plants “produce 20% of our electricity, that the plants run steadily and reliably – producing round the clock baseload power – and that if we are intent on creating a cleaner energy future, the last thing we should do is to prematurely retire them.”

USDA Providing $352 Million to Upgrade Rural Water Infrastructure

Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack announced that USDA is providing more than $352 million in loans and grants to upgrade rural water and wastewater systems nationwide and make infrastructure improvements.

Since 2009, USDA Rural Development has invested nearly $11 billion in new and improved water and wastewater infrastructure that has benefited nearly 15 million rural residents and almost 6 million households and businesses.

USDA is providing $175 million in loans and $165 million in grants through the Water and Environmental Program. This is part of more than $1.5 billion USDA invested in rural water and wastewater projects during the 2014 Fiscal Year, which ended September 30. 

Pipeline Project Rejected, Citing Lack of Shut-Off Valves

The Canada National Energy Board rejected a proposal from Enbridge Pipelines of Calgary for an oil pipeline to carry crude oil from Alberta and the U.S. Bakken region to refineries in Quebec and eastern Canada.

“The energy board decided that the Enbridge proposal did not include enough shutoff valves on each side of all major waterways that Line 9B crosses to limit the damage of accidental oil spills. The proposal that was rejected included shutoff valves within 1 kilometer (1,093.6 yards) at only six of 104 waterways crossed by the pipeline,” The Watertown Daily Times reports.

“In its Oct. 6 letter to Enbridge explaining why the project was denied, the energy board said Enbridge did not explain why there are not an adequate number of shutoff valves.” 

New Products

 

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• Attracting Talent
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